The idea of the West African Community Council (WACC) came to life in 2013 after some friends and I brainstormed about ways of helping West Africans thrive in the state of Washington. Growing up in West Africa, we are unanimously taught that being successful is not limited to having a good job, food on the table and a healthy family. In that part of the world, success is measured by relentlessly giving a helping hand to other family members, friends, neighbors and community members so they, too, can achieve a similar educational and/or professional momentum. With that upbringing, it’s only natural for us to pave the way for the growing West African community in the area.

Initially, the intent was to provide basic to intermediate ESL classes, resumé and job hunting assistance to help people transition into better paying jobs or have access to higher education opportunities. However, my team and I realized that we could address more needs and provide even more assistance to the hundreds of West Africans that live here.

I believe that, for any community to achieve sustainable development and become self-sufficient, the majority of its members have to have stability: psycho-social, financial and professional. And that is where the services and programs provided by the West African Community Council play a substantial role.

Being an immigrant could be both an exciting experience and a journey filled with challenges before adjusting to the life in the host country. In order to help, the WACC offers ESL classes to develop critical communication skills, computer literacy classes and resume services to help compete in today’s job market that relies heavily on technology, interactive educational programs and field trips for women and children as well as referral services for lawyers, doctors, rental companies and staffing agencies.

I thank you for your time and interest in our mission. We need your support. Together, we can accomplish more than we can even envision!

Issa Ndiaye, EMPA