Seno's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

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.
  • 2  meetings with national leaders about protecting children were led by World Vision, increasing awareness about child safety and protection issues.
Child Protection
  • 2 child protection policies recommending child and youth plans were presented to local governments.
  • 13  parents attended training to learn how to discipline their children without physical violence, so more girls and boys are safer from abuse.
  • 325  families received emergency assistance such as food, tents or water purification tablets, so that children had their basic needs met after a crisis.
  • 10 community groups were educated on malaria prevention and care
  • 15  boys and girls had their height and weight checked, allowing health workers to monitor if children are growing healthy and getting good nutrition.
  • 325 households received monthly financial benefits
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 100  households received hygiene training and now have hand-washing facilities with soap, enabling families to improve hygiene at home and reduce diseases.
  • 100  healthcare clinics have hand-washing facilities and soap on their premises, allowing both patients and healthcare workers to have good hygiene.
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019
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.

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.