Walking with Amadou: Creative Advocacy to Improve Dakar’s Urban Environment for Children Ages 0–3

Published February 20, 2020 – by ImagiNation Afrika

Inspired by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation’s Urban95 project, ImagiNation Afrika wondered what it would be like to see Dakar from the point of view of a 3-year-old. Armed with a GoPro, we set out alongside 3-year-old Amadou, a native of the Yoff fishing village where ImagiNation Afrika’s learning and innovation hub, Ker ImagiNation, is located.

Watching the video made us wonder: How well do we know the environment we live in every day? Is this environment really livable for children? How is our knowledge limited by our assumptions on how children experience and interact with their environment? How often do we walk through these spaces without an understanding of their impact on children? Most importantly, how can we find out more about it?

The Walking With Amadou project supported by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation sought to answer these questions through a series of videos that capture the experiences of 3-year-olds in Dakar as they make their way throughout the city, and a Human Centered Design study of the environment for 0-3 year olds in 2 neighborhoods in Dakar and a close suburban city. Finally, ImagiNation Afrika is using the outcome of this study to support advocacy among key stakeholders for better environments for young children in Dakar. The objective is to use the results of the research to reach private sector actors, local municipalities, parents and health workers; encouraging an ecosystem approach to improving the environment and positively impact learning and developmental outcomes for children ages 0–3.

Want to see more examples? View all of the videos.

See the full report of the “Walking With Amadou” study.

Want to do something similar in your city? Check out the Advocacy Toolkit developed by ImagiNation Afrika!

Learn more about the process of creating the study and listening to the voices and experiences of children ages 0–3 in Dakar in the Walking With Amadou Case Study.

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About ImagiNation Afrika

Since 2011, ImagiNation Afrika has made child-centred approaches central to its mission of changing the paradigms of learning for West Africa’s most important citizens. As a small, innovative organization dedicated to changing the learning paradigms around children, ImagiNation Afrika’s strength lies in its creative responses to the challenges that inhibit young children’s learning and development. Including children’s voices and children’s experiences have informed the production and creation of all our exhibitions, the learning spaces in our learning and innovation hub, Ker Imagination, and the outdoor pop-up play spaces we create across Dakar.