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The Context
Senegal is a West African country home to about 16 million individuals. Senegal’s educational system is divided into three major levels: primary, secondary, and higher education.

Primary schooling is free and required for all kids between the ages of 6 and 16. Six years of primary school, six years of secondary education, and two years of higher education make up the 6-6-2 structure of the educational system. French is the primary medium of instruction, but some schools also offer classes in regional languages. Despite significant progress in recent years, Senegal’s educational system still faces many challenges. These include high dropout rates, a lack of resources, and a shortage of qualified teachers.

The government has introduced several policies to improve the country’s education quality, including expanding access to education, improving teacher training, and increasing funding for education. The government and other stakeholders are working to address the educational system’s difficulties and guarantee that all children can access high-quality education.

ST Foundation’s Presence

In 2008, the ST Foundation embarked on a transformative journey, forging its inaugural partnership with the National Agency for Youth Employment (ANPEJ) to launch the DU Program in Senegal. This marked the beginning of a continually evolved project, broadening its scope and efficacy over the years. Despite the conclusion of the partnership with ANPEJ, the Foundation’s commitment has not waned. Today, 16 years later, the Foundation collaborates with Concept, a local NGO, as its operational partner in Senegal, reflecting the program’s success in fostering impactful relationships.

The DU Program has expanded its reach to over 25 cities, addressing infrastructure challenges and enhancing digital literacy in underserved areas. The initiative has significantly empowered participants with foundational ICT skills, opening up avenues for employment and further education in computer science. A notable milestone was introducing the T4K course in 2018, initiated with a Train the Trainer course by Giovanna Bottani, demonstrating the program’s adaptability and growth.

In 2021, despite facing challenges, the Foundation’s resilience led to notable achievements in 2022, including:

  • The completion of a project with the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation (AICS), details of which are available on the dedicated webpage;
  • Launching the Introduction to Computer Basics for Visually Impaired People Course (ICB4VI), further showcasing its commitment to inclusive education. The Director of Operations, Giovanna Bottani, and Milan University’s Dr. Cristian Bernareggi attended the kick-off. For more details, please refer to the dedicated section.

2023 has been a year of expansion for the Foundation, with the extension of the ICB4VI program to new cities and a significant partnership with the ITU focused on girl empowerment in Senegal.

This collaboration underscores the Foundation’s dedication to gender equality and sustainable development. Additional information can be found in the designated area of our website.

As of  December 2023, with over 172,000 beneficiaries since its inception, the DU Program is a beacon of achievement and hope, significantly impacting the communities it serves and exemplifying the Foundation’s enduring commitment to making a difference through digital education and empowerment.