SEED Speaks: Final Debate

During our 4th and last debate session, 2 groups debated on the issue of polygamy. The judges (SEED tutors Mr. Ndao, Mr. Ndiaye and Coach Idy Cissoko) had the chance to ask questions and give their feedback. The debate included 10 minutes of cross-debating (which could have continued all night since both teams were very passionate about the topic :) and questions from the public. Students discussed religion, law, tradition and cited examples from their communities. The grand prize winners were members of the group that argued in favor of polygamy.

Since the debate took place during the Hoop Forum, campers also had a chance to participate. Although this was the last debate for the SEED Speaks workshop series, we look forward to continuing our partnership with students from Sup De Co and other schools and universities to help our kids keep practicing their public speaking skills. They have grown tremendously. Those who were once shy and had difficulty expressing themselves, can now talk confidently and convincingly. We want to continue to empower them to express themselves freely and clearly. SEED is grateful to H.O.P.E for Senegal for their support.

SEED Speaks Debate 3 & SEED Gives

During our 3rd session, the semi-finals, 4 groups debated on: women in leadership positions and media censorship. The judges (SEED tutors Mr. Diop, Mr. Ndiaye and Mr Ndao) had the chance to ask questions and give their feedback. This time around, the debate included 5 minutes of cross-debating and questions from the public. 2 winning teams were selected. It was exciting to see how the students’ passion for the topics grew. They defended their stance and points of view with statistics and specific examples. Students who had already been disqualified were encouraged to keep participating in the sessions to learn and ask their counterparts questions. We were pleasantly surprised to see that almost all the original participants showed up.

Everyone had a chance to win prizes by asking groups good questions and answering questions from us (What is SEED’s mission and values? for example). Who will walk away with the grand prize? We’ll soon find out.

The next day, during SEED’s 2nd annual Pout SEED RISE Camp organized by SEED Alumni Mactar Mbodj and Mamadou Thia Diop, SEED Girls had a chance to give back by presenting public speaking tips to youth. Using what they learned from communications and etiquette sessions, they taught youth what to do and things to avoid when presenting in public. One of SEED's core values is "Giving Back". We are happy to have been able to do so in such a big way.



SEED Speaks: Debate Club

For or Against? That is the Question...

As part of the SEED Speaks series, we wanted to make sure that the students had a platform to practice everything they learned in their communications and etiquette sessions. It is not only a way for them to learn by doing, but it’s also an opportunity for us to track their progress.

Our introductory session took place on March 25th. We welcomed 8 students from Sup De Co, a reputable school in Thies and Dakar. Some of the students had met the group previously at an OSIWA event. We were impressed with their presentation skills and thought it would be a great idea to invite them to take part in the 4-part debate series. We made sure each of our groups were composed of SEED students as well as at least one student from Sup De Co, so that they could learn from and be guided by more experienced students. During the 1st session, we introduced ourselves, broke into groups, went over debate rules and what they would be judged on, met the judges (2 SEED Tutors: Mr. Diop & Mr. Ndiaye, and our very own M&E Manager, Baye Maguette Seye), randomly assigned debate topics for the following session, and answered student questions.    

Our 2nd session took place on April 12th. The students had plenty of time to work with their groups on 3 different topics: the death penalty, social media for minors and cell phone usage in schools. All 6 groups debated; each group member participating in the discussion. The judges were then allowed to ask questions. After grading and tallying points, 3 winning teams were selected (1 for each topic, either debating for or against). We added a 4th group with the highest score so that 4 groups could debate in the upcoming session. The grand prize winner was Group 1, which argued against the use of social media for minors (They received Orange phone credits as their prize. Everyone is now eager to win the next round :). Students learned a lot and tutors commended SEED’s efforts, stating that it was not only an interesting and engaging initiative, but it was also helping prepare students for their oral exams in school.

Next week will be the semi-finale. Topics will focus on censure in the media and women in leadership positions. 2 groups will move onto the finals. Who will make the cut? Stay tuned to find out!

Dans le cadre de la série d’ateliers « SEED Speaks », nous voulions nous assurer que les élèves avaient une plateforme pour pratiquer tout ce qu'ils ont appris lors de leurs sessions de communication et d'étiquette. Ce n'est pas seulement un moyen pour eux d'apprendre en appliquant, mais c'est aussi l'occasion pour nous de suivre leurs progrès.


SEED Speaks: Learn the Art of Public Speaking Part III

Kader Camara Talks Personal Development & Etiquette

Passionate about teaching personal development, leadership and entrepreneurship, Kader Camara helps individuals find their motivation and works with organizations to define their mission and values. Author of a book on entrepreneurship called “Entrepreneuriat, le guide complet (Harmattan)”, his articles often appear in the magazine REUSSIR.

During the 2-hour session on etiquette, he helped SEED students think about how to structure their ideas, dig deep to find out who they truly are, and where their beliefs stem from. Camara talked about what influences our attitudes and most importantly how to develop a positive one (hint: start by being grateful for what you have). This led to a discussion about the importance of having good manners: being punctual, proper etiquette at dinner…

Perhaps the most telling moment of the session was when one of our young women spoke up at the end of the session and thanked the speaker for what he had just taught them. She explained that the Elite Girls group was increasingly being exposed to different opportunities, which meant they’ve had to adapt in different public settings. She said that whereas before, they were surely being judged by their counterparts for the way they carried themselves (especially at the table during lunches), she was now more confident with the new tools she had learned: “Now that we know these things, we can do better”. That is precisely why we believe this workshop series will have a positive impact on all our kids.


SEED Speaks: Learn the Art of Public Speaking Part II

Moussa Gueye Helps SEED Students Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Moussa Gueye is a finance professional who has been a member of Toastmasters Dakar since 2014. First the VP of Public Relations, he is currently Secretary of Direction for Toastmaster International’s 12th sector.

During the interactive session, Gueye spoke about the different types of speeches, the importance of adapting your body language to the message you want to get across, as well as managing one’s tone of voice during a speech. Gueye also went over breathing exercises to help with speech impediments. He mentioned that after fear of snakes, speech is a close second. Fear of speaking in public stems from the fear we have of being judged. However, the more you tell yourself you are bad at public speaking, the more you will start to believe it and the worse you will do. The key is to jump in. Gueye stressed the fact that you have to make mistakes in order to grow in life.

The new knowledge Gueye imparted helped complete what the students had learned in the previous session. Practice makes perfect!