Happy #sponsoredkids Friday! Today, let’s meet Diouma! She’s 8 years old (will turn 9 on Oct 30th) and lives in Tattaguine, Senegal. I wonder if she knows Mohameth (from last week) or his family! Diouma is young, so is still figuring out her hobbies. However, her profile mentions that she likes local traditional games and my hunch is that she’s not just making art in the sand in her picture. It kind of resembles the game Mancala, just without a board, don’t you think? I fact-checked myself and Mancala is a game often played in Senegal – so, it’s possible!
Diouma is in school and, right now, her favorite subject is Religious Studies. How cool for a little kid to be interested in something so complex, huh? Anyway, she has 1 sister and neither of her parents work outside of the home. Her mother is a housewife, which is common, but unfortunately, her father is unemployed at the moment. I have a feeling that our sponsorship and World Vision’s support are the things enabling her to continue in school, despite her family’s current situation.
In the United States, when someone is out of work, there are lots of resources to help them find a job elsewhere. A quick Google search of “what to do when you’re unemployed” will lead you to helpful articles about how to job hunt, interview, network, & make yourself look more employable on your social media pages. In poorer countries like Senegal, jobs are scarce for even the most willing of workers. Plus, modern technology isn’t prevalent in these villages and resources are scarce. Simply put: extreme economic problems lie at the heart of extreme poverty, and a lack of jobs lies at the heart of economic problems. So how does world vision combat these economic problems?
2. Savings groups.
3. Market/value chain development.
I want to give each of these 3 points enough attention to explain them in detail, so I’ll just touch on the 1st one today – microfinance. If there are no jobs to be found, why not make a job for yourself?
Well, in the poor communities of a country like Senegal, how could one start a business? With what resources? This is where microfinance comes in. What is microfinance? Essentially, someone like you donates to an organization like World Vision. World Vision then lends that money out to an entrepreneur in a poor country, like Senegal. That money is used to start or sustain their business (selling milk from a goat, making and selling jewelry, running a successful farm, etc.). That business typically creates more than one job, which helps the entrepreneur and those around her/him. Then, once the loan is paid back, the money is recycled into the community and goes to help even more people. World Vision’s website states that their loans are paid back at a rate of 95.5%, which is amazing! Usually, the loans are $600 or less, which also seems to help the model work.
Challenge: Please join me in praying for Diouma’s family. Even with our sponsorship, her family faces hard times ahead if her father isn’t able to find work. Let’s pray that he finds work and that the tough times are shorter than the good times.