Girls' School Flourishes in Senegal
Bill Aossey, founder of Midamar Corporation, was the first American Muslim to join the Peace Corps. He served in Senegal, West Africa, for just over two years in 1963-1965. His primary duty was to train and develop Senegal’s Olympic wrestling team as the Olympic wrestling coach through the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In the summer, Bill was assigned to another group of Peace Corps volunteers to help create sources of fresh and clean water for rural villages. Over the years, Bill has stayed in contact with his former Peace Corps students, and many friends and colleagues who have traveled to West Africa and Senegal.
Viola Vaughn is a retired teacher originally from Detroit, Michigan. Viola relocated to Senegal and in 2001, established a school in her home for young girls. This cottage industry grew into the organization Women's Health, Education, and Prevention Strategies (WHEPSA) that has expanded to offer educational and vocational programming for more than 1,500 young Senegalese girls. In 2008, Viola was selected as one of the CNN's Top 10 Heroes
Several years ago, Viola called the Midamar office to place an order for Midamar Quality Halal Meats to be sent to her family in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a weekend and Bill happened to answer the phone and to his surprise, the call was from Senegal. To Viola’s surprise and amazement, Bill addressed her in Wolof, a native tongue of Senegal. The two of them spoke at length about Viola’s experiences in Senegal and have stayed in email contact ever since.
In the interest of Bill’s personal connection with Senegal and in recognition of Viola’s tremendous work for her projects, we are posting this update on Viola Vaughn’s commitment to the education and entrepreneurial development skills of her students in Senegal, West Africa. Follows is the full story, accompanied by numerous pictures of the facilities and people involved with Viola in this impressive effort.
For further information, please visit Viola Vaughn's website
. Additional coverage of her activities by CNN can also be found here