“On behalf of the World Vision Senegal family it is a pleasure to welcome you to this dinner to celebrate our 30 years. Apart from having the chance to share with you the achievements of World Vision over the last 30 years in Senegal, we are also here to thank you, our numerous partners and supporters who have made all these achievements possible. Because without your support, none of this would have been possible.” These were the first words of the National Director of World Vision Senegal, Dr. Andrew Catford, during a gala dinner organised on Saturday, May 13th in Dakar, Senegal.
The guests took part in an evening rich in song, dance, striking testimonies and above all, an evening full of wonderful perspectives on improving the future for the most vulnerable children in Senegal.
The aim of the evening was to thank the key partners who, since 1984, have shown sustained support for World Vision Senegal in its daily work offering life in all its fullness and well-being to millions of children, their families and their communities.
Partners attending the event
Babacar Ndao, coming from Niakhar in one of World Vision’s programme areas, remarked to this effect: “World Vision Senegal is the spring that flows through the lives of the children in our communities. At World Vision, nothing is done without others, in particular communities, stakeholders, administration and local collectives.”
We took a trip down memory lane to 1984 - when World Vision took its first steps on Senegalese soil, and back again to 2016 – a year when the organisation’s remarkable work brought about a positive improvement in the lives of over 1.2 million children.
Mrs. Esther Lehmann Sow, Regional Leader for World Vision in West Africa
Myriad statistics, figures and indicators were shared as the evening progressed, showing the depth of the ongoing dedication and fervour to realise World Vision’s strategic objective to improve the well-being of more than 8 million of the most vulnerable children in Senegal by 2021.
The children from Nétéboulou introducing their Kids’ Club and how it works
We learned a lot from the results of the zonal development programme in Thiapy which covers the communities of Refane and Ngogom in the department of Bambey. In these localities we saw how the vulnerable local population was empowered to be able to correctly taking charge of the well-being of their children. In education for example, concerted efforts have driven up the school enrolement rate from 45% in 1997 (the beginning of the programme) to 97% in 2016).
Diégane Ndiaye, Director of Operations for World Vision Senegal
The Director of Operations for World Vision Senegal Diégane Ndiaye stated this: “So it’s really down to you that such progress has been made in Thiapy over these past years in Senegal. These have been 30 years of sacrifice, 30 years of investment, 30 years of companionship with communities and partners in order to ease the hardship of the local population. The work done in Thiapy is now being replicated in 63 local communities across our 27 programmes and 21 projects.”
Mrs. Thérèse Turpin Diatta, Chair of the Advisory Council of World Vision Senegal
Children have been at the heart of World Vision’s work since 1984. This is why they took centre-stage in the activities planned for the evening. Through song, tales, sketches and various kinds of presentation they expressed to us how significant it has been to them to be heard, respected and given permission to play a key role in their own futures. But they also pressed home how the continuing support of organisations such as World Vision is so important to helping them make their dreams come true.
A song by the Kids’ Club of Neteboulou
Moussa Signate, a child from the World Vision Senegal sponsorship programme who lives in Neteboulou, brought the evening to a close with a stirring call to action for those assembled as well as for anyone following events at a distance.
Moussa Signate in the company of Dr. Andrew Catford
“I remain convinced that is possible and I would like to be one of these 8 million children who we have all heard about this evening. All I wish for is to stay in good health, see my schooling through so that I can grow up to become a magistrate and strive for respect for children’s rights and serve my country just like Mrs Diatta, Chair of the World Vision Senegal Advisory Council! We, the children of Senegal wish to always be able to count on your support in keeping us on the straight and narrow path towards a better life and help us make our dreams come true.”
Moussa Signate is congratulated by Mrs. Thérese T. Diatta and Mrs. Esther L. Sow after his speech.
SOME KEY FIGURES
- Number one NGO in the world for child sponsorship, with 69,321 sponsored children in Senegal;
- Our interventions have resulted in a visible impact on at least 1,253,062 children during the 2016 financial year;
- Between 2015 and 2016, the number of children under 2 years old exhibiting a normal growth rate rose from 65% to 73%;
- More than 800 boreholes that are self-managed by communities and a 480km network of piped drinking water have transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of rural communities;
- In the Fatick Cluster, the test for remedial plans to develop children’s capacity to read and comprehend has caused a jump in ability from 1% to 45% in less than two years
- Between 2015 and 2016, the number of women members of the Village Credit and Savings Unions who are economically active rose from 2,000 to 7,161 women;
- In 2016, World Vision Senegal had developed 29 programmes in 8 regions.
Members of the advisory council with the staff of World Vision Senegal
Moussa Signaté, President of the Kid's club of Nétéboulou
Members of the World Vision Senegal Advisory Council with Ms.Esther L.Sow
Staff members of World Vision Senegal with the children of Nétéboulou
Members of the organizing committee of the 30th years of World Vision Senegal
Musical performance of the group "Bideew Bou Bess"
Photos credits: Mouhamed Diop