Upon its official opening, the Daara contained eight dormitories, three courtyards that served as classrooms as well as a Director’s office, a multipurpose room used for socio-cultural activities, two storerooms filled with food and equipment, a kitchen, a laundry room, a farmhouse used for poultry raising, a field reserved for gardening and agricultural purposes, and a windmill that pumped water from a well (which is at present time in of need of funds for its upkeep and repair).
Over the course of time, the Daara has been expanded and enriched with many new buildings and services thanks to the enduring generosity of its donors and benefactors. Such developments include:
▪ A health clinic comprised of a waiting area, consultation room, pharmacy, and treatment room.
▪ In June 2007, the Fondation Sonatel donated a much-needed sanitation facility that had been lacking for many years.
▪ Six classrooms were constructed and fully-equipped by the Fondation AXA-Atout-Coeur, while the Ministry of Education of Senegal constructed an additional two classrooms. A library was also built and furnished by the French Embassy, while a carpentry workshop was constructed thanks to the help of the Fondation de France and UNESCO.
▪ In May 2006, the Association des époux et épouses de diplomates accrédités au Sénégal (CAEDAS) sponsored the construction of a 548 metre long fence along the Daara’s perimeter. This fence assures the security of the children residing at Daara as well as its various buildings and resources. A committee of Arab women from CAEDAS also donated a toilet facility for the school’s students.
▪ A computer training programme for the Daara’s staff and students was initiated in December 2006 thanks to the help of Fondation Sonatel and France Télécom. Ten secondhand computers, gifts of Fondation Sonatel, the Ministry of Education of Senegal, and UNESCO, were also installed in the school’s library, and a computer server was donated by the French business firm Tymis. The resulting Community Multimedia Training Centre will serve to boost adult literacy and promote computer technology skills within the local community.
▪ Some of the school’s rooms were refurbished and transformed into a superintendent’s office as well as three bedrooms for international volunteers. The toilets and bathrooms for children and staff were also renovated in Fall 2005.
▪ The multipurpose, socio-cultural room was renovated and furnished with carpeting thanks to the support of SICASS, Sénégal Négoce, and UNESCO.
▪ In partnership with Total Energy, the Fondation Sonatel donated a solar electrification system in 2003 in order to ensure a steady supply of renewable energy for the school. However, the Daara is now encountering serious problems involving the refrigeration system in the kitchen and health clinic, as the solar batteries’ lifespan have recently come to an end. Funds are needed for their replacement in order to restore the supply of electricity to the school.
▪ Thanks to the donations of NGO Solidair’Action and funds raised in Quebec and Montreal, a new building is currently under construction that will house a telephone call centre as well as the Community Multimedia Training Centre. Constructed by a local building contractor and long-time supporter of Daara, this new installation will also contain a painting workshop, a gallery designed to showcase and sell products created at the school, and a housing facility for training instructors and foreign volunteers.