Lr Korsa shares the belief that the surest means of securing a more promising future for the world is through the education of its youth. Senegal has among the lowest literacy rates of any country on the planet; in 2011, UNICEF reported that only 50% of its adult population can read and write. Although more children have access to primary education now than ever before, the literacy rate among 15-to-24-year-olds is 74% among men and only 56% among women. 60% of the country’s children receive no education after sixth grade. In rural Senegal, Le Korsa supports programs at elementary schools and has built and helps maintain a kindergarten in the village of Sinthian. In Dakar, we provide some twenty scholarships that enable exceptional high school students to continue their studies at a university level.
The students are recommended to us by school administrators and teachers with whom we have close contact as well as by other Le Korsa colleagues in Senegal. Candidates go through an application process and meet with Anny Charbit — a volunteer colleague in Dakar who runs the program — before being selected. Once selected, they are in constant touch with Ms. Charbit regarding their needs and progress in school.
Most of these students come from poor rural areas and are the first members of their families to be in the nation’s capital city. The scholarships help with their costs of living, travel, supplies, and other needs. Tuition is covered by the State, but without us, these students would lack the means to continue their education. We buy each a laptop, and Ms. Charbit not only works directly with the students and distributes their monthly stipends, but sees to details concerning their housing. We assist with undergraduate and graduate studies in various fields, among them nursing, telecommunications, geology, nutrition, and English literature. We are in regular, frequent contact with each of our students, whom we know almost like family members and whom we see regularly on trips to Dakar.