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#33 – Provide Safe Environment Where Girls Can Study and Prepare for the Future

Rebuild the wall which is a security for the girls of the hostel, and equip their study room with resources and tools.

The Situation 

Tambacounda, the largest of Senegal’s 14 regions, is sparsely populated and its economy lags behind the rest of the country.  Multiple human rights reports have documented the impact that extreme poverty and illiteracy (less than 52% of the population is literate) have on women and children in this area.  Children and families do not have access to safe and decent housing, access to water and sanitation, or a constant supply of electricity.  Most use candle or lamp oil for lighting.   

Over half of the population of Senegal is under 20 years of age.  As a result, education is a major, if not critical issue for the development and improvement of the country’s human resources. Although girls outnumber boys in receiving primary and middle school education, their numbers plummet for secondary and higher education, where they have the greatest chance of moving beyond extreme poverty.   

Migration is often the only option for children, many of whom have barely adequate food, minimal health care, and few educational opportunities.   

The Sisters’ Response 

It is in this locality that the sisters of Saint Joseph of Annecy have been established since 1960, working in the fields of Education (home for young girls from 13 to 17 years old. There are 4 dormitories of 10 beds each. So we accommodate 40 girls. We also have a  sewing center, primary school and a nursery school, health, promotion of women (sewing center),  and pastoral care (parishes, patients, prisons). The program will serve a thousand of people a year! People from outside will come in for sessions/seminars for different topics. Four sisters work in those programs along with lay people. 

There are few spaces for study and research and students living in peripheral neighborhoods where poverty, alcohol, and active and early sexuality prevent students (especially girls) from concentrating on their studies and preparing for their future. 

We welcome 40 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds into a home in order to protect them and allow them to continue their studies in good conditions. Basically, it will be used for the people we are serving (the students in the home as well as for other (external) students who would like to have a space to study peacefully without being disturbed, the schools within the campus) and to host other programs. 

Funds Needed

Total funds required: $17,270. 

How funds will be used:

The fund will be used to purchase the equipment needed for the hall, and to rebuild the wall which is a security for the girls of the hostel. 

A study room has been built to help the students have a space for research and study. However, we need to equip the room with tables, chairs, computers, a printer, a photocopier etc. Part of the fence wall is very damaged and may fall during the next raining season (June). The cost to repair the wall is $8,000 and the equipment is $9,270, for a total of $17,270.  

We would like to use the new hall by March 2022. 

Systemic Goal

Children seeing the hopelessness for a decent life in their villages in the Tambacounda region often chose to leave their families to seek work.  25.5% of children aged between 5 and 17 years were economically active in Senegal, of which 10% worked in dangerous conditions.  Few attend school.  Children chose migration within the country hoping to provide help to their families or to escape the violence that persists within some families.  Migration leaves these children exposed to child trafficking, forced and unpaid labor, and for the girls, forced marriages and sometimes abused.   

To address this root cause of injustice, young people must have a better chance of success within their own home regions, and this can best be achieved through education. 

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