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Champion for Education in Senegal Leaves a Solid Legacy

Ms Elena Malagodi died on March 17 in the coastal city of Mbour, Senegal. She was 84. The cause was Covid-19, said Larson Holt, the operations director and Senegal project manager for Moms Against Poverty, a partner of one of Ms. Malagodi’s organizations, Natangué-Sénégal. She was born in Rome, the daughter of a Jewish actress from Latvia and an Italian military officer. She and her mother fled the Nazis in Riga during World War II and found shelter in the Uzbek city of Tashkent. She returned to Western Europe after the war; married a Cuban sculptor in Paris and then an Italian politician in Rome; curated art exhibitions by Surrealists; and founded two philanthropic organizations in Senegal, where she spent the last two decades of her life. Ms. Malagodi was president and founder of that organization, which had been working in Senegal since 1999 and operates a medical clinic, an agribusiness, schools and job training programs. (“Natangué” means “prosperity” in the Wolof language.) She also started Founding the Future of Childhood in Senegal.