Sustainable Agriculture and Urban Agriculture are the two focus areas of Peace Corps Senegal’s Agriculture project. Urban Volunteers focus on micro gardening, school gardens, and community gardens. Sustainable Agriculture Volunteers, who work in rural areas, work to improve field crop production and harvests, long-term soil fertility, and vegetable gardens. Agriculture Volunteers extend farming methods to community growers who work on smallholder family farms which rely mainly on family labor. They assist smallholder farmers and their family members to adopt improved crop cultivation technologies and practices, particularly conservation agriculture, home gardening, improved soil and water conservation, improved post-harvest management, and better farm management. Additionally, Volunteers assist household members—particularly women—to access, and eat more diverse, nutrient-rich foods to improve their and their families’ nutrition. Volunteers and their community partners work with youth through schools and clubs to promote positive youth development and women’s empowerment while also promoting agricultural skills and garden development.
Environment Volunteers work to support environmental education, tree propagation/maintenance/diversification, and natural resource management. Volunteers in this sector are some of the most remote volunteers and collaborate closely with host communities and local technical partners to promote environmental stewardship and disseminate technologies that contribute to effectively addressing relevant environmental issues while generating income and increasing access to nutritious products. They also engage with the Peace Corps’ sponsored master farms across Senegal to promote efforts to increase food security and community resilience to climate change.
Community Economic Development
Community Economic Development Volunteers focus on supporting entrepreneurs and enterprise groups in two main areas: solid waste management, and agribusiness including food transformation. While the majority are hosted by Mayor’s offices, some Volunteers work directly with local chambers of commerce and local non-governmental organizations to support entrepreneurs and businesses. Volunteers also work to train and coach entrepreneurs using the Peace Corps Senegal Entrepreneurship Training Program. CED Volunteers are involved in many initiatives including cross sectoral activities to advance the post’s vision on gender and food security and support the development of a conducive environment for local entrepreneurship and innovation.
Peace Corps Senegal has supported the health sector in Senegal, particularly in rural areas, for decades. Volunteers work as facilitators, catalysts, and mentors to improve the organizational, management, and behavior change communication skills of Community Health Workers. With their counterparts from the community health system, Volunteers also work with groups of new and expectant mothers to increase their knowledge and skills and to adopt practices that contribute to a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery, and healthy babies with the goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths. The project strategy targets accelerator behaviors, for behavior change, while strengthening community health systems. As with all of Peace Corps Senegal’s sectors, the Health project has a strong component of gender empowerment and youth leadership.
Feed the Future
According to the World Food Summit food security exists “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. Through Feed the Future, Peace Corps Senegal takes an integrated approach to food security with Volunteers across all four sectors working together towards this common aim. Volunteers do this individually and through cross-sector activities, including Master Farms, a flagship program started in 2010, where volunteers support local farmers to demonstrate sustainable agricultural techniques, and train community members in agricultural and agroforestry technologies, nutrition, and farm budget management.
President's Malaria Initiative
Across Africa, through the President's Malaria Initiative, Peace Corps Volunteers work with local communities to eradicate malaria, a parasitic disease that claims over 1 million lives worldwide each year. In Senegal, Volunteers are engaged in national and regional malaria initiatives in partnership with various governmental and non-government organizations, and use their own creativity to improve the lives and health of their communities.
Youth in Development
Cross Cutting Considerations: Gender & Youth
Development needs in Senegal include strong gender and generational dimensions. Women and girls continuing to lag behind men and boys in education, livelihoods and health indicators. Given this need all projects in Senegal include a strong focus on engaging women and youth to promote equity and engagement of these groups to advance development objectives. Volunteers work closely with women's groups and extra-curricular clubs for school-aged children under their respective sectoral projects. Many volunteers will also participate in secondary projects working on camps for girls and boys.