Fundació Fluidra implements social projects that aim to improve the world around us, giving back to society what it gives to the company. One project is KAG-25, currently being rolled out in Senegal. We spoke with Gilbert Bassene, one of the people spearheading the initiative to find out more…
Gilbert Bassene is a Senegalese Piarist priest training to lead an intensive farming business which the Piarist Schools of Senegal are establishing in collaboration with Fundació Fluidra in Ker Alioy Gueye (KAG).
How would you describe the KAG-25 project?
The main aim of the project is to improve the living conditions of young people unable to access higher education by offering them basic studies to get them into the labor market.
What type of things do they learn at the school?
Our teaching is always hands-on, but we round it out with theory classes too. We teach things the students can put into practice on a farm. We also teach values and the need for effort and work.
What is the situation of the young people who start at the school?
Most are disoriented and sometimes even desperate about their lack of job prospects. When they finish their education at the farm school they find it much easier to get work because they have the knowledge and practice needed to be useful in the job market.
Which takes priority – increasing the number of pupils or raising the percentage of students who get a job after leaving the school?
Our goal covers both: to provide them with the best possible education so they can get a job in the future. They must be able to put into practice standard methods into the land. The Fundació Fluidra project will help secure better outcomes across both these areas.
Why is the work you do at the school so important?
It’s important because it is a way to pass on farming techniques and knowledge that will stay with them all their lives.
You are training to be the director of the farm school and the head of the intensive farming business that Fundació Fluidra is setting up.
That’s right. I’m excited to step up to the challenge. Educating young people for lasting development is my primary goal.
What role does Fundació Fluidra play in the project?
It plays a key role: providing the material and advice needed for intensive farming that powers youth education and opportunities in order to fight migration.
How is better water management a key part of your activity?
Water is the core element needed and the capital on which farms are built. Without water there’s no life.
I understand you’ve been doing some training at Cepex during your time in Europe.
That’s correct. I went to Cepex to learn about the irrigation range and get a better understanding of the way it works. I also visited Metalast to learn more about pumping water. At Preblau I was able to see first-hand the installation of water piping and solar panels and get some information on business management. I also spent a few days on a farm near Tortosa with Arnau Colomé, the agricultural engineer partnering with Fundació Fluidra in Senegal, and learnt about arboriculture, the observation of plants, drip irrigation, and more. Mr Planes invited me to Estamariu and explained how irrigation reservoirs work, how to detect the presence of water underground, and respecting animal welfare.
If you could make one wish, what would it be?
My wish would be for the KAG-25 project to be productive and efficient and create training and financial resources so that many people could benefit from it and improve their living conditions. . I am truly grateful to everyone at Fluidra for the kind and generous welcome I was given. I’m optimistic because I feel I have people supporting me in my goals.