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In Senegal, HI is running demining operations and working to develop an inclusive, sustainable and equitable society that will improve the quality of life of vulnerable people, including people with disabilities.

Four people dressed in protective mine clearance gear stand on a shady dirt track.

Actions in process

Today, HI’s programme in Senegal is working where the needs are greatest, namely the two regions of Dakar, the three regions of Casamance and the Saint-Louis region.

The programme implements training, vocational and economic inclusion projects for vulnerable people and people with disabilities to help advance equal opportunities. It is running several inclusive education and economic inclusion projects to increase basic education opportunities, develop skills and promote the success of young people with disabilities throughout the learning process. To combat prejudice and improve teacher training, its teams work alongside local authorities and strengthens Senegalese associations in their advocacy activities. They also work to raise awareness among the various actors in the world of employment and to improve the accessibility of services and structures. HI's programme is also taking part in a study in Dakar to promote universal accessibility in urban areas and social housing.

It is also working to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities, with a particular focus on violence against women and girls with disabilities.  In doing so, it supports associations and women with disabilities leading the response to violence and discrimination.

In the health field, HI’s programme is promoting access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, focusing on women and teenage girls. Our teams carry out awareness-raising and training activities with civil society organisations. In Saint-Louis, HI is working with civil society organisations and healthcare professionals to provide appropriate care for diabetes patients. In this region, where the prevalence rate of the disease is particularly high, our teams also carry out advocacy and awareness-raising activities. Physical and functional rehabilitation projects are also being run to strengthen existing health centres and their capacity to case-manage patients.

Finally, HI's programme in Senegal implements demining, non-technical surveys and risk education activities to promote the construction of a lasting peace in Casamance, a region deeply affected by forty years of conflict. Our teams are conducting manual, mechanical and animal demining operations, with the aim of releasing land back to the population and improving access to services for all.


Situation of the country

Senegal is a major economic power in West Africa, but a substantial percentage of the country's population lives in a situation of extreme poverty. People with disabilities are often discriminated against and are highly vulnerable.

The country is politically stable and economically dynamic, although the Covid epidemic hit growth in 2020. Despite this stability, the crisis in Casamance, which has been ongoing for more than thirty years, has caused a large number of mine accidents.  In Senegal, the management of small arms and explosive weapons remains a sensitive issue. The Casamance conflict has led to population displacements and access to agricultural land is limited in this region, considered the 'breadbasket of Senegal'.

The legislative framework for disability in Senegal has changed for the better since 2010, when the country ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, people with disabilities face barriers on a daily basis when trying to access health, education and employment services. This situation is exacerbated by the difficulties and/or unwillingness of families to devote financial resources and time to them. Victims of discrimination and marginalised within society, they continue to fight for recognition of their fundamental rights.

The education of children with disabilities, whose enrolment rate in schools is well below the national average, is one of the major challenges facing the development of education in the country. There are a number of reasons for this: teachers are reluctant to take children with disabilities in their classes and lack the skills to meet their educational needs; parents underestimate their children's abilities; the community believes they have no abilities at all; and public policies do not yet take the inclusive dimension of education sufficiently into account.

Number of HI staff members: 80

Date the programme opened: 1995      

Map of Humanity & Inclusion's interventions in Senegal

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© A. Faye / HI