Les Enfants d’Abord, French for "Children First," is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 with the goal of giving children opportunities for self-driven, experiential education. We support our students' growth through community health and family engagement programs.
Our programs are designed with participation and feedback from the local community and the expertise of educators who specialize in childhood development and experiential learning.
We aim to support under-served groups in Senegal, including talibé children and girls. All of our children come from low-income families and nobody is ever turned away because they cannot pay (nearly all of our programs are free).
We are approaching the problems in the current educational system head-on. Our programs provide students opportunities for an experiential education that promotes teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills while building self-esteem. We frequently integrate STEM/STEAM into our programs and maintain a high level of student engagement through programs that are not only educational, but fun as well. We develop children into life-long learners who are curious and always looking for something better and more effective than the status quo.
We are a results-based organization: If one of our programs does not meeting expectations for effectiveness, we do not continue to fund it.
Our mission is to develop the next generation of leaders in Africa by creating safe community spaces where children grow through educational programs, sports, and family-focused health initiatives.
Public schools in the communities in which we work are overcrowded and underfunded. In the 2017-2018 school year, one of our feeder schools has 1,006 students and only 19 teachers. Students sit at small tables without the space or supplies necessary to take notes.
Students are not engaged in the current system. Students sit and listen to lectures, often without the materials needed to take notes. Shortly after the lecture or the exam testing that material, the students forget what they had learned. What's worse is that when students leave school, they are not set up for success in higher education or achieving higher-level job positions, which are then outsourced to foreign workers who take the money out of the local community.