Derby's Road to Senegal

People that know my husband, Bill Derby, know that when he feels passionate about something, he gives 110% of himself. Whether it’s his students and teaching, music, his love of tea, the teachings of Thomas Merton, or both watching and competing in sports, Bill always goes above and beyond. Some of you may remember the famous dodgeball cracked rib during the HS faculty tournament or when he pulled a calf muscle giving his all during a  soccer match a few years ago.

That soccer match was a fundraiser sponsored by Students for Senegal, and Bill was determined to play his best, both as an athlete and as someone who believed in improving the lives of children in a West African country.

But after 5 years of supporting Students for Senegal by playing in their fundraising soccer tournaments, Bill decided he wanted to do MORE – he wanted to be a part of the incredible work his students are doing in the village of Lambaye, Senegal. He wanted to be a part of this year’s trip.

Are you asking yourself what is Students for Senegal? I know I was when Bill hobbled in the house after that calf injury, and even more so when he had committed to traveling there.

Students for Senegal is a student led organization which grew out of a small club at Mamaroneck High School into an international non-profit organization. Its members, nearly all high school students, take the lead in everything from fundraising and event organizing to long term planning, and ideas for new and innovative ways to work with the people of Lambaye, Senegal.  Additionally, they also have an extremely dedicated team of village leaders, architects, principals, teachers, parents and students in Lambaye working with us to ensure that their plans are executed the in most efficient and beneficial way possible. Over the past five years with a mission of expanding educational opportunity in Senegal they have accomplished:  

·        Doubled the passing rate in Lambaye's schools

·        Funded the pre-school education of 35 of Lambaye's poorest children

·        Sent more than 5,000 books and thousands of school supplies, toys and sports equipment to Lambaye

·        Secured a location for, worked with BKSK Architects to design, and completed all preliminary work to build the Lambaye Learning Center.

·        Most importantly they have inspired countless students in Lambaye to study and work hard in school and have given them hope of a brighter future. 

This is what Bill wants to be a part of!  What a great way to spend a week off of work!

This year’s Senegal trip takes place over winter break in February. Bill, students, and others will travel by plane to Dakar, and then journey by bus to Lambaye and other locations within Senegal.  The trip lasts about 10 days and will without a doubt be an unforgettable and life changing experience. Those going on this trip will get to contribute to the Lambaye Learning Center’s construction and may even open the Learning Center themselves! 

Now this is where all of you come in. Derby’s big adventure will cost roughly $3500. He needs to raise this money by the end of the year, in order to meet the organizer’s deadlines. Your donation will cover his travel and lodging while in Senegal. If you donate, Bill promises to send you a postcard from Senegal. If he exceeds his goal, that money will be donated to Students for Senegal. And really, by donating to Derby's Road To Senegal campaign you will not only be making his journey a reality, but you will be a part of his work with the children of Lambaye during those 10 days.

Thank you all in advance!

To learn more about Students for Senegal, visit
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Paula Roediger 
Port Chester, NY
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