E-ducare: from dream to reality 

5 min read — February 24

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E-ducare: from dream to reality

The idea of E-ducare arises in 2007, because of my trip to Senegal (Africa).

Visiting Dakar; accompanied by Wilson, my Rwandese friend, and the local friend Omar, I noticed, curiously, a multitude of begging kids aged around 4 to 10 years.

It was not the first time I have seen children begging, but this time something had caught my attention, something those children had in common: their slender body, the sadness in their eyes, often driven or mistreated, their bare feet, dirty, a tiny can knotted to their neck with a piece of wire, and an outstretched hand begging for a few cents, sugar cubes or biscuits in the name of God.

Omar explained: "They were Talibé, students at Koranic schools."

Talibé, in Arabic means "one who seeks."

These children usually come from poor families in different regions of Senegal or neighbouring States and are entrusted to a religious teacher, the Marabout, in charge of their religious education. They live in a Daara, the Koranic School. Their day begins at sunrise, with the Morning Prayer and begging for breakfast until 10 (in money or in kind); between 10am and 12.30pm study, after which they return to the streets to beg for lunch. Therefore, fall to the Daara for the prayer of the 14.15; they study until 5 pm, have an hour of freedom, say the evening prayer, and then return to the streets to beg for dinner, or doing some practical work at the Daara. Depending for all from the Marabout to whom they give alms received.

I asked our friend if it was possible to visit a Koranic School. Two days later we were greeted by some of the leaders, to whom we asked why children at such a young age were forced into a life, at least to our way of seeing things, so incredibly hard. The meeting was cordial and for each question asked, we received a precise and punctual, and obviously meaningful from their point of view.

After circa one-hour conversation, we were leaving. Approaching the exit, I noticed something moving in a dark corner. I discovered a chilling reality: children suffering from malaria were resting in the dark. When asked, the leaders explained: "a French lady gives us through an agreement with a local pharmacy everything we need, but at this time the pharmacy run out of Lariam (treatment against malaria) and we are waiting for it."

If properly treated malaria has an effective remedy, but too often the therapy is not initiated in time to save lives, especially children. I left enough money to buy medicines to another pharmacy and, with a vice in the throat and accepting that I could not do much more, we returned home.

Despite the beauty of the landscapes and places I visited in the following days, I could not turn my thoughts away from that night in the Koranic School.

Unfortunately, the day of departure arrived soon, and with mixed feelings, I returned to Europe.

Like everyone else, I was aware of the existence of extreme poverty, but after having experienced such a story, I was no longer able to return to my "privileged world," showing with pride to all my friends the amazing pictures I took, and the easy acceptance of my powerlessness in similar situations. After all, if Heads of State, United Nations, and other relevant organizations were incapable to find a solution, what could I do?

Without any doubt, that trip to Senegal, that had started in the name of a mere vacation, was turning into something more; suddenly my past life, started to make sense.

I was brought up by my parents, with the tenet that others come first, and others matter more than I do, my 10 years in a seminar, and other 10 years of wonderful experience as a volunteer; being spurred on to improve my English, and my move to Ireland, like pieces of a puzzle, everything stuck perfectly. Everything had prepared me for this moment and suddenly all my life made sense to me, including the painful divorce I just went through.

On the way back to Ireland I decided that I would have done my part, it would not suffice anymore the little I had done until then. I wanted something more, and if I could help even just a few of those children, it would have been already a great achievement. It was at stake the lives and the future of children, those little ones of which we adults have collectively responsibility for. 

Since my return from Senegal, I began to involve friends, relatives, colleagues, and the idea has turned into a project. After years of meetings and dozens of books read on the subject, the initial enthusiasm 'turned into a goal and then into an organization, that has gone far beyond any expectation.

I consider myself inspired by innovation, and considered by business background, along with the first enthusiasts who shared my idea and values, we brought to life Fairtour, a “special” tour operator that would deliver amazing travelling experiences, that would be cultural, sustainable, responsible, and fair, while 100% of the profit would be used for providing education to local unprivileged children. 

It took more than 3 years and a good amount of money from my own pocket to realize that a tour operator cannot be not-for profit.

However, this didn’t take us down, and we decided setup e-ducare for youth, a more traditional NGO, with the aim to create a social enterprise ecosystem where companies would be created with the aim to bring value to customers while part of the profit would go to fundraise e-ducare’s projects.

E-ducare for Youth CLG
18 Herbert Street
D02 FK19, Dublin, IE
Charity Number: 20100186
Charitable Tax Exemption: CHY 21966
CRO Number: 549959