Report: meeting of Babels volunteers in Dakar

(Date: Nov.ember 23th 2005)

Date and location: Saturday 19th November 2005. Address: 54 rue Carnot in the Enda Tiers Monde premises. 11.15 am – 12.45 pm.

Present: David LEYE, Saliou DIA, Mohamed BENGHAZI, Lamine HANNE, Fatou Kandji DIAW, Judith HITCHMAN, El Hadji Séni CISSE, Nfally BADIANE


• To get to know the volunteers

• To co-ordinate our actions and available time

• To decide on the tasks, allocate responsibilities, means and time available for everyone

• Miscellaneous

Our workshop began with short presentations. Everyone confirmed their wish to work with Babels and their commitment.

The information provided by Judith greatly facilitated the discussions; most importantly, she reminded us of the main objectives of the Bamako forum.

Our goal is to achieve good coverage of the meetings of the FSM/Polycentric World Social Forum in Bamako. This will be dependent on the effort we provide and the skills of the Bamako team.

Please remember: Babels is a voluntary organisation. This is very important . All participants were completely in agreement.

Recommendations resulting from the meeting:

•  To quickly finish the recruitment of the volunteers before the end of November and to have the list of the Babels volunteers in Bamako so that Laurent can book seats from Paris to Senegal. (Air Senegal Company)

• Youth hostel as accommodation has been selected. It costs 20,000 cfa (31 Euros) per person and per night (food is not included).

Nfally proposed that the CCC (Collectif des Cadres Casamançais, collective of Casamance managers) participate in the forum. The CCC works for peace and reconstruction in Casamance, (a region in southern Senegal that endured a 23-year civil war). Discussions with other victims of conflicts (Liberia, Ivory Coast, Darfur) could be organised. Nfally speaks Wolof, Diola, French and English.

Mr El Hadji Séni CISSE, (from Senegal/Guinea-Bissau) would be available to provide support. He speaks Portuguese Creole, Portuguese and French (useful for Portuguese speakers and South Americans). He also speaks Wolof and Manding, a lingua franca in West Africa

Decisions made:

Responsible person(s)







• Supporting and contacting volunteers

• Reviewing and stressing the voluntary nature of work with Babels

22. – 26. Nov.


• Taking stock of our resources in Dakar and Bamako (languages, dates, finances)

22. Nov. - 04 Dec.


• Liaison with the WMF Bamako team

• Accommodation for 15 to 20 people. (around 10 Malians)

20. Nov. – 04- Dec.

20. Nov. -04 Dec.





• Liaison of material in Bamako + FPH and ALIS material (panels, team, organisations, equipment, rooms…)

From now to 04 Dec.

Laurent and us

• Reservations and tickets (final)

As soon as possible





• Centralisation in Africa

• Contacts with CCC

• Inform Rabia and Taoufik

From now

As soon as possible


• Approval of drafts; can be distributed

As soon as possible

We did not discuss the issue of Swahili a southern African language. We hope that the Malian committee that is in contact Laurent will quickly find a solution.

We have not found a solution for all the issues raised. Therefore we are open to all suggestions for the questions and issues that we have omitted. It is important that we all try and find alternative ways of communicating and sharing in order to achieve great success in Bamako

We have not allocated specific responsibilities to Judith: as a resource she will be available as support person during the forum …and could be the Babels spokesperson in Bamako.

Dakar, 22nd November 2005
Report by Nfally BADIANE
Enda Tiers Monde

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