2021 couldn’t come sooner for the people of Senegal. The Senegalese economy has been able to rebound somewhat from COVID-19, as the tourism sector that makes up a significant part of the economy has reopened. While many restrictions remain in place, and Senegal continues to add to its case count, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into view.
Through this difficult year and as we chart a path forward, MAP has provided a beacon of hope for thousands of families in Senegal, providing quality education, food and healthcare programs.
To put a cap on the crazy year that was 2020, we launched a program we’ve never done before: to provide toys for all the younger children attending our schools. Thanks to the support of our MAP family, over 1,500 children from preschool through first grade received a Christmas gift.
Many of the children who received these gifts are not used to receiving gifts as they come from impoverished families where even a soccer ball or a toy car is too much of an expense for the holidays. While MAP’s programs provide education and basic nutritional and health needs, it’s also important to create moments of joy and celebration such as these.
“We are so happy and thankful for the toys for the children. We’ve never had this at our school before and we are really, really happy, especially the children and their parents,” said Marie Diagne, the principal of the Natangué Preschool in Zone Sonatel. “You have really energized our Christmas celebrations with these beautiful and meaningful gifts and thank you to everyone who participated in making this happen. It brought so much joy to all of us.
Beyond just Christmas gifts, we’re looking forward to a very busy 2021. MAP’s Senegal team is hard at work building brand-new classroom furniture for three of our schools, and planning an expansion to our Sonko elementary school.
With health being of paramount importance as we move into 2021, we’re also launching a program in collaboration with the Senegalese government to provide healthcare insurance for 800 of our students at the Médine Extension school, as well as provide necessary medication to a clinic that supports students at our Natangué school and the neighborhood of Zone Sonatel. We continue to support our nutrition program that feeds a healthy meal daily to nearly 1,000 preschool students as well as our orphan care program that nourishes and nurtures twenty-four young children in a rural village.
As our Senegal program grows, we need your support more than ever. Please consider becoming a monthly donor to support the many children in Senegal who still lack access to education, healthy meals, and the care they need to thrive as learners and citizens.