Senegal (MNN/WRN) — World Renew Senegal has worked hard in the past year to serve vulnerable communities and is in the process of expanding the Adolescent Health Program to continue the fight against injustice.
Senegal, located in West Africa, is a growing country and was said to be “A Hopeful Continent” by The Economist. However, the majority of Senegalese are still poor, without viable opportunities to better their lives, and very vulnerable to adversity. In a peaceful country like Senegal, poverty rarely means that people do not have food to eat, but many people remain vulnerable to common adversities because of an insufficiently-diverse diet, lack of education, marginalization, ill-health, and unemployment.
World Renew Senegal is reaching out to the woman in Senegal by supporting the Adolescent Health Program overseen by Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne du Senegal. Through peer-educators, the program teaches adolescent girls about health, their bodies, and their rights and roles in their communities. The program aims to show girls that they are valuable and have opportunities and a role to play in their community. Many do this by becoming part of the program’s Youth Action Groups while others use their certificate to get a job with a local clinic.
The Adolescent Health Program is influencing the lives of many without opportunities. Hawa, a member of a health group, explains her situation:
“I was living with my uncle. I had everything I needed, and I was happy. But when I was 12 years old, my cousin asked me to marry him, and I refused. After my refusal, my circumstances deteriorated because my family pressured me to give in to the proposal. People called me all kinds of names; I had to do all the housework, I was beaten, and no one heard my cries. I was not getting enough to eat and was harassed, leading my uncle to say that I would get pregnant. All this was done to me to get me to give in and accept the proposal. I felt like there was no meaning to my life.
“In the end, my grandmother heard about my situation. I was only 12 years old and was at risk of entering an early marriage. My grandmother came to my village to stop the preparations for the wedding. She took me to Dakar to live with her. I feel like a little girl again; I am happy and have dreams for the future. I also participate in the adolescent health program. I have learned a lot. Because of the program, I now have the courage to tell my story. I am 15 years old now, and I have told all the girls in my group to never accept an early marriage and to fight against this injustice.”
World Renew Senegal is helping women like Hawa develop their potential and become vocal and active members of their communities.
Will you join in the fight against injustice?
Visit worldrenew.net for more information on how you can become a partner with World Renew Senegal.