Celebration featuring African dance, cuisine, stories and music to raise funds for Senegalese school
Event proceeds will help raise the roof on new library for impoverished African school
Milwaukee Montessori School has announced it will hold a public celebration featuring African dance, music and a guest performance by ‘American Idol’ alumna Naima Adedapo on Friday, March 9. Proceeds from the event will help raise the roof on a new library for the Diatock Village School, located in an impoverished village in Senegal, Western Africa.
The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Zoofari Conference Center, 10001 W. Blue Mound Road. In addition to enjoying Adedapo’s performance, attendees will have the opportunity to create a friendship flag to send to the Diatock students, join in an African drum circle, listen to native Senegalese stories and enjoy delicious, authentic African cuisine. Sindoolaa, a Senegalese band featuring Milwaukee Montessori School teacher Oumar Sagna and acclaimed musician Lucky Diop, will also perform.
“Ever since I made it to America, I worked hard to give back to the people of my homeland village,” said Sagna, who grew up Senegal and attended Diatock Village School. “I believed it was best to do this through the education of our youth. I am grateful to Milwaukee Montessori School and the people of Milwaukee for helping me realize my dream of building a library for these African students.”
Sagna joined forces with Milwaukee Montessori School in 2004 to raise money for the African school, which educates nearly 70 children annually. He began by working with Milwaukee Montessori School families to supply the African students with clothing, shoes and school supplies. In 2005, the group raised enough money to supply the school with all of their student desks and outfit classrooms with doors and windows. Over the next seven years, the partnership expanded to include more Milwaukee residents who have worked to further improve the school and start building a school library.
To date, the group has raised enough money to build the library’s foundation and walls. In 2010, they were able to send a cutting-edge tablet computer with Internet capabilities to enhance the library’s offerings. This allows Diatock students access to a huge range of technological opportunities, including communicating face-to-face with students at Milwaukee Montessori School.
“The library builds a bridge between Milwaukee Montessori School students and their African counterparts,” Sagna said. “It’s a wonderful way to bring two worlds together.”
Monica Van Aken, Head of School at Milwaukee Montessori School, said that helping the African school is an excellent learning experience for students both here and in Africa.
“Our commitment to our friends in Diatock helps all of these youngsters – here in Milwaukee and also in Diatock – learn more about different cultures, traditions, histories, and religions,” she said. “We must prepare students to be knowledgeable, compassionate citizens and effective leaders in a rapidly transforming world.”
Tickets for the Milwaukee Montessori School Diatock Village School Fundraiser can be purchased online at: http://www.milwaukee-montessori.org/Diatock-Fundraiser-RSVP.htm: $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students (college students must have valid college ID). Children 3 and under are free. For more information about the project or to make a donation, visit the Milwaukee Montessori School website: http://www.milwaukee-montessori.org/Alumni-Friends/Diatock-School-Fundraiser.htm.
For more information about the event, please contact Stephanie Ziemke at 414-259-0370 x128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.