Senegal has a population of some 13 million and is located on the west African coast with Mauritania to its north, Mali to its east and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to its south. It also completely surrounds Gambia save for its coastline and even briefly formed a confederation with that country to form Senegambia in 1982 however seven years later this was dissolved. Senegal is widely seen as a relatively stable nation however remains in 154th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. It has high levels of poverty (54% rising to 75% in rural areas) and unemployment (48%) having bit hard by the global recession of 2008-2009 driving migration out of the county with most of the 58% of the population living in rural areas engaged in agriculture.
The country faces many challenges from increasing desertification in the north, where water supply is poor and crops failing, to many of the country's young leaving to seek employment elsewhere particularly Europe, poor healthcare and educational provision and the ongoing conflict in Casamance region in the south of the country where there is a strong separatist movement. It also has a large number of street children, known locally as Talibes, who receive no formal education and are forced to spend much of their time begging for scraps of food. What education they do receive is simply learning Islamic texts by heart without developing other skills befitting the work sector. For other children in Senegal, although education is free and compulsory up to the age of sixteen, there are simply not enough school places and is is estimated that of children between the ages of five and fourteen just over 40% actually attend school with the figure dropping even further for older children. Fewer girls go to school in Senegal than boys, mainly due to poverty, and in secondary school the attendance rate for girls is just 15%. This is reflected in literacy rates for Senegal children, currently standing at 51.1% for boys but just 29.2% for girls. Child sponsor programs in Senegal focus on working with orphaned and abandoned children, healthcare and prevention, nutrition, safe water access and education promotion. You can help when you sponsor a child in Senegal.
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Your sponsorship will ensure the child you are supporting receives the best education.
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