About us

Aywa offers technical training and apprenticeships to people in Malika, Senegal. Our graduates go onto trades as carpentry, metalsmiths, mechanics, textile designers, and horticulturists. People from around the world have come to Malika to discuss global challenges and opportunities to develop local enterprise. Together with these partners, we've built and tested a new boat engine , planted jatropha trees, installed and maintained grain mills, experimented with oilseed processing equipment, designed clothes, and built drums and traditional string instruments.

We want to work with people and organizations from around the world and turn ideas into sustainable action. We will work with you to ensure you achieve the goals for your trip.

We hope you'll join us in Malika for a cultural exchange, language training, research project, medical mission, aid initiative, business, spiritual retreat, vacation, surf camp, or a little bit of everything!

Our Services

Maker Lab

We can help you with design, fabrication, assembly, or maintenance. We manage a prototyping lab for metal, wood, textile, and plastic fabrication and manage agriculture, industrial, commercial testing facilities.

Base Camp

We can comfortably accommodate 20 people and will coordinate other travel, transportation, and accommodation for our guests. Guests can swim the pool, play petanque, walk to the beach and enjoy the Herma’s world-renowned food and hospitality.

Research Facilitation

We will work with you to design and implement trip that meets your research objectives. We have supported Fulbright research, capstone projects, immersion trips, donor funded initiatives, and voluntourism experiences.

Market Entry

We bring together stakeholders that want to commercialize technologies and solutions. Together with our partners we have commercialized musical instruments, handicrafts, and equipment for pumping, transport, cultivation, and food processing.

Facilities

We operate from roughly five acres of land along Malika's main road just a couple kilometers from downtown Dakar. We can comfortably provide room, board and work space for 20 people. The main house has 4 bedrooms, a large living and dining room, and kitchen. Guests can also rent out a 3-bedroom house or one of 4 small sleeping huts in the back of the property.

Guests benefit from a swimming pool, basketball court, and petanque ground. We have also keep a small garden, fruit trees, poultry and small livestock. Our workshop contains equipment for working with wood, metal, mechanical and electrical devices. We have a pick-up truck, SUV and have access to a tour bus for larger groups to travel throughout Senegal.

We are constructing a new building that will allow us to expand our workshop and classroom in addition to new storefronts and testing facilities. You can help us grow by contributing today!

Malika, Senegal

Aywa is located in Malika, which is part of the Niayes, a fertile corridor north of Dakar that provides a significant proportion of the capital's produce, poultry and processed foods. Since Malika is also home to Dakar's largest landfill, Mbeubeus, Aywa is uniquely positioned to advance waste management and upcycling activities. In addition, our proximity to the commercial center, international airport, and seaport gives us easy access to bureaucratic, import, export and value added distribution facilities. We have been working in Malika for more than 20 years and have built strong relationships with local educators, farmers, manufacturers, processors, traders, banks, community leaders, and community based organizations. Malika's is also home to great natural beauty with a beach and coastal lagoons that draw a wide variety of birds and other wildlife.

Our Focus Areas

Craftmanship

We believe in vocational education and have run apprenticeship programs in carpentry, metalwork, mechanical engineering, electronics, and water management since 2000. We are experts in handicrafts, textiles, woodwork, metalcraft, water systems, and agricultural technologies.  Our new work and shops, will enable us to expand into plastics, computer-aided design and fabrication, and retail management.  

Agriculture

We sustain a garden, stables, and a numerous trees and plants located throughout our compound.  Additionally, we are adjacent to more than 10 acres of farmland that we use to test agricultural technologies, materials, and techniques.  We have planted trees, provided tilling and irrigation services, sourced and installed food processing equipment, and marketed Senegalese agricultural products to global markets.

Upcycling

We work with people whose livelihoods are tied to Mbeubeus, a two square kilometer lake bed that is now Dakar's landfill.  We work with them around collecting, sorting,  and the design and development of products derived from recycled materials. In addition to handicrafts and artwork, we are developing furniture and other functional products in addition to compost and waste-to-energy opportunities.

Transportation

We have been developing transportation solutions for aquatic and rural environments for several years and are now distributing outboard motors to fishermen along along West Africa's waterways.  We are also working with stakeholders to provide river transportation services for farmers looking for access to markets and designing new boats for ocean and river transportation.

Our Team

Brian Harris

Brian Harris

Brian lives in Malika, is a Peace Corps Volunteer and manages several urban agriculture projects in the area. He is our general manager and concierge, supporting our partners as they execute their projects and coordinate with necessary stakeholders.   Brian is a pragmatist that helps us convert our ideas into action.

Dany Bode

Dany Bode

Dany lives between the US and Senegal and leads Aywa’s product development, partner recruitment, training and construction projects. He has 20 years experience in the design, development and commercialization of handicraft, textile, carpentry, metal and engine-based products. He is the creative force and collaborative spirit that guides Aywa’s works.

Saidou Ba

Saidou Ba

Saidou lives between Dakar and his home village of Keur Madiabel. He grew up as a farmer, was trained as an engineer and has become a community leader. Saidou manages relationships with farmers, businesses, local leadership, government, and community partners. He is a champion for participatory, community-centered development.

Abdoulaye Diouf

Abdoulaye Diouf

Laye lives in Malika; he is our shop manager and is also skilled craftsman and musician. He manages the fabrication, installation, and testing for product development and also oversees ongoing monitoring, evaluation and maintenance. Laye’s quiet leadership keeps the shop in order and he leaves his creative and artistic mark on everything Aywa does.

Our Partners

Help Us Grow

Aywa has outgrown its current workshop and planning a new facility that will be erected in the front of the compound along Malika's main road. This facility will be anchored by retail oriented workshops for wood, metal, and textile enterprises, in addition to a showroom for Aywa's irrigation, cultivation, agri-processing, transportation and other technologies. The building's foundation will be support 3 levels which could eventually contain additional retail space, a computer lab, music studio, clinic, and dorm rooms. The open space behind the new facility will be used as a demo plot for irrigation technologies and overflow space for the workshops.

The build-out cost for the foundation and 5 shops is estimated to be around 50k; the build-out of the entire space, with 3 stories and the full footprint (with clinic, etc) is between 200 and 250k.