A 2016 graduate of St. Petersburg College turned his capstone project into a reality in Timbuktu, Mali. Sane Haidara, a native of Mali in West Africa, earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration at SPC and then his master’s degree in the same field at the University of South Florida. He recently presented at SPC’s Multicultural Internal Club’s (MIC) virtual meeting, where he explained how he brought his vision to life.
His capstone project at SPC was to develop a pilot program that would provide breakfast, lunch and a take-home meal to Timbuktu school children in order to evaluate the impact of proper nutrition on attendance, academic achievement and retention in the education system.
During his virtual presentation to the SPC MIC, Haidara proudly told the group that he has put the knowledge gained and steps planned while at SPC into place to create a nonprofit called Association Pour Le Développement Communautaire au Sahel (ADCS). He and his colleagues created four components of ADCS:
- Education – Learning that many children don’t have breakfast before attending class, Haidara’s organization made a donation of powdered-milk and glucose to provide a nutritious breakfast to elementary school students. With this breakfast project, 189 children will be provided with a breakfast for six months. ADCS hopes to gain more funds to offer more meals for students.
- Health – ADCS works with the community health center (CSCOM) and provides resources to meet local needs.
- Water Distribution – A solar-powered water distribution center provides clean water to the Sahel community to for daily needs and farming.
- Elephant Conservation – This aspect focuses on the protection and conservation of the Gourma elephant, an endangered African elephant species adapted to the desert climate.
As Sane told SPC students at the MIC meeting the things he’s doing in Timbuktu, current Titans’ wheels were turning. They could envision the skills, goals and drive they are gaining at SPC being put to use in the real world after college.