Seno's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Seno (pronounced sen-oh) community is located in a dry, dusty, largely rural area of Mali, almost 800 kilometres from Bamako, the capital city. More than 33,000 people from a variety of ethnic groups live in the community, with the Dogon being the most prominent.

Most families live in homes that are made of mud bricks. In this land of dust storms, cyclical droughts, and occasional locust infestations, vegetation is scarce. Temperatures vary greatly from 20°C to 25°C in the cold season to over 40°C in summer. Nine months of dry weather and an average of just 30 days of rain result in a lack of potable water.
Child Protection
  • 3,925 community members learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 20 teachers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children
  • 500 people in emergencies received life-saving support like tents, cooking sets and hygiene kits 
  • 96 malnourished children were enrolled in nutritional programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy
  • 96 malnourished have reached a healthier weight after participating in a nutrition program
  • 13 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses
  • 260 people are part of savings groups, helping them meet their financial needs and access small loans
Results achieved from October 2017 to September 2018
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Renovate existing classrooms and build new ones.
  • Train teachers and school committees to improve education quality.
  • Educate parents on the importance of education.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Establish more and better health care facilities in the area.

With the support of Canadian sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Introduce new seed varieties and affordable fertilizers to improve crop yields.
  • Train farmers in improved farming methods, including soil erosion control and soil fertility improvement.
  • Construct grain banks to help see families through the lean months.
  • Establish community plans to prepare effective responses to droughts and other disasters that challenge farming.

Water and Sanitation
In partnership with families and sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Train water committees and pump repair technicians.
  • Educate families on water use and proper sanitation facilities.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Seno can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Provide access to loans to help community members launch viable income-generating activities.
  • 26.5% of children could read and understand the material in 2017, increasing from 21% in 2014
  • 21.1% of pregnant women accepted testing and counseling for HIV in 2017, increasing from 15.8% in 2014
  • 33.7% of children were underweight according to their age, as a result of malnutrition in 2017, declining from 39% in 2014
  • 10.8% of children under five with symptoms of pneumonia accessed health care in 2017, increasing from 4.2% in 2014
  • 42.55% of families have at least one adult earning an income in 2017, increasing from 34.7% in 2014
  • 67.37% of families used an improved source of drinking water in 2017, increasing from 40% in 2014
  • 82.11% of families are using improved sanitation facilities in 2017, increasing from 61.1% in 2014
Results of World Vision Canada's evaluation in Mali reported in May, 2017

Explore Seno

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Seno

Not all areas of the community have schools, and those that do find it difficult to build and properly equip classrooms. The few schools that do exist are often far away from children's homes and many parents cannot afford to send their children, resulting in low attendance and high dropout rates.

Health Care
A lack of health care facilities nearby, the high cost of medicines, and inadequate transportation to remote facilities " particularly for pregnant women " negatively impacts the health of children and families in Seno.

Periods of drought, depleted soil quality, inadequate farming equipment, and attacks by locusts, birds, and other predators have been responsible for significant crop losses in recent years. A wild weed known as striga has also slowed plant growth and is attacking more fields affected by wind erosion.

More than half the households in Seno do not have a reliable food supply, sometimes for many months at a time, and children in particular are susceptible to malnutrition and disease. Since farming is not very productive, men migrate to the cities to try to earn a better living, leaving women behind for long periods of time, trying to feed children with what little food is available.

Water and Sanitation
The combination of erratic rainfall, desertification, and frequent pump breakdowns make finding clean water in Seno a major challenge. Indeed, the lack of potable water for drinking, for animals, and for market gardening is the most urgent challenge in this community. People's health is undermined by a lack of access to safe water. In addition, when wells and ponds dry up early, the responsibility of women and girls to find water for their families and animals becomes an increased burden for them.

Families are often forced to use contaminated water for drinking and bathing, which leaves children susceptible to waterborne diseases. Seno's shortage of clean water has forced many families to start buying it from water vendors, which places an extra burden on budgets that are already overstretched.

Economic Development
Earning a living is incredibly difficult in this rural community. Agriculture is the main livelihood, and parents sell what crops they can to earn extra money. Due to the wide variety of environmental challenges, however, it is hard to earn enough to cover even basic needs, such as children's health care, school fees, and clothing.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Seno, Mali is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.