The cause behind Pianopiano: Silent Senegal

August 31, 2021 | Written by Piano Piano

Silent Senegal is an initiative that supports the development of the schooling system for Deaf in Senegal, through the donation of 10% of our sales.

Everything started in 2017, when two of us went to volunteer at the École Renaissance des Sourds (ERS), in Dakar, Senegal. After 4 months there, they realised how much more help the school needed in order to provide the students with the education and the care they deserved. That is why, when we decided to launch our online shop together, the idea of donating part of the profits to the school came naturally to us.

THE ERS
The ERS was founded in 2007 and it is the only school in the country that uses Sign Language. They have preschool up to grade 9 and 140 students in total. Thanks to that, the ERS has become a point of reference for the Deaf in West Africa and it welcomes Deaf children and teenagers from all over the country and from outside.

The children come from different social strata of society but, particularly from disadvantaged places where they have not been able to learn Sign Language, a way of expression created by and for the Deaf. Not having a language means not being able to communicate with anyone, which can have a huge impact on the development of a child.

SCHOOL NEEDS

  • Being able to provide education to a larger number of Deaf children
  • Buying teaching material and tools for speech therapy and auditory rehabilitation
  • Buying furniture: desks, tables, chairs, storage lockers, libraries, cabinets, white or blackboards, clocks…
  • Increasing the number of classrooms in order to: start a kindergarten for the youngest; offer further education for the oldest for a better integration into society
  • Building play space and sports facilities
  • Increasing the capacity of dormitories for kids that need to live at the school
  • Recruiting motivated people

These are just a few of the things the ERS would need to provide adequate schooling for the Deaf in Senegal

Improvement plans will be regularly reviewed depending on the donations received.

ERS student testimony
“I became deaf after a long sickness when I was younger. Because of my deafness, I didn’t go to school.

When my little twin sisters were born, I helped my mother take care of them for two years. After that, my father registered me in a school in the village where they taught me some basic Sign Language. However, I could not advance far, as the teacher did not have a good level of Sign Language to be able to help me go further in my learning.

My father then continued researching until he found École renaissance for the Deaf in Dakar. As the school is a private one, he was concerned about how to honour the monthly fees. But, once I arrived, I was accepted at the school and at the dormitory. I was so happy about this, and at the dorm, I adapted quickly. I felt a real sense of home there.

In the past, I used to go with my mother to church, without understanding anything, as there were no interpreters there. I am in my 9th year and in the 4th level of Junior High in this school. I thank God, because today I am a witness to the love of God and He has transformed my life. When I had bad eyes, I counted on God and he prepared the heart of the optician, who gave me my glasses! I thank God because the income of my parents could not provide for this.

I want to say thank you to all my teachers and supervisors at the dormitory. A BIG thank you also to all the people who support the ERS and the dormitories. As, without your support, children like me would not be able to take advantage of their right of education.”