08.31.18 / Category: Impact - School Build Projects

Trek Reflections from Senegal

This blog post was brought to you by Layla Ghazi, a chemistry major and french Minor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a second generation American from Atlanta Georgia. The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Layla loves the color forest green and can speak four languages. 
Some dream of a European adventure, while others want to explore Asia. For me,  Senegal has always been of interest. I have been immersed in the French culture since I was 11 years old, absolutely fascinated by the unity the language brings to those who interact with it. While in French classes, we would often be asked to select a Francophone nation and learn every nook and cranny of what made this country as great as it is. Senegal was always my choice.

Photo by Layla Ghazi

As my research into this nation went on, I learned of the educational policy that this nation had in place, especially efforts to provide a thorough primary educational experience for its children in the hopes of mobilizing the initiative for students to continue on to a secondary education. In fact, it was learning this that prompted me to want to become a science teacher. I hope to teach in the Peace Corps in Senegal. I figured that when given the right introduction and the right resources to something, students will hopefully want to pursue their privilege of an education. Unique to Senegal, relative to other nations across the globe and on the African continent, is that it provides a free education all the way through secondary school. Being a teacher is a highly honorable role, and it is just beautiful how much the nation tries to invest in the education of its people.

Photo by Layla Ghazi

When Georgia Tech began its initiative to build a school through our Panhellenic philanthropic partner, Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, I was fortunate enough to be a Junior Panhellenic  Delegate and at the forefront of these decisions being made to pursue this project. Once my term ended, I was able to serve as our Circle of Sisterhood Delegate and play an even more hands-on role in fundraising for this school. As I found out we would be able to actually go to the village of Sass-Mack AND meet everyone who would be able to utilize these facilities, well, from that instant I knew I needed to apply. This was not only a once in a lifetime opportunity; this was quite literally my dream coming true. I would be able to help facilitate the building of solid infrastructure to a deserving and hard-working group of individuals, who knew what an education would do for their futures.

Photo by Layla Ghazi

Everyone we met during our time there was a beautiful human being. They wanted to learn as much as they could and about everything. At the same time, I left the village of Sass-Mack having not only learned to pass-by with some Serer and Wolof, but feeling confident in my French. We learned more about their customs and day to day lives; and more about the dreams the children, their mothers and fathers, and the chief of the village had.

Photo by Lindsey Peterson

Thank you Layla for sharing your “why”! Do you have a story to share with the Circle of Sisterhood? We would love to hear it! Please contact Mia McCurdy at blog@circleofsisterhood.org