Le Korsa is a dynamic non-profit organization that works directly with dedicated doctors, teachers, and students in Senegal to improve human lives. Operating programs at carefully selected sites, responding quickly and immediately to emergencies, we are astonishingly effective. Our actions are concrete, designed to fulfill urgent needs. We are in constant contact with our network of Senegalese colleagues to make sure that we are achieving our goals, and the results are extraordinary.
While we recognize that we cannot provide global solutions, we have, with very specific projects, all small-scale compared to what larger and better-known charities do, made a tremendous difference in the areas of medical care, education, and cultural enrichment in a part of the world where the needs are urgent and substantial.
Le Korsa is devoted to action that is direct and effective. We do not have a cushy infrastructure, and any money that we receive goes to work, verifiably, in Senegal; as an accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all donations are tax deductible and we are also legally incorporated in Senegal.
I created Le Korsa in 2005 initially to find American support for a French NGO, Le Kinkeliba. Its name is that of a popular Senegalese herbal remedy, reflecting the respect for local tradition that underlay its endeavor to provide the benefits of western medicine in rural Africa.
I was eager to help Le Kinkeliba after I traveled to Dakar and then on to the remote reaches of eastern Senegal with the organization’s founder, the Paris-based dermatologist Gilles Degois, where I saw the fantastic impact of his work. By having French dentists and ophthalmologists and other of his professional colleagues team up with Senegalese partners to bring modern medical practices to people desperately in need, by building modest but appealing facilities for this work, and by engaging successfully with the local populations, Dr. Degois showed how much can be done to make a demonstrable difference in the well-being and health of others. He created a library with donations from Catherine Camus (daughter of the novelist,) and established kindergartens and a community farm. And he developed residential facilities to give high-school-aged girls a salubrious setting to continue their education. To this day, his Foyer de Jeunes Filles, a safe residence on the outskirts of the city of Tambacounda, allows gifted young women to complete their educations and so to have an alternative to their proscribed existences of marriage at age twelve and the obligations of raising large families while still teenagers themselves.
Le Kinkeliba no longer exists, but Le Korsa—“korsa” is the word in Pulaar, the local language in eastern Senegal, for love from respect—continues to assist and support some of Dr. Degois’s original projects while undertaking new ones.
Le Korsa is flourishing. We have remarkable friends in Dakar and in eastern Senegal, with whom we have a superb partnership, and the team of people now working for us in the U.S. and in Senegal — Allegra Itsoga, our brilliant and energetic director; Moussa Sene, the on-site manager of Thread and our program director throughout the Tambacounda region; Louis Valentin, our liaison with all of the people we try to serve in Dakar and in rural regions; and Anne Sisco and Brenda Danilowitz, at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut, who offer perpetual help to our work — truly make fantastic things happen.
We know there is a limit to what we can do, but we succeed in stretching a relatively small amount of money in order to achieve amazing results. Our hope is that, beyond helping to the extent we can, we will set an example of how much can be achieved with relative ease and at a low cost.
We count on you to continue to make it all possible.
-Nicholas Fox Weber, Founder and President of Le Korsa