Senegal has six ecological zones ranging from deciduous forest to dry land. The natural resources found across the country are quite abundant, and the land is beautiful, making it a well-known tourist destination. However, because past droughts, a rather large jump in demographic growth and particularly difficult socio-economic context, the country’s bank of natural resources in quickly diminishing. Senegal’s natural resources have been subject to rising levels of exploitation. Overfishing, deforestation, overgrazing and desertification, as well as rising levels of pollution are just a few of the problems that have led to increased health issues and a declined quality of life. The Environmental Education program in Senegal aims to assist school communities to address their environmental health issues through community action and education. It focuses on the promotion of eco schools to improve the school environmental health conditions, which will positively impact the quality of education.
What We Do
Environmental Education across the world is a process of recognizing values in order to develop the skills necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relationship between a person and his surroundings. At the village level it is important for volunteers to study the environmental values of their community in order to facilitate appropriate environmental education. Volunteers begin their service by implementing a baseline survey to determine the environmental health and nutrition issues of their communities. Once the surveys are completed, the volunteer and the community share in creating an environmental action plan, strategized specifically to address the village’s main environmental problems. At the community level, non-formal education techniques are used as well as concrete actions like tree planting, waste management projects, and latrine construction.
At the school level, beyond the interventions to meet the eco-school standards, children are targeted through classroom lessons and environmental training in a community content-based format. Environmental Education clubs are also formed to help children gain awareness of their environment through activities and games outside of the classroom.
Over the last year, Environmental Education Volunteers out planted over 10,000 trees across the country. In a land that is constantly aware of the encroaching desert, these trees, in many varieties, will serve as a nutritional aid, barriers to desertification, relief from the sun, as well as to support the material needs for lumber, charcoal and firewood.
In the last year, 300 teachers were able to participate in formal training classes in Community Content Based Instruction (CCBI). CCBI lessons integrate environmental concepts into the French-based curriculum’s general subject areas (i.e. math, science and grammar). These activities specifically target the community’s local environmental problems. CCBI lessons not only introduce teachers and students to environmental awareness, they also tend to be more dynamic, and create student interactions and involvement that do not normally take place in the lecture-based classrooms of Senegal.
Over the last year 15 school gardens were created. School gardens have become an important part of an Environmental Education Volunteer’s work. These gardens are taken care of by the children, and serve as a training ground for various classroom lessons. The gardens are then able to add to the nutrition of the student’s diet, raise money for various projects though selling the garden’s harvest and can even serve in teaching core values to the school children, such as responsibly, and diligence in work.
Environmental Education Resources
Dreamer: Hadiel Mohamed, Northern Senegal
SeneGlove: David Glovsky, Kolda
Ordinary Adventures: Jennie Wysong, Kaolack