SENEGAL: Youth start vegetable garden and small farm together as part of the Stop Human Trafficking Now campaign
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries operate an “Action to combat irregular migration through support of local development in the Tambacounda Region” project in Tambacounda, Senegal, a town of 80,000 people. This is part of the broader “Stop Human Trafficking” campaign Salesian missionaries are operating in several African countries.
In Tambacounda, there are few opportunities and prospects, especially for young people who represent the large majority of the Senegalese population and serve as a primary source of support for families. Many youth leave the area in search of opportunity but can fall victim to exploitation and trafficking.
The project aims to create real opportunities for education and employment so youth are able to stay in their country of origin without feeling compelled to embark on a dangerous journey, often without knowing the real risks awaiting them.
“Tambacounda is one of the places many Senegalese and others pass through to reach the neighboring towns and continue their journey to reach Europe and their long-held dream of opportunities to enhance their wellbeing,” explains Matteo Mancini, co-founder of the International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS) and the Tambacounda project.
The project is part of the overall initiative by VIS and Don Bosco Missions in Turin, Italy to develop projects and launch awareness campaigns to both stop and educate about the dangers of migration related to human trafficking. With a focus on youth leaving countries in Africa in search of a better life in Europe, the campaign aims to prevent young migrants from becoming victims of crime and exploitation.
By providing analysis and research on the real reasons for migration, informing potential youth migrants about the risks of the journey and the real chances of success, along with giving individual guidance to those who want to leave, the campaign is working to deter young people from leaving countries where people are most at risk of human trafficking. These include Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Ghana. In collaboration with Salesian missionaries in Africa, the campaign will also raise funds to help with program development in targeted countries in Africa.
The campaign has already found success in Senegal after research there has shown that nearly 40 percent of youth leaving the country are leaving in search of better educational opportunities. With that knowledge, funds now are being raised through the campaign to provide scholarships to students in Senegal so they are able to access educational opportunities within their own country.
Youth who have found success in the program include Adama, Jeronime, Maxime and Doudou who are now working as a team to create a vegetable garden and small farm. They also have the assistance of Seny Diallo, who is a returning migrant who will act as their mentor and tutor. He is also able to explain to youth the challenges he experienced when he left Senegal.
As part of the project, the team will start a vegetable farm by preparing the soil, sowing and raising crops. On a plot of land owned by Adama, an indispensable well for irrigation will also be dug. Once harvested, the vegetables including okra, tomatoes, peppers and other local vegetables, will be sold at local markets.
The youth chosen for the project all have a particular skill set. Jeronime and Maxime attended a course on agriculture provided by VIS. Adama is the owner of the land, in the village of Nettebolou, on which the vegetable garden will be created. Doudou is an expert farmer and Seny is extremely motivated to provide others with a chance to stay in Senegal.
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World Bank – Senegal