Children go back to school on 1 October in Senegal. And each year, the question arises: will the young girls who were in school before the holidays be returning? Keeping girls in school as long as possible is one of the battles fought by Aproden (Association pour la promotion des droits de l’enfant – Association for the promotion of the rights of the child). Its aim is to ensure that girls have a sufficient level of education enabling them to take control of their life, or even consider vocational training.
The Collibri Foundation supports the implementation of this ambitious project, through the Fondation Roi Baudouin, in the Tambacounda region. Aproden has dedicated the last semester of 2016-2017 to advancing the cause of inclusive education. Part of the approach is to train teachers and raise awareness among the population (in particular through local radio).
In April 2017, Aproden founded an “observatory of vulnerability to school wastage” within Tamba lower secondary school. Its role is to identify pupils in danger of dropping out and to take measures to ensure that they stay in school. Teachers and educational workers who take part in this observatory have been trained to detect problems and find the most suitable solutions. The task is difficult. They must confront social issues such as poverty, low school density, discriminatory practices, and sometimes abuse.
Aproden intends to pursue its training, awareness, and prevention schemes from the 2017-2018 back-to-school season. Also on the programme is the selection of the second group of 100 young girls who will benefit from direct support, based on results: payment of registration fees and donations of school materials and bikes (to shorten the distance between home and school).
In December 2017, Aproden will organise a major workshop on best practices in terms of the inclusion of girls in education. The aim is to list these best practices and spread them across all countries, in order to extend the impact of this project.