Namory DakhatÃ© has been working with ICVolunteers Dakar for a year and has coordinated a number of activities for the E-TIC project. We asked him to share his impressions about his cooperation.
My involvement with ICVolunteers started in a very fortuitous way. I became acquainted with the organization while visiting a village with the purpose of doing research for EREV Senegal, a structure that houses the ICVolunteers-Dakar antenna and where I worked for a semester. My first contact was with the PDF document of the E-TIC project, initiated by ICVolunteers, which has chosen GuÃ©dÃ©-Chantier as one of the pilot villages for its implementation in Senegal.
I was very interested in Sustainable Development in general and this project seemed to be perfect for experience acquisition in this field. Apart from the fact that E-TIC was a long-term project, there were three elements that really pushed me to get in touch with ICVolunteers: international NGO, Sustainable Development and eco-villages.
In Senegal, ICVolunteers does not have the same infrastructure as in Geneva or Barcelona, but I have been enjoying its environment from the first minute I stepped in. My collaboration has allowed me to explore my passion while learning even more things about eco-villages. It allowed me to talk with authorities as well as village dwellers; people who have changed my perspective forever. It is surprising how "illiterate" people from the eco-villages have a vision of agriculture, fisheries, livestock, energy. Their ideas should not be wasted, the authorities should listen.
ICVolunteers has not only confirmed my ambitions to turn to Sustainable Development and to study it, but even more it pushes me to advocate for this area which is one of the only ways out for Africa, far from the narrow-minded lectures of politicians. The best idea I've read this far, which since then has become my credo is David Diopâ€™s when he wrote in Coups de Pillons that, "whoever claims to be an intellectual should no longer stick on wishful thinking of statements of intentions, but should give to his writings a concrete follow up". I have begun my pursuit of that credo since I started working in the E-TIC project and ICVolunteers.
My ambitions for ICVolunteers are immense. I would like to participate, hopefully soon, to the erection of a real Regional Office of ICVolunteers in Dakar and help the organization in the mounting of other ambitious projects in Senegal. I hope that through this organization, I will be able to participate actively in the development of Africa and that, unlike other international organizations, African related projects will be developed by Africans themselves.
Everything is certainly not perfect in ICV-Dakar, but I like very much the attention I get from the Executive Director. My ideas are not put in the trash. I freely express my thoughts and my criticisms are well received. All this makes of ICVolunteers, the perfect environment for any student, professional and anybody who wants to help, to be able to operate and develop ones own competences while working for the development of the area where he is located.
So far my collaboration with ICVolunteers has been very fruitful and I invite anyone who would like to build up some skills in participative actions or work for the development of its region to join ICVolunteers.