What inspired Deline’s Gift?
Deline’s Gift was born out of the desire to honor my mother, Delphine Ndiaye — a loving, beautiful, and hard-working woman of courage and resilience who passed away in late 2008. Deline is the nickname I affectionately called her.
Her passing created in me a heightened sense of gratitude for the sacrifices and unconditional love she gave me. It also left me lonely, despondent, and grasping to hold on to our bond. In my mind, the best way to mourn her was to somehow remain physically close to her.
So I began spending a lot more time, away from the US, in Senegal where she is laid to rest. This time spent in Senegal was a blessing because it led to greater personal awareness of the social dynamics and challenges that plague its women and children. I began recognizing the plight of women who, like my mom, are the heads and breadwinners of their family units. Link to Bio
The turning point
During these stays in Senegal, I had an epiphany – I was to realize my lifelong passion for service by creating opportunities for my mom’s community – the underprivileged women of Senegal and their vulnerable children. These are my and my mom’s people.
What set my mom apart from them was access to education and employment, which allowed her to be financially independent; and what set me apart from their children was a mother who afforded me opportunities that set me on the path to independence.
When women are disadvantaged, their issues and challenges grow exponentially and trickle down to their children. When they do well, their children are better off. It’s that simple. This awareness inspired me, a humanitarian worker at heart, to take action and realize my vision of service, inclusion, empowerment and transformation for impoverished, vulnerable, and underserved women and children of Senegal.
As a result, I founded Deline’s Gift to not only celebrate my mom and her dedication to my life, but also to establish a platform that addresses key challenges faced by disadvantaged women and children of Senegal. My vision for Deline’s Gift is that of a practical and impactful organization that serves and fosters vocational training, microenterprise, inclusion, empowerment and qualitative changes for women and children – in dignity. This work is necessary. It also brings me great joy and meaning and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the gift my mom was to me.