Students for Senegal Persists Through the Pandemic


Photo Courtesy of Students for Senegal on Facebook

The cover image of SeneGala 2021, organized by the Students for Senegal club.

Hannah Rogoff, Multimedia Director

Students for Senegal, known for its various fundraising efforts throughout the community to raise money to build and furnish a learning center in the Village of Lambaye, Senegal,  is one of the most popular clubs at the high school. But, the coronavirus has presented the club with many challenges as they are unable to hold their typical fundraising events. Although this year is like nothing anyone has ever experienced, the presidents of the club have been determined to still find a way to raise money and keep members active to support the families in Lambaye. 

Alex Boswell, one of the four presidents of the club for the 2020-21 school year, explains how it has been challenging to keep the club active, “A big part of Students for Senegal is bringing people together. With the coronavirus, this has been difficult. Virtual meetings, while effective, just aren’t the same as in-person. Recruitment has also been difficult, especially with underclassmen. With no club fair, getting new members has been a struggle for us.” Keeping members involved is most definitely difficult during these times as well, but Boswell explains how utilizing social media has been the most effective way to keep people involved.

“We are constantly updating members via Facebook, google classroom, groupme and Instagram,” he says. “The past few weeks we have been preparing for our Strides for Senegal event so members have been focused on fundraising. Members are also getting involved via the Lambaye Innovation Challenge. The Challenge, new this year, lets kids from MHS work with students in Senegal on STEM based projects. It’s a great way for students to stay active by helping the Lambaye community, plus it’s COVID safe.” 

Just like most other activities in these unprecedented times, things have clearly looked very different for the club, but the presidents are dedicated to continuing to connect the local community with the Senegalese community and raise money to collect supplies to help fund and run the Lambaye Learning Center. For example, the club always begins with a Turkey Trot, but because of COVID, this event was cancelled. To take its place, the club organized their own COVID Safe Strides for Senegal race which took place on November 22. This event was extremely successful, and ended up raising $14,000. 

Overall, Students for Senegal has proved that they will not let anything ruin their goals- including a global pandemic! As Boswell stated, “Of course it will be more difficult than previous years due to COVID but we don’t want to let that slow us down…we started the year off great with the Strides for Senegal event and we are hoping to continue on this path for the rest of the year.”