Senegal

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1982 Full/Associate/Related Membership in the World Alliance of YMCAs: Associate Member Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1991 Number of local Associations: 12 Number of total members and participants (all over the country): 500

Descriptions

Mission Statement
The Senegal YMCA is a Youth non-for-profit, apolitical, Christian Organisation which aims at building healthy Spirit, Body and Mind for each individual for a harmonious development and a betterment of communities social and economic circumstances without any discrimination, in accordance with the Holy Scriptures.
History
The Senegal YMCA was founded on November 21, 1982. Like other YMCAs around the world, the Senegal YMCA is a non profit and non political Christian movement, devoted to serve local communities through various and relevant programs. We also aim at bringing different peoples together through partnership and exchange programs with other YMCAs or similar organizations. The Senegal YMCA is composed of 12 branches in five (5) administrative regions of the country: Dakar, Thiès, Kaolack, Saint-Louis and Ziguinchor. The National Office is located in Dakar, Avenue Bourguiba X rue 12, Ben Tally. The local Branches do not yet have offices except for Ziguinchor (recently) and Kaolack where a telecenter serves as a meeting place. The establishment of those branch offices is one of our biggest challenges for the moment. The Senegal YMCA is a member of the Africa Affiance of YMCAs and an associate member of the World Alliance of YMCAs. Strong partnership unite the Senegal YMCA with the YMCAs of the U.S.A. especially the International Division, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the Ridgewood YMCA, and the YMCA of the Gambia. In the framework of programs, strong linkages have tied up relationships with the Y’s Men and Y’s Menettes International, and the YMCAs South Africa.
Programmes
The Senegal YMCA used to have various and successful programs in the past, prior to the generalized crisis which lasted for about a decade. Another team of committed volunteers and staff have been striving for 5 years now to re-organize the whole structure and reorganize the existing programs. This has been possible thanks to the support of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs and the YMCA of the U.S.A. There is still much work to do but thanks to The Almighty God, we are progressively overcoming the various difficulties. For the time being, the main programs we’re running are as follow The Reproductive Health (A.R.H.) Program This program started in 1997 with the financial support of an American organization named CEDPA. It was first oriented towards adolescents and we financially included other age groups for more efficiency. It continued up to 1999 with the financing of the Y’s Menettes International for the year 1998/99. We have established a collaboration with the YMCA of South Africa to better develop this program. With the help of the YMCA of the USA, we have been approved a three-year grant (1999-2001) with Togo, Nigeria and Ghana YMCAs by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation to continue the program. This program is taking place in Dakar, Thiès, Kaolack and Ziguinchor with the active participation of the Boy Scouts Movement and the collaboration of valuable partners, under the direction of a National ARH Committee. Day Care Center/kindergarten The Day Care Center of the Senegal YMCA was opened in November 1999 within the YMCA main building, about one month after the normal school system in Senegal. It resulted from the deeply felt need among the communities neighbouring the YMCA centre. It has been realized thanks to the financial support of the Y’s Men International as part of the Time Of Fast (TOF) project proposal. Its proper building has been completed last year and is operational since last October for this past school year and on. We are searching for complementary funds to complete the equipment. Due to the delay in opening the centre last year, the number of students was limited to 27 girls and boys aged between 2 to 5 years whose parents greatly appreciate this initiative. Today we have 72 kids in the three sections and we plan to have 105 children next year and use its full capacity. Patronage Under the responsibility and care of the Dakar University Branch, the Senegal YMCA has been organizing, as every year, a twice-a-week program which consists on gathering children from low income families within the YMCA Centre for a mini day camp every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. The counselors teach them arts and crafts, organize excursions and outings, educate them on civic rights and duties, and moral values. They make children have real fun while learning many skills. This program has been successful and has been replicated in other branches (Parcelles Assainies, Dakar Médina). Literacy Program The literacy program started with the Parcelles Assainies Branch which is located in a suburban area of the same name. They gather illiterate people among the lowest income communities like household maids, apprentices etc, to teach them to read, write and understand French which is the official language. This helps the beneficiaries facilitate their own social and economic integration and give them the possibility to apply for better job positions. This program is evolving in an encouraging way as we have opened three more centers in Dakar (Saint-Maurice d’Angers, Castors, Ecole au marché) with the collaboration of other individuals sharing a common concern in this program and the assistance of dynamic YMCA volunteers. The program serves about 235 people. Prisoners program Under the care of the Gender Committee and the Dakar Médina Branch, we have developed a program with prisoners in Dakar (Reubeuss) and Rufisque. We help them in the promotion of their products (handmade items) which will help them re-integrate the economic system. We also have discussions over interesting issues like the reproductive