Passionate People backed by a Social Organization

The Right Skills for the Job

The team around Yéena Comom consists of volunteers with a great variety of backgrounds. Having architects, engineers, project managers and marketing experts in the core team gives it a solid base for ensuring the structure will be build to last for the upcoming generations.

Thomas Biasion

Jan Nicoli

Georg Tinkhauser

Lisa Hartl

Public Relations Lead

Judith Hofer

Graphics & Design

Alina Kringerl


Veronika Buchta


Anna Fröhlich

Public Relations

The Background Story

Basketball as a Common Language

Over 10 years in the making, everything started when Ibrahima Gaye (Ibu) and Jan Nicoli met at a small basketball court in Bolzano, Italy. Ibu couldn’t speak neither Italian nor German. But there was one language both Ibu and Jan could speak: Basketball.

After becoming close friends they thought about their meeting place and wanted to create an environment that gives others the opportunity to engage, socialize and create long-lasting connections – just as they had done before. They organized sporting equipment and supplies for the local basketball community in Ibu’s hometown of Dakar – in Golf-Sud. After studying architecture, Jan decided to redesign a basketball court that he had seen in crumbles while visiting his friend’s old neighborhood in Senegal. He made it the project of his master thesis and passed with an excellent grade.

With the help of friends they approached Ingenieur:innen Ohne Grenzen (Engineers without borders) and decided to bring their project idea into reality.

The Organisation

Ingenieur:innen ohne Grenzen Austria

Ingenieur:innen ohne Grenzen Austria (IOG Austria) is an international non-profit organization. The Yéena Comom team is part of Ingenieur:innen ohne Grenzen Austria which has in total more than 200 members.

Focusing on engineering and building projects around the globe, the goal of IOG Austria is to improve quality of life in developing countries by providing elementary infrastructure such as bridges, wells, solar systems or schools. The focus is always on a technically simple and robust solution that is implemented with locally available resources wherever possible. In the course of implementation, there is always an active transfer of knowledge or training in connection with these solutions in order to ensure long-term and sustainable success. Experience with construction projects in Africa gives IOG Austria a practical advantage to make Yéena Comom a reality.

Local Supporters

Collaboration with Partners in Senegal is the Key for Success

With Ibrahima Gaye’s connections in Dakar it was possible to convince the local city council, mayor as well as the local basketball association and the two schools next to the court to join the project. An in-depth operating model will be jointly developed to ensure that future repairs as well as field schedules are managed in an efficient and sustainable way by the local partners.