Almost half of the population of Senegal lives on less than US$1.25 a day.
Almost half of the population of Senegal is illiterate, and 22% of all children (ages 5-14) are working, and not in school. Senegal’s economy is mainly based on agriculture, with more than three quarters of its 14.3 million people employed in the sector, however the harvest is threatened yearly by drought and other affects of climate change.
The West African nation of Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Since gaining independence from France in 1960, Senegal – bordered by Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia – has been successful at exercising political participation and peaceful leadership; nonetheless almost half of the population still lives below the poverty line.
Our Work in Senegal
In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicentre Strategy. An epicentre is a dynamic centre of community mobilisation and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Through the Epicentre Strategy 15,000-25,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages — giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have and increasing a community’s ability to collective utilise resources. The epicentre building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organisations. Over an eight-year period, an epicentre addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project.
Senegal has 10 epicentres that cumulatively serve an area of population 164,979 and 203 villages.
Senegal was the first country of intervention for The Hunger Project in Africa; which has been working there since 1991. The Hunger Project-Senegal is now empowering community partners to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicentre Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with community partners to successfully access the basic services needed to lead lives of self-reliance and achieve internationally agreed-upon markers of success, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
Photography credits: Banner image – Johannes Ode