SENEGAL: Youth learn organic farming techniques through new project
Bosco Global launches new agroecology training for 10 Salesian students
(MissionNewswire) Bosco Global recently launched the “Cultivating the skills of young people. Formation in agroecology in Tambacounda (Senegal)” project with the support of the Menorcan Fund for International Cooperation. The initiative is supporting the education and training for 10 students attending Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Tambacounda and their families, which includes about 50 people total.
Youth are learning about organic farming techniques, soil enrichment and water optimization. The students have been assigned rural plots, and some of them have already started working. The project will help curb desertification and enrich the soil that is now depleted due to a lack of nutrients and water, as well as climate change, which is shortening the rainy season.
Thanks to this project, some of the students are already thinking about setting up a business to market their crops. At the end of the agroecological training, students will also be offered a course on how to obtain microcredit.
“Providing education to help youth cultivate the land helps to make their farms more productive and show that farming can be a reliable source of income,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Missionaries provide education and workforce development paired with other social services to help poor youth break the cycle of poverty and have hope for the future.”
Research in Senegal has shown that nearly 40 percent of youth leaving the country are doing so in search of better educational opportunities. With that knowledge, project activities are now being targeted to provide scholarships and educational initiatives to help youth gain employment in their communities.
Located on the west coast of Africa, Senegal has nearly half its population living in poverty. Crop failures due to extreme weather have impacted the economy, and a recent ban on street beggars has taken the only source of income away from many families. A report by the Chronic Poverty Research Center found that not only are 60 percent of households labeled “poor or vulnerable” but there is a possibility that the poverty will be passed on to the next generation. A sign of hope in the country is the steadily increasing percentage of children enrolled in primary school, which according to the World Bank has reached 86 percent.
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Salesian Missions – Senegal
World Bank – Senegal