Saraya'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 Saraya (pronounced sa-ra-yah) community is located in southeast Senegal, on the westernmost point of the African continent. Wildlife once included numerous elephants, antelopes, lions, panthers, crocodiles, and hippopotami, but these have been decimated due to poaching and hunting. Vegetation consists of treed savannah and forests.

During the rainy season, entire sections of the community can be cut off from health services. The water table, however, is poorly fed. This causes drinking water shortages that have serious repercussions for humans, livestock, and plant life. Agriculture can also be threatened, resulting in poor harvests, reduced income, and a lack of food self-sufficiency.

The area is rich in resources, particularly gold. Some community members employ large numbers of casual workers from neighbouring regions and countries that come to participate in the mining, which has caused a variety of social issues. Child labour in the mining industry is also common.
  • 25  people attended advocacy meetings, enabling them to become agents of change and monitor progress in their community.
  • 6  meetings were held to discuss improvements to education, giving communities a platform to monitor progress and advocate for changes. 
Child Protection
  • 10  child protection meetings and advocacy initiatives were led by community members, helping to inform the government on ways to keep children safe.
  • 11,400  adults learned how to access services and information to keep children safe, helping them understand how to build a safer community for children.
  • 75  mothers and fathers regularly attended parent support groups, learning how to improve their relationships with their children and each other.
  • 4  formal agreements were signed between community stakeholders, creating partnerships that will improve the well-being of more boys and girls.
  • 12  people got information about World Vision and how it operates, learning its priority to keep children safe and how to share feedback or concerns.
  • 22  local volunteers have participated in literacy training, improving how they support children learning to read and write.
  • 70  parents and caregivers attended training on the importance of literacy for children, increasing the support girls and boys have in learning to read.
  • 15  parents and caregivers attended training in early childhood education and development, guiding them on how to support their young child's growth.
  • 317  preschool-aged girls and boys are enrolled in early education, so they can be better prepared to enter primary school.
  • 300  adults and children attended training on what to do during a disaster or emergency, preparing them to help themselves and others in times of crisis.
Health and Nutrition
  • 40 mothers and caregivers have been educated on caring for children ages of 0-59 months with diarrhea
  • 3  local communities with an up-to-date disaster preparedness plan, helping ensure that more girls and boys will be prepared for and protected in a crisis.
  • 29 new savings groups were formed, helping mothers and fathers work toward greater financial stability and meet their children's needs.
  • 45  community members learned how to manage their household's finances, helping them understand and develop strategies to manage family income and expenses.
  • 200  community members were clients of a microfinance institution, giving them access to low-interest loans and help support their families.
  • 15  savings groups are active, providing community members with a local place to save money regularly, earn interest and access loans.
*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:
  • Support the construction, rehabilitation, and equipping of elementary and preschools, including desks and chairs, latrines, and outdoor play areas.
  • Train teachers and community groups in teaching techniques and school management.
  • Partner with local government and community-based organizations to improve children's access to quality education, as well as the equal treatment of girls and boys.
  • Encourage school-age children to actively participate in the development of education programs.
  • Promote awareness and advocacy around child labour in the mines, genital mutilation, early marriage, and the rights of children with disabilities; all of which are currently issues preventing children from attending school.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Build new health centres and renovate existing structures.
  • Improve community-based health services to prevent epidemic and endemic diseases, such as malaria, malnutrition, and HIV and AIDS.
  • Sensitize community members about the spread and prevention of HIV and AIDS.
  • Support anonymous HIV status testing through Ministry of Health facilities.
  • Rehabilitate malnourished children with weight monitoring, training, and cooking demonstrations.

Water and Sanitation
In partnership with families and sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Promote the construction of wells and boreholes in neighbourhoods along the Falémé River and those without water access points.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Saraya can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Promote irrigation for the development of market gardening and rice cultivation.
  • Establish weekly village markets to encourage economic trade.
  • Create livestock farms and vaccination yards.
  • Build processing plants for agricultural products to boost production, and subsequently increasing income.
  • Train youth in agricultural trades to improve local expertise and enhance the community's food security.
  • Encourage beneficial tourism by training youth in related occupations and creating handicraft centres.

Explore Saraya

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 Saraya

Only 39% of children in Saraya aged two to 10 are educated, with a dropout rate of 5-8%. Some of the challenges to education include parental attitudes, a lack of recognition of the rights of children with disabilities, and inadequate teacher training. Schools also lack materials, equipment, and proper infrastructure, including latrines, running water, and electricity. Due to these substandard conditions, it's difficult to retain teachers in the area. In addition, many students drop out to work in the mines or, for girls, because of early or forced marriages and pregnancies.

Health Care
Although there is a health committee in Saraya, there aren't enough equipment or personnel, with only one health centre, three health stations, and two rural maternity clinics for 26,316 inhabitants. The most frequent illnesses are malaria, acute respiratory infections, skin diseases, and parasitic infections. 18% of children under the age of five are underweight and only 36% of children who contract malaria receive proper treatment.

Water and Sanitation
There is a lack of clean drinking water and no sanitation system in Saraya. Homes along the Falémé River use river water for drinking and cooking, which can lead to serious infectious diseases.

Economic Development
80% of households in Saraya live below the poverty line. With the exception of cotton, market gardening produces poor yields due to inefficient farming practices. Seed quality is good, but the quantity is lacking, and storage is a problem. The women are usually responsible for processing agricultural products at home, often using traditional, inefficient methods. Surface water resources are poorly employed and enormous quantities of water are lost annually; from December to May, evaporation exceeds 200 mm.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Saraya,  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.