Blossoming, a Tsudoi for TJU scholars
Ashinaga Senegal’s overall purpose is to provide academic, emotional, and professional support to students who have lost one or both parents. This mission is carried out in all its programs, whether they are international, like the Ashinaga Africa Initiative, or domestic, like the Taxawu Jang Universitaire (TJU) program.
In the framework of the TJU program, this support is offered in an individualized setting during regular follow-ups. However, we also create opportunities for collective support. The tsudoi organized in all Ashinaga offices are the template for our group support and have a long history dating back to the origins of Ashinaga. Since Ashinaga started organizing these gatherings, they have become a special time where students can bond, (re)discover the values that bring the organization together, and support each other.
In order to achieve Ashinaga Senegal’s academic, emotional, and professional development objectives for the local university program, two tsudoi are planned for the Taxawu Jang Universitaire (TJU) students every year. These tsudoi are structured with an innovative approach that creates a student-centric learning and discovery experience. Every year, the TJU students take part in Tsudoi Tostan (blossoming) and Tsudoi Ubuntu (Humanity together). Tsudoi Tostan, which is organized outside of Dakar, aims to develop students’ open-mindedness and support their personal development. Tsudoi Ubuntu, on the other hand, aims to strengthen emotional wellbeing and academic skills.
For this first edition of Tsudoi Tostan, students got the chance to immerse themselves for three days in the Gandiol region in the north of Senegal. This beautiful region is facing critical environmental challenges such as coastal erosion. Being there allowed the Tsudoi team to raise students’ awareness on this topic while conducting training on project management, self-awareness, and site discovery.
Beyond the excitement and takeaways from these activities, two highlights of this Tsudoi are noteworthy. Firstly, Ashinaga Senegal was particularly proud to have collaborated with the national bureau that oversees orphaned student support under the Senegalese government (Office National des Pupilles de la Nation). This collaboration allowed scholars to share activities with students from different organizations and develop open-mindedness and a sense of solidarity. Secondly, students appreciated the guest speaker session with Mrs. Mareme Soda Ndiaye, the youngest deputy in the Senegalese National Assembly. Her speech was inspiring and focused on the theme of civic engagement.
Tsudoi programs are paramount activities in the TJU experience for both staff and students. The COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible for students to gather in one place for the past year. Therefore, this year’s Tostan Tsudoi was welcomed with great joy and enthusiasm by the students. They have been waiting for a chance to see each other, enjoy Ashinaga activities, and welcome the new cohort of students who freshly joined the Ashinaga family.
Undoubtedly, they will cherish the moments they shared both for the social interactions and the insightful tsudoi activities that will contribute to their development. Both current and incoming TJU cohorts have echoed a common takeaway: “This was indeed a true moment for sharing, a moment of joy and learning.”
Writing to Ashinaga San – Ashinaga Senegal students thanking donors for providing computers