Dozens of high school students from impoverished areas of Dakar in Senegal are discovering the liberating power of music thanks to the action of Senegal88, a project supported by the EIB Institute.

Eight student-led music clubs in eight public high schools in the disadvantaged suburbs of Dakar were enthusiastically launched in January by Kimball Gallagher, Carnegie Hall pianist and founder of 88International – 88 as per the number of keys on a piano keyboard.

The newly created clubs will now go through a series of multidisciplinary training modules, providing them exercises and insights into leadership, entrepreneurship, project management, and creativity.

Clubs plan their own musical events in their communities, participate in song-writing contests, and hold regular weekly meetings.

Senegal88 is based upon the successful experience and shared expertise of Tunisia88 – also supported by the Institute since 2016 – which reached more than 60 000 students in all Tunisian high-schools.

The objective in Senegal is to focus on the creation of some 50 music clubs in the poorest areas of Dakar and to accompany them along all the steps of their journey towards personal growth and young adulthood. Clubs are being twinned with existing clubs in Tunisia, so as to promote strong bonds between students from the two countries.

In a country where there is little to no musical education for high-school students, Senegal88 promotes musical education to encourage mutual discovery and fosters harmony across different cultures.

Senegal88 is run in partnership with Consortium Jeunesse Sénégal, gathering 16 associations, ARED (Associates in Research and Education for Development), and Club Sono Mondiale, headed by the famous radio-Sénégal journalist Michael Soumah, who has kindly accepted to mentor the students.