KidsAfrik is my dream to build better futures through Sport, Art and Technology education in rural Africa an here in the US. I came to the USA from Senegal in 1984 as a 16 year old high school student. For the last 30 years, I have dreamt of going back to Africa togive something to the children that are not as fortunate as we are here in the USA. As a boy that grew up on the streets of Dakar Senegal, where I experienced the general lack of hope for the youth. Thanks to God and to my parents, I had the chance to come to the US. Here, I have had the opportunity and the drive to accomplish many things in my life... my interests and jobs have all revolved around sports, music, and technology.
I have played and coached soccer on many levels. I founded a development youth soccer club in Amherst, Massachusetts that has run for the last eight years. For seven years I had the privilege to travel around the US, and made many great musical connections as a founding member of a recording band.
Professionally, I have learned computer languages and for the last 20 years, have worked in the field of computer database, computer networking, computer software and hardware support. I am currently in charge of the alumni database system for the Advancement services here at the University of Massachusetts.
My family is the inspiration for this ambition. I consider myself both fortunate and blessed to have had so many wonderful life experiences and I thank everyone that has been in my life to help make these achievements possible.
Even after all these years here in the US, I still have strong emotional and mental ties to Africa. I have particular concern for the lack of opportunity for young people there. This is a continent that is rich in natural resources but for a variety of reasons, we are not developed in a way that leaves most of our youth feeling bright about the futures. I have always been aware of the lack of resources available to the youth in Africa, and my recent trip home to Senegal reinforced this sad reality.
Until African children are taught how to develop themselves and sustain quality of life in their own villages, in their own country, Africa will never be free from its own imprisonment ofpoverty. The children have to see hope intheir community, they have to find hope in their own surroundings. Many African adults and children believe that the only way to survive is to leave the beauty, peace and safety of their homes and ventureinto the
overcrowded and under-serviced cities... or even to leave Africa all together in search of a better life. Young children end up begging in the streets, resorting to criminal activities, and barely (if at all) scraping by through life. Their childhoods and dreams of a good life are ruined and many times, never turned around.
The vision of this project is to help children in Africa to find value and economic stability using their god-given talents. The focus will be to provide a safe haven for these children to best learn and grow using formal, traditional education plus a strong focus on The Arts, sports, and Technology as life-long tools for success. I envision a self-sustainingDevelopment Center that has all the characteristics of a thriving community. The focus of the Center will be the children who come to learn about themselves and their world. They will be given an opportunity to learn a trade, develop athletically and most importanly remain in school.
The hope is that these children will find a comfort level with their lives in their own villages, in their own country. They will become active and valuable members of the community there, and begin a cycle of progressive thinking that changes the way youth view themselves and the place they were born and raised. To realize this dream, your assistance and support are necessary.
Now, here in the US, I also have the passion to work with kids in the surrounding towns that also need assistance in achieving success in their lives by providing an after school program for the Springfield, Holyoke, and Greenfield community that will help kids reach an acceptable academic grade, educate themselves about obesity, and engage them in The Arts, Sports, and Technology.
President and Founder