Senegal: girls in school

It is important that young people complete their school education. It is the only way to ensure they have the opportunities to build themselves a solid future. In Senegal, many young people forced to give up their school studies, and this primarily affects girls. But if we can offer them mentoring and suitable means, this could all change. For the better.
since 2016
EUR 30,000/year
Senegal
© Martin Dixon

In spite of the ratification of international conventions and the definition of a new education and training policy,  drop-out rates still represent a major problem in Senegal. Many students leave school early, and the vast majority are girls. The drop-out rate was still 11.9% in 2014. To counter this, it is therefore important to drive through a solid policy, at several levels.

The overall objective of the project is therefore focused on three axes:

  • Strengthening the capacities of education stakeholders.
  • Keeping girls in school.
  • Improving school performance within the department of Tambacounda.

This project is concentrated on the region of Tambacounda, in Senegal.

Getting teachers involved

Teachers play a key role in keeping children in school. It is therefore necessary to give teachers additional support in this respect, by giving them the means necessary to protect the rights of the child. How can this be achieved? By training teachers intensively, implementing local alert committees for inclusive education or even by organising classes to strengthen students and particularly girls.

© Martin Dixon
© Martin Dixon

Keeping girls in school

Women are under-represented in educational management bodies and in local councils. This does not support the promotion of female role models and the development of education for girls, for whom the drop-out rate is extremely high in both primary and secondary education. One solution to reverse this observation would be to take on the cost of school fees.

APRODEN, our local partner

For this project we are partnering with a local stakeholder, APRODEN. This is an association, created in 2004, which seeks to protect and promote the rights of the child. It is composed of parents and educators but also… children. These partners help to raise awareness among other children.

In total, 200 elementary, junior school and high school students in the target areas will benefit from APRODEN initiatives. Eventually, that will reach over one thousand students.

© Martin Dixon

Chain project with banana farmers

In the same region where we started this project, we are also working together with Vredeseilanden to realize a chain project. The original idea was to buy bananas from APROVAG, a cooperative of Senegalese banana farmers, and export them to Belgium. After having tested this with 2 containers, exporting bananas turned out to imply too many risks. Consequently, the Senegalese banana farmers focus on the local market for now. The demand there is big and the farmers can respond more rapidly. 

This change in course does not mean the Senegalese bananas will never reach our store shelves. But until that time, the farmers can further develop their technical knowledge and infrastructure. "It's actually the ambition to export to Belgium that started everything", explains Leo Ghysels of Vredeseilanden. "The certification story proves it. APROVAG obtained its Fairtrade certificate in the summer of 2016. The investments in irrigation and cableways thus started, are now extended to all farmers groups."

Read more about the future of the Senegalese banana farmers in the complete interview with Leo Ghysels of Vredeseilanden.

Tambacounda in Senegal: werk aan de winkel

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