Mamadou Saliou is one of those people with whom you lose the notion of time.

Listening to him, a half-hour coffee could easily end up being a 3 hours one … His life’s adventure and how he started the Diandé Africa project to help children schooling in the Senegalese neighborhood of Ziguinchor, where he grew up, is very touching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d_Zl6wsK3E

He arrived in Barcelona at the age of 16, and lived in different juvenile centers until he was 18. He got a job in a bicycle rental shop, and there he had the idea of setting up his own shop offering bike tours with a social background.

This is how  “La Barcelona de Mamadou”,  was born; a cycling tour that aims to present to  young people the different entities in the Raval district that work with young people at risk of social exclusion who are in the same situation he was a  few years ago, when he first arrived in Barcelona.  All that is collected goes to these collectives that work to give a new opportunity to young people, and it is also used to finance the rest of projects that Diandé Africa develops in Senegal.

In Ziguinchor, his hometown, Mamadou created a project to combat school drop-out and  encourage schooling for the children in the village (60 students attended the school last year, and its goal is to reach 120 by the end of 2019).

Apart from this, in 2016 (in collaboration with the Confiture Museum), he created the Coopérative de mamans of Ziguinchor, a brand that produces jams, jellies and mango and hibiscus chutney made by the mothers of these children themselves,  and that helps them to obtain a source of income for their childrens schooling and also a general improvement of their living conditions.

 

Mamadou and Kids & Cat; nice synergies

For a long time we were looking for different options to rent bicycles or scooters for the new Kids&Cat architecture tour, Starchitects (for kids aged  12 years and older), that will be finally available next January.

We read Mamadou’s interview and we wanted to know more about his project. We fell in love with his way of working and connecting projects in Barcelona  and Senegal. And also the idea behind it all; that the bicycles we use in Starchitects could be related to such a beautiful social background as this one  seemed really fantastic to us! … As if in each pedal stroke of the tour we could imagine that we give impulse to all the projects achieved in both countries so we can do our bit in collaborating in the schooling  in Ziguinchor’s neighborhood!

Could better bicycles exist? Without any doubt … NO!

From January on  we will start working together in one of these beautiful synergies that we like so much; and part of the money from the tour will go to empower Mamadou’s projects in the neighborhood that saw him grow. As he says, “our mission is to place education as the maintool for social transformation and to make it accessible to the most disadvantaged population”.  From Kids&Cat we want to be part of this project!

Congratulations, Mamadou, and thank you very much for everything you are teaching!