Support from Dakar YEE to "Africa's First Women's Music School"

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Dakar Yunus Emre Institute (YEI) supports the projects implemented by women in Senegal, contributing to their employment and visibility in society.

While Dakar YEI continues its activities in the field of cultural diplomacy and Turkish courses in Senegal, it also continues to support women-related projects.

In this context, Dakar YEI also provides space for the first women's music school, which was established by Jigeen Ni, Senegal's first and only women's orchestra.

Dakar YEI Coordinator Merve Işık Efe made statements about the women-related projects they support on the occasion of March 8 World Women's Day.

Efe underlined that YEI attaches great importance to projects to empower women and said that they closely follow the projects carried out in this field, especially in Africa. Efe explained that last year they held a bagel and pastry workshop at Mburu bakery, which is a women's initiative and uses entirely local products, and noted that they helped women provide additional income. Efe stated the following:

"This year, we turned to a different field and implemented a music school project with Senegal's first and only women's orchestra, Jigeen Ni. Within the scope of this training, which started in our cultural center, music education is provided for young girls and women. Teachers from various art schools in Dakar teach notes and theory. The musicians in the Jigeen Ni Orchestra also provide practical training. As an institute, we also provide support to them regarding venue allocation and other needs."

"We don't just give lessons, we also learn Turkish culture"

Evora Asta Vaz, who plays bass guitar in the Jigeen Ni Orchestra, stated that they established Africa's first women's music school and that their aim is to provide support to women who want to advance in the field of music.

Aissatou Dieng, who plays drums, also stated that the foundations of the school project were laid in 2019, but thanks to Dakar YEI, they implemented it as of 2024.

"Thanks to Dakar YEE, we were able to start our women's music school project, which has been our dream for a long time. We have 25 students now. We are happy that our paths crossed with Dakar YEI. We not only give lessons here, but also learn Turkish culture. We like this very much. Moreover, the fact that the Institute coordinator is a woman brought us closer to each other. We literally had a female collaboration." Pianist Khady Dieng said.

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