It’s been six years since I first started working with Buba Camara and the Boabab Youth Development Association (BYDA). For our first project, Buba, as president, delegated members of his group to come to my session on using software and social media. He seemed uncomfortable with the technology.
Today, Buba has grown. He has a smart phone and we communicate via WhatsApp, sharing plans, results, and photos of their work and our efforts in the United States about once a week.
Over the years, the group has grown and has used its construction skills to create two small bridges and upgrade the community mosque with their own financial resources and via their local network. With our full financial support, the Women’s Group has an emerging soap making business. And, the group continues to manage our 18-student scholarship fund. This year, they and I met the challenge of helping two of the students who showed signs of needing additional help.
One student had hearing problems. The second student was falling behind in class.
Luckily, the first student got free hearing aids. For the second student, we had to hunt for testing services.
After the testing and consulting with the second student’s parents, it seemed that his being in a class with 59 other students was not working for him. We decided to get him a tutor. The tutor we hired supports him in English, the language of instruction, and Mandinka, the language spoken in his home – – which I also visited.