Overview of 2016 January Study Abroad Program

International Service Learning in Senegal--Restoring Heritage

African Villages as Vibrant Ecovillages

This 2016 winter session course in “International Service Learning in Senegal: Restoring heritage African villages, as vibrant ecovillages” is offered collaboratively by the Sustainable Neighbors Network 501c3 educational non-profit (SNN, California) and it’s Senegalese Partner  Ecosentinelles in Guede Chantier Eco-community under the supervision of the Gaia Education (GE) Sustainability Studies Program in partnership with the Global Ecovillage Network. Sponsoring and participating universities include City College New York (CCNY), California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and Senegalese University, Gaston Berger (UGB)
​Participatory classes in Service learning, action research and sustainable development will engage students in understanding an ancient wisdom tradition, engaged in resolving community conflict, and in protecting the ecological, social and mental health of traditional African villages.  Our work will support the international British Aid Agency, DFID and the leadership training agency, CIFAL, in their 3 year international development project in the Eco-commune of Guede Chantier and three of its affiliated villages. This project applies a variety of service learning called “project based learning,” to the adaptation and installation of modern, solar, other energy, water supply, crop protection and product packaging alternatives, as well as cultural preservation and improvement of basic services.  During this program villagers and students will test best modern solutions while reforesting landscapes stripped of trees for firewood, stabilizing water retention systems, protecting crops with organic pesticides, removing plastic bags that litter the landscape (photo on right), and working on climate change adaptation.
​ The multi-week program starts and finishes in the capital city of Dakar, spending most of the session in the eco-commune of Guédé Chantier and the other projects sites along the beautiful Senegal River bordering Mauritania. Students live in homestay families and study with English speaking Senegalese student partners. With academic theory sessions and facilitation provided by CCNY, and local Senegalese faculty, the students will form cross-cultural service learning project teams in small groups with villagers and mentors, according to their personal interests. ​
​ ​To the extent possible we will match student teams with the different project components that correspond to their future career interests, in alternative energy, organic agriculture, environment and reforestation, health, education, music and performance arts, other liberal arts (with oral historians, etc). During the middle 7-10 days, each student team will work closely with a DFID-CIFAL project team on a mutually agreed specific project. Each team will produce a report and a PowerPoints on their work, and present these both locally and at University of Gaston Berger or in Dakar.


Program Cost:  $1,700.00

Airfare:  $1,200.00 (estimate)

​Entry Visa Fee:  $160.00