Celebrate Your Savings

Sponsored Kids – Meet Niokhor

Happy #sponsoredkids Friday, friends!

If you don’t know, World Vision sends updates at the end of every year so you can see how your kiddo is doing. I was going through some of the year-end progress reports the other day, and found this sweet picture of our little friend in Diakhao: Niokhor Ngom.  He hangs out with one very cute donkey, loves soccer, and writing in school.  Niokhor is 15 now (14 when the pic was taken), but we’ve been sponsoring him for 4 years!  He’s made a lot of changes over those years, and so has his community.  Last year, Niokhor:

  • Got a birth certificate!  He was born January 20th and now, it’s officially recognized and he is officially a legal citizen.
  • Was involved in a program in which he learned about his culture and heritage and how those have shaped him, his family, and his community.
  • Went to primary school, grade six. 

Here are some exciting initiatives that his community embarked on in 2019:

  • 1,068 students helped establish kitchen gardens in schools, allowing students to put classroom theories into practice.
  • 7,329 women attended cooking demonstrations, learning to cook nutritious meals to improve the health of young children.
  • 112 children joined village savings groups, allowing them to save for their next school year without migrating for work.

How cool is that? Practical knowledge in school, teaching mothers how to use their local produce and crops to make nutritious meals, and helping kids avoid early labor and stay in school.

As it turns out, migration for work is a fairly prevalent occurrence in Senegal, regardless of age. Like we’ve discussed in the past, Senegal is a fairly stable and peaceful country. In fact, in the 1960’s, Senegal was a net receiver of migrants from other West African countries. Now, however, a fairly high percentage of workers in Senegal attempt to migrate to European countries in search of higher-paying jobs and more economic security.Historically, Senegalese migrants have gone to France, Italy, and Spain for work.  While they are usually over-qualified for jobs they find in Europe and those jobs are fairly low-paying (like the situation many migrants who enter the United States find themselves in), the stability is attractive. Funny enough, this has resulted in a positive overall impact for the Senegalese economy because of remittances.  If you don’t know, remittances are gifts or payments sent from a migrant to their family who still lives in their country of origin.  One study shows that about 1/3 of migrants do return to Senegal within about 10 years.

As World Vision works to stabilize the rural communities in which they work in Senegal, they are providing a brighter future for many Senegalese citizens. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to move to a new country to seek a better job or better future, it is always better for that to be a choice and not purely a means of survival. And in places like Senegal where child labor is common, the stabilization of the economy results in better protection for kids and a higher chance of them finishing school.  Finishing school means having the educational tools to do better for themselves financially, regardless of where they end up living long term.  Source:  https://theconversation.com/we-asked-senegalese-migrants-why-they-leave-home-heres-what-they-told-us-113760