A Family Learns Together in Senegal

When 63-year-old Jacqueline Diouf decided to sign up for buildOn’s Adult Literacy Program she made sure that her daughter-in-law, Louise, joined her. “I wanted her to believe that a better future is possible if she was willing to work for it and fight for it with this program,” says Jaqueline, who lives in the rural community of Sass Mack Sateme.

While Jacqueline never had the opportunity to attend school as a child, Louise was able to complete some schooling, but unfortunately had to drop out because her family lacked the means to keep paying for her school fees and supplies. Jacqueline firmly believes that it is never too late to learn and wanted to make sure that Louise, who is the mother of four young children, had the opportunity to finish her studies. 

In addition to ensuring that her daughter-in-law had an opportunity to continue her schooling, Jaqueline knew that participating in buildOn’s Adult Literacy Program would help to remove many of the obstacles that had been hindering her own life. Simple tasks like writing her name, giving someone her phone number, or doing basic calculations were impossible for Jacqueline and caused her great frustration. “This program has been the best thing that has ever happened in our lives,” says Jacqueline, who can now proudly write her own name and gives her phone number out with ease and confidence. 

This program has been the best thing that has ever happened in our lives.

Jacqueline Diouf

Through their Adult Literacy Program, Jacqueline and Louise also participated in income-generating activities, where they were able to put their new found skills into practice. They planted a variety of vegetables which they then sold in the local markets. With the profits they earned the two women were able to support their families and buy school supplies for the children. Together with the other Adult Literacy Participants in Sass Mack Sateme they also used a portion of their profits to provide cleaning supplies for the school. 

Today, Louise is so happy that her mother-in-law pushed her to join the Adult Literacy Program and encouraged her to never give up on her education. She can now read in both French and her first language of Serrere and she is proud of the fact that she earns her own money. Louise hopes to use the skills she has gained to access further training and apply for new jobs– all opportunities that she never thought possible before. “All I can say to buildOn and its partners is thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have given me and Louise a new life, and it’s great,” adds Jacqueline.

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