NGOR, a project of intercultural exchange and responsible tourism in Senegal

Irene Manos ci ha scritto una bellissima lettera raccontando dell’esperienza della Atlantic International school di NGOR, un villaggio di pescatori, a pochi chilometri da DAKAR, la capitale del Senegal. Il villaggio lébou di Ngor si trova nelle vicinanze dell’isola di Capo Verde, non lontano dall’aeroporto, all’interno di una zona lontana dal caos del centro di Dakar. Il progetto è una scuola interculturale, una convivenza, Irene ci ha scritto perché vorrebbero collaborare con Le Mat…leggete:
Our project is an intercultural school where is possible to attend language courses (French and wolof), being hosted in a local family and learning interculture, visit the surrounding area with us and studying, living the local culture, going to the beach, sunbathing and sightseeing.

Our school is called Atlantic International and we are just outside Dakar, in a traditional fishermen village called Ngor. The project is based on the idea of sharing the particularity offered by the place. A village where is possible to be in front of the sea, moving on foot, be relaxed and having baths all the times possible. But also to move easily and quickly to Dakar city centre for a quick change of perspective.
The aim of the project is to:
-establish an economic base for the village, thanks to the touristic attractions and the particular local lifestyle. Our project wants to scatter the economic aspect of all this among all the local families participating in our initiative.
-use the professional skills of qualified and culturally open local teachers who usually host tourists in their houses and are attracted by the diversity as much as the opportunity of sharing and speaking about their own.
-use the linguistic features of the place first of all its bilinguism. It is possible to study in this Wolof (Senegalese local language) and French (official language) usually spoken in Senegal.
– enjoy the local lifestyle which makes a difference that could be offered to the world. Relaxed atmosphere, social community living, constant sharing in an African fisherman village just a few km from the capital.
– The cultural enrichment given by the fact that the school combines the study of local tradition, together with the fun and discovery of the beautiful Senegalese capital.

A student of our school can enjoy the local culture, the sea, the sun, the relax, having the opportunity to enjoy the fun of the capital or the fun of the close Almadies, the rich area of clubs and restaurants just outside the village.
-the project is also aimed to establish deep social links together with friendship relations from different cultures
– abolish stereotypes, creating a deep knowledge based on understanding between Africa’s world and the rest of the world. Stereotypes in fact are always based on ignorance or shallow knowledge. In the school the intercultural events designed to promote the intercultural aspect of the holiday, will lead students through dialogue to know Senegalese religion and ancient animism, feminine condition, Senegalese lifestyle and cooking.

The community will be deeply and positively influenced by the cultural interchange because the students will speak about their culture of provenience and freely speak about their points of view, creating in this way a deeper and mutual understanding.
Under a social and economical point of view is therefore evident that this project will create a new trend which is not that of sexual tourism or a simple use of local beauties from the big tourism industry run by Europeans. Usually mass tourism is scarcely connected with local culture and tradition, local people and way of life, in two words: local understanding.

At the base of this there is the idea that this place has all the features and keys to develop in a high cultural way that can create a big social advancement: culturally and interculturally. The economic base will be divided among cultural operators and families and will also create social and friendship links, no landscape change, a long lasting enrichment for both participants in the project and locals.
For the participants this project will allow to:
-study a language while enjoying safely a touristic attraction and a cultural vacation
-study a language with a high standard of teaching, spending less
-know new people, a new environment, a new continent
-have a vacation with a small budget and helping a local community
-see a new intercultural interpretation of life, events, lifestyle
-have a study experience combined with holidays at the beach, close to Senegalese capital
-have the possibility to be close to all Dakar places of fun
-explore a traditional and modern lifestyle at the same time

Ngor is strategically located in the western part of Africa, very close to Senegalese capital and completely surrounded by the sea. Is possible to choose many different places to sunbath and have fun at night. At the same time the school offers the possibility to explore together the most famous touristic attraction thanks to the trips to the closest places. Lake rose, the monument of African renaissance, Gorèe island, Ngor island… These are just some of the places close to our school.
All this will be offered thanks to a peaceful social living unique in Africa. Senegal enjoys a stable and relaxed way of life, cultural and religious differences live together peacefully. Nowadays more and more tourists and immigrants are reaching Senegal. A visit to this part of Africa is the safest way to get to know this new developing continent.

 

Non esitate a scrivere ad Irene per sapere di più di questo bel progetto. Fate il nome di Le Mat. Siamo sicuri che questo è proprio un bel modo per imparare il francese e …perchè no…il Wolof.

For information:
www.atlantic-internationalschool.com
irenemanos@hotmail.com