Our Organization

Our association, Natangué-Sénégal, has been working in Senegal since 1999. We are based in Paris, with offices in Mbour, Senegal, in the Zone Sonatel district.

The mission of Natangué-Sénégal is to: fight poverty and infant mortality, build schools for children of preschool and elementary school age, provide educations, literacy and professional training for mothers, fund local ventures through microfinancing, develop credentialing centers for teachers, and mentor young adults in their personal and professional growth.

Natangué-Senegal works in collaboration with its international and local partners:

Fondare L’avvenire dell’ Infanzia in Senegal (FAI in Senegal)

Natangué-Sénegal USA (NS-USA)

Natangué Association for Women and Children (ANEF)

Economic Interest Collective for the Women of Natangué (GIE Jigeenu Natangué)

The Mayor’s Office of Mbour

The Education Inspector’s Office of Mbour (IEF Mbour)

Our history from our roots in 1999:

1999 – The nonprofit organization L’Homme et le Cheval at Mbour, Sénégal (HCMS) is created by Elena Malagodi, with the object of helping youth with disabilities in their healthcare, transport, and professional development.

2003 – HCMS obtains a donation from the organization Femmes d’Europe to construct an office in Mbour. Luigi di Giamberardino becomes treasurer of HCMS.

2004 – HCMS builds a house in the Zone Sonatel district of Mbour for students with disabilities, which doubles as the organization’s headquarters.

2005 – HCMS decides to undertake the construction of an elementary school on an area of 2,800 m2 on a site where it has turned a trash dumping site into a community garden.

2006 – The City Council of Mbour approves HCMS’s proposal to build the school in Zone Sonatel. Sister organization FAI in Senegal is founded, with the principal missions of building, operating and sustaining preschools and supplying medicine and vaccines to fight infant mortality.

2007 – A formal partnership between HCMS, FAI in Senegal, the Mayor’s office of Mbour, and the national Ministry of Education, is signed, enabling HCMS and FAI to undertake social programs for the children and families of Zone Sonatel. A fundraising campaign is started, bringing together public and private partners in the French Embassy, l’Association Enfance et Partage, the government of Île-de-France, Foundation Sonatel Sénégal, l’Assocationa Dianté Bou Bess, the Mayor’s office of Mbour, and many partners and friends in France, Italy and the United States.

2008 – The preschool, École Natangué, is built, with four classrooms serving 200 kids aged 3 to 6. A center for the women in the community is built, with a tailoring workshop, a restaurant, and multi-purpose meeting spaces. The school opens on October 13, and all students receive a pediatric check-up on the first day. Our small business collective begins to offer micro financing to women in the community.

2009 – The elementary school at Natangué is constructed, financed by Fondation Orange and Fondation Enfance et Partage. It opens on October 5, offering three classrooms for 150 students. It has since grown to accommodate 600 students. HCMS is renamed Natangué-Sénégal.

2010 – Natangué opens its first agricultural project, with the donation of two hectares of fertile land and the construction of wells financed by Regione Lazio in Italy. GIE Jigeenu Natangué is formed to operate the project and to sell the yields cultivated from the project. Additionally, Natangué builds four classrooms for the local Zone Sonatel Primary School, which serves 1000 students.

2011 – An organic garden is created on the site of the school with a group of students from the French American International School in San Francisco, CA. Natangué opens a small business center opens around the corner from the school, and GIE Jigeenu Natangué doubles the size of its agricultural fields.

2012 – Natangué builds toilets at the Zone Sonatel Primary School and at the Daara, a local Koranic school.

2013 – Natangué opens a medical clinic to support the 1200 children in the Zone Sonatel district, and builds three classrooms in the new local middle school, CEM Mbour Sérère.

2014 – Natangué builds faculty offices and three more classrooms at CEM Sérère.

2015 – Natangué builds two classrooms at the local preschool Coumba Dinding Sonko and founds the Groupe Scolaire Natangué to manage operations at all of Natangué’s parter schools, and continues expanding administrative offices at CEM Sérère.

2016 – With a grant from Moms Against Poverty, Natangué rebuilds the Cheikh Amadou Lo school with 12 classrooms, broadening its reach to the Thiocé district. Natangué builds two additional classrooms at CEM Sérère.

2017 – The preschool at Cheikh Amadou Lô opens, completing the campus. Larson Holt, a longtime friend of the project, founds the first branch of the organization across the Atlantic, Natangué-Sénégal USA.

Throughout our history, we have geared our services toward the following groups:

  • to provide medical care and follow-up to ill and disabled children and youth
  • to subsidize school fees for students of all ages, especially disabled students
  • to provide support in financial planning and business development for women and widows
  • to support individual families in distress with their health and nutritional needs

Localizing the project: The city of Mbour

Mbour, situated south of Dakar on the Atlantic coast, used to be a small port centered around fishing. Today, it now counts 400,000 inhabitants, much of which is due to internal migration from rural areas.

This situation renders Mbour, just like the capital, Dakar, incapable of supporting the basic needs of many of these migrants, who abandoned the interior of the county in the hope of getting a job in a more urban area.

In most cases, their children are the first victims of this precarious situation. The positive factors from an economic point of view—fishing and tourism—also bring about a series of overpopulation-related issues: a lack of schools, hospitals, housing, water, sanitation and infrastructure, and the spread of diseases, especially AIDS due to prostitution. The fishing economy is itself threatened other Atlantic nations which practice intensive, unsustainable fishing.

Meanwhile, the “brain drain” means that many of Senegal’s most educated and qualified often leave the country for better prospects in France, the United States and Italy.

The Activities of Natangué

Association Natangué-Sénégal (Natangué) and its partners sustain the Groupe Scolaire Municipal Natangué, the medical clinic, the GIE Jigeenu Natangué agriculture cooperative, and the families that benefit from all of them.

Natangué finances the education of elementary, middle, and high school students and professional training programs for students with disabilities, and the construction of school buildings through its partnerships with local authorities and professionals, in order to reduce the lack of infrastructure, in particular classrooms.

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