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Innovation in Senegal

Innovative programs in Senegal are helping children stay in school.

Innovative strategies in Senegal

While most of our education projects are focused on traditional areas of investment, such as school infrastructure, teacher training, and program development, we also routinely use innovative methods to complement or complete our initiatives and ensure that our programs are successful and sustainable.

Read on to learn more about two recent examples from the West African country of Senegal.

Seeds of change

It’s hard to believe that a single initiative could offer such a wide range of benefits, but that’s the power of school gardens. They provide unique hands-on learning opportunities and nutritious food for students, along with a source of income for schools.

Indeed, establishing school gardens in countries like Senegal has proven to be a highly effective development tool that leads to increased attendance, more attentive students, and enriched educational experiences.

Thanks to you and 124 hardworking community volunteers, nine local schools now have permanent gardens growing a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. In total, volunteers planted more than 700 eucalyptus trees, 30 mango trees and 30 orange trees alone!

Over 40 community members and students received training in gardening and reforestation techniques and are now leading the gardening programs at their schools with the help of other students, teachers, parents and community volunteers.

Excited by the initiative, local people have made contributions of time, seeds, money and materials, further ensuring the sustainability of the program by creating a strong sense of community ownership.

One enterprising school even sold some plants from their nursery garden, raising enough money to buy school supplies including notebooks, pens, and geometry equipment for more than 460 students.

Mobile cinema

In communities where most parents never finished or attended school themselves, Plan implements a wide range of awareness campaigns to help children and their families see the value of education and the importance of active participation by parents to ensure their children’s success.

We get the message out through community meetings, door-to-door outreach, and school enrolment events, as well as radio programs, billboards, and live theatre, with stories played out in community squares and markets.

In Senegal, local staff and community leaders have found a particularly effective and inspired new way of reaching people with important education messages by delivering them in a form of media that all children and families love: film!

Through the use of a cinébus, a mobile pop-up theatre that’s attached to a car with a projector and sound equipment, Plan staff members are traveling to hard-to-reach communities to share the message about the vital importance of education.

This innovative approach is an engaging way to educate parents and community members about the right of children to receive an education – and to enjoy dreaming about the future a good education offers.

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