What We Do | Regions We Serve
MAP in Senegal
Senegal is located on the Western coast of the African continent, bordering Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and the Gambia. While Senegal is one of the most stable and successful democracies in Africa, its population of 16 million remains impoverished and undereducated. More than one third of the population lives below the poverty line, and 75 percent of families suffer from chronic poverty.
Poverty and food insecurity are particularly prevalent in rural areas where most of the population rely on farming and fishing, which are regularly threatened by inclement weather like drought and other climate changes.
MAP’s projects in Senegal have centered around the city of Mbour on Senegal’s central coast. In 2000, Mbour was a small fishing town with a population of approximately 50,000. Twenty years later, Mbour is home to over 700,000 people, who are mainly internal migrants from rural and desert communities fleeing desertification and searching for economic opportunity in an urban setting. The immense population growth has led to shortage of schools and resources in Mbour.
In contrast with other neighbouring states, Senegal has a low literacy rate with only 48 percent of adults being literate. MAP empowers children in Mbour by building schools and education programs providing the means for children to obtain the skills they need for future employment. To date, MAP has completed the construction of five schools in collaboration with Natangué-Sénégal. MAP is currently constructing its sixth school, an elementary school at the Diamaguène school site.
Hunger Relief & Basic Provisions
Significant research suggests that providing a meal during the school day both improves attendance and increases health and well-being for students. Many parents are incentivized to send their children to school in part because it defrays the cost of feeding their children. Junk food is highly prevalent in Senegal, resulting in malnutrition, even for those with resources. By providing a school-sanctioned and approved healthy meal, we can reduce malnutrition. MAP supports multiple annual meal programs for preschool students that attend MAP’s schools throughout the Mbour and the Saly regions of Senegal.
This year, MAP extended its orphan care program to include Maison Sourire d’Enfants, an orphanage located in the small village of Mbodiene, Senegal. Without the support of a national social security program and few resources to support its rural 5000-person population, Mbodiene has extremely limited access to healthcare and childcare.
Many mothers give birth at home without a doctor present and don’t survive childbirth, even if their children do. These children often become wards of the State government, which designates a capable guardian for the child. For children without any immediate family members able to care for them, an orphanage is their only option.
Established in October 2016, Maison Sourire d’Enfants aims to support these children who otherwise couldn’t be cared for in Mbodiene. MAP supports the orphanage through the provision of food, milk, and water.