Senegal is a country situated on the coast of West Africa and has a 600km coastline bordering with the Atlantic Ocean. It shares its borders with Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east and Guinea and Guinea Bissau to its southern side. Having been a French colony until gaining independence in 1960, French remains the official language although the native Wolof is the nation’s lingua franca. Senegal’s population is estimated to be around 12 million, about 95% of which is Muslim, with a small minority of Christians and indigenous animist faiths making up the remainder. Dakar is the nation’s capital. Senegal is remarkable in being one of the few African countries to have had a stable democracy since independence with peaceful transitions of power between elections. It’s current President, Macky Sall, assumed power in 2012. Nevertheless, despite this political stability, the country is still extremely poor, with the highest levels of poverty found in rural areas. This is made worse by further economic difficulties, with high levels of unemployment among young people and the fact that 68% of its population under the age of 25.
Aims of the Project
1. To work with our NGO Tostan on two prison-based projects working with young offenders to provide tutoring in areas such as English, maths and science.
2. To work together in the area of malaria awareness activities in village areas to improve community health through mosquito net distribution and photo projects to educate families on how to effectively prevent and treat the disease.
3. Work with Tostan in village areas and prisons on IGA activities such as micro-gardening, soap making, fabric dying and production of vegetables and cereals.
4. To hold cultural awareness and exchange classes and activities involving regular meetings, mural painting, plays and musical classes to discuss issues such as human rights, democracy and gender relations.
Details of the Project
Last year’s project involved working with Senegalese street children (talibes) in the Guediawaye region of Dakar and also in village communities outside of Dakar and the city of Thies. Following a decision to change our NGO after eight years, the project will focus on issues previously mentioned in our aims. This year’s incarnation of SVA Senegal will be a pilot project whereby three or four SVA members travel to the country for around 2 weeks to assess whether the itinerary proposed by Tostan would be viable for a long term, sustainable relationship with SVA focused on development within the country. If this proves fruitful then from 2014 we believe that a project involving seven volunteers for an eight week period, similar to previous years’, would be most worthwhile, involving seven weeks of work on project and the option to travel for a the final week to the northern city of St. Lious which is typically more touristy than other parts of the country. Tostan have outlined that volunteers would stay at their training centre in the city of Thies, where they would commute daily to the villages and prisons. These sites are only a few kilometres from where they will be staying. The cost of accommodation and food remain to be seen. Departure dates are typically geared towards the beginning of June so as to finish work before the start of August where the rainy season reaches its peak and makes work more difficult.
5, Cite Aelmas
Western Fair VDN opposite CICES
B.P. 29371 Dakar-Yoff, Senegal
Telephone: +221 33 820 5589
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/04/15/backs-children-0 - article, "Off the Backs of Children".
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2010/episode-19 - related television.
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Contact Gareth Davis and Lisa Gill at email@example.com
SVA is a Scottish Registered Charity: No. SC 030081 c/o. University of Glasgow SRC, The John MacIntyre Building, University of Glasgow, GLASGOW, G12 8QQ