health, hygiene in jail and project identification and implementation for their social re-integration. This program has been lauched for 3 years now and we still have interesting activities to come. Multipurpose hall For several years, the Senegal YMCA has been looking for financial means to cover the multipurpose room which is a potentially high income generating project. It is rented to individuals or groups for various uses (parties, ceremonies, cultural exhibitions, etc.). Thanks to the contribution of the Ridgewood YMCA, we have been able to partly cover the roof and the constructions are almost over by now. We are looking for additional funds to complete the roof, tile and equip the hall. The Infoc(at)netcafe With the help of the “Foundation for the future of youth, the Senegal YMCA has been working on an infoc(at)fe project since last year. This project has been approved and will provide the community with access to high technology with internet navigation, e-mail and bureautic services, computer training centre, and a café. This project will mainly benefit young people. The activities have not yet started due to delays in sending the machines, but we hope to receive them soon. Camps For three years, now the Senegal YMCA has been organizing Youth Work Camps during the rainy season (summer). They aim a gathering youth in some rural or semi-urban areas for the purpose of working on participative community development projects. In collaboration with the national board, the Parcelles Asssainies branch has initiated a rural development project in Nguéniène in 1999, for the benefit of the youths of the village. This project was about setting up a poultry farm. Our intention is to pursue the initiative every year in order to be more active in rural community development. Consequently last summer, we organized a reforestation camp in a different place where the need was expressed by the village women association. This year, we will be having a reforestation camps again with the youth of another village in the same area as last year, then we will send young volunteers to take part in another youth camp organized by the Youth club of the Gambia YMCA. ICCP (International Camp Counsellor Program) The International Camp Counsellor Program (ICCP) allows the YMCA of Senegal to give young volunteers the opportunity to share their experience and culture with American kids, families and communities. In return they learn about American way of fife, culture, technology and receive a training which they share upon return with their fellow-volunteers of the YMCA and also their communities. Entrepreneurship The Senegal YMCA has initiated an entrepreneurship program which aims at encouraging young people to involve in small-scale business enterprises. The objective is to empower the youth by providing training, technical skills and by helping them look for seed money from funding organizations for micro-project enterprises. We are still looking for funding organizations for the purpose of funding the project.
Country Profile
The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982, but the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until current President Abdoulaye WADE was elected in 2000. He was reelected in February 2007, but has amended Senegal’s constitution over a dozen times to increase executive power and weaken the opposition, part of the President’s increasingly autocratic governing style. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. Population: 13,711,597 (July 2009 est.) Age Structure: 0-14 years: 42.2% (male 2,911,324/female 2,877,804) 15-64 years: 54.8% (male 3,728,664/female 3,786,000) 65 years and over: 3% (male 190,343/female 217,462) (2009 est.) Birth Rate: 36.84 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) Death Rate: 9.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) Infant mortality Rate: total: 58.94 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 39 male: 65.7 deaths/1,000 live births female: 51.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) Life Expectancy: total population: 59 years country comparison to the world: 188 male: 57.12 years female: 60.93 years (2009 est.) HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 1% (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 67,000 (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – deaths: 1,800 (2007 est.) Ethnic Groups: Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4% Religions: Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1% Languages: French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 39.3% male: 51.1% female: 29.2% (2002 est.) Government Type: republic Capital: Dakar Geographic coordinates: 14 40 N, 17 26 W Time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) Independence: 4 April 1960 (from France); note – complete independence achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960 Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) Population below poverty line: 54% (2001 est.) Transnational Issues: Disputes – international: The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau attempt to stem separatist violence, cross border raids, and arms smuggling into their countries from Senegal’s Casamance region, and in 2006, respectively accepted 6,000 and 10,000 Casamance residents fleeing the conflict; 2,500 Guinea-Bissau residents fled into Senegal in 2006 to escape armed confrontations along the border. Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 19,630 (Mauritania) IDPs: 22,400 (approximately 65% of the IDP population returned in 2005, but new displacement is occurring due to clashes between government troops and separatists in Casamance region) (2007). Illicit drugs: Transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis. **Information retreived from CIA – The World Factbook: www.cia.gov
Contact
Nationaly General Secretary, Jean Bassene, jean.b@africaymca.org National General Secretary UCJG Senegal Avenue Bourguiba x Rue 12 Bene Tally B P 4152 Dakar SENEGAL Tel: 221-8-241385/242444 Fax: 221-8-242444 Email: ymcasn@yahoo.fr