Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal

by Aspyre Africa
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Secure livelihoods for vulnerable youth in Senegal
Construction work at the CIPA in November 2018
Construction work at the CIPA in November 2018

As I am writing this report, we are impatiently awaiting the results of the presidential elections, which took place in Senegal last Sunday. Whatever the outcome, our hope is that the country will continue to keep young people as a top priority on its agenda.

Update Talibes Cohort 1

At the end of last year our local partner organisation AJE locally secured the needed funds for the building of the chicken coop, and have since taken over the responsibility of the construction work. We are eagerly waiting for the coop to be finished, so we can launch the next phase of the project.

Update Talibes Cohort 2

You may have noticed from a picture in our previous report that our partner, the CIPA agriculture training centre, has been undergoing some major transformations. It will soon be the flagship training centre in the region thanks to the support of KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency). This means that our next cohort will now benefit from brand new classrooms and equipment. The centre has also acquired extra land for training and will soon have its very own bus.

This is a very exciting development, but has no doubt been the cause of some delays in submitting the final proposal for government funding for the next cohort. With further administrative delays most probably linked to the preparations of the presidential elections, it was clear that our next cohort would not be able to start before late spring/ early summer.

For this reason, we decided to postpone our “End of year campaign” and focus our fundraising efforts on the GlobalGiving “Little by Little" campaign which will run from the 8th to the 12th of April 2019. During the campaign, GlobalGiving will be matching donations and giving out bonus prizes, as well as matching new recurring donations. So if you would like to continue supporting our work, please don’t do anything now, but stay tuned…

We look forward to sharing detailed personal testimonies as soon as the coop is up and running!

Thank you for your continued support.

Warm wishes, Savina

What the CIPA (former CIH) will soon look like.
What the CIPA (former CIH) will soon look like.
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Dear friend of Aspyre Africa,

GlobalGiving Evaluation visit

As you may already be aware GlobalGiving regularly sends evaluators to visit partner projects, complete in-depth organizational assessments and ensure donations are used responsibly. During these visits evaluators conduct interviews with staff members and volunteers, identify training and support needs, and ensure a good assessment of a project’s transparency and effectiveness.

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed GlobalGiving Evaluators Anna Maria and Isabella to Saint-Louis at the beginning of November. A very full and varied schedule had been drafted alternating in depth discussions on topics like governance, finance and fundraising with field visits to see the work and meet with beneficiaries, partners and other stakeholders.

Quote from the Evaluators: “We visited Aspyre Africa's projects in Saint-Louis and carried out an in-depth evaluation of the organisation over the course of four days. During this visit, we were impressed with the strong relationships Savina and Veronique have built with local NGOs, businesses and government. Most of all, it was inspiring to see the impact the work of Aspyre Africa is having on young people in Saint-Louis, by building their confidence and providing them with the tools to access sustainable, fulfilling careers. We wish Aspyre Africa all the best in continuing their amazing work and we hope that others across not only Africa but other continents too will recognise the value of the model they are building.”

YEAR END CAMPAIGN: Sustainable Livelihoods for Talibes in Senegal (COHORT 2)

With the help of our local partner AJE, we are in the final stages of securing the needed support for the construction of the chicken coop for the first cohort of talibes. We also secured the commitment for technical support from the largest chicken feed producer in Senegal, whose technical advisor personally came to assess the plot and give us advice. All 18 talibes are doing well and are eagerly awaiting the chicken coop to start their income generating activity. Meanwhile however they continue doing small jobs to pay for food and necessities. The great news is that some have already put their newly acquired skills to great use and earning from it.

Following the successful training of this very first cohort of talibes in a government-run vocational training centre last year, we have decided to replicate this (pilot) project with another cohort of 20 talibes. This time however the government and training centre will cover all the training fees (horticulture & aviculture), which means that Aspyre Africa can focus its funding on providing a dedicated social worker and a career advisor for vulnerable students. We will also cover the cost of essential equipment and other expenses to allow the talibes to either set up their own business or find employment after training. It is our aim for this project to serve as a model, opening the door to formal vocational training centres to talibes, and to be replicated at a national level to tackle issues of youth unemployment and economic migration.

We truly hope you will continue to be our partner on this journey and support us for our 2018 Year End Campaign. Please check our updated project page for more details.

Have you ever considered becoming one of our regular supporters?

3 good reasons for you to become a regular donor:

  1. Through your commitment you will allow Aspyre Africa to spend more time on programmes work and less on fundraising, thereby directly increasing our efficiency.
  2. As part of the GlobalGiving Year End campaign new recurring donations up to $200 will get an additional 100% match on the initial donation (as long as it remains active for at least four consecutive payments). 
  3. It is the most convenient way to spread your donations over a year, without ever having to worry about it.

Thank you for your continued support.

Warm wishes, Savina

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Dear Supporter,

I am writing this report while packing my bag to travel back to Senegal tomorrow.

Since our last update, the negotiations to secure the land needed for the chicken farming project carried on, and culminated in the signing of a very exciting 4-way partnership convention between Aspyre Africa and:

  • The DRDR (Regional Department for Rural Development) of Saint-Louis: who are giving us ½ hectare of land on loan for 3 years, with the possibility of extension.
  • The CIPA (Agricultural Training Centre): (where the talibés did their training) , who will be in charge of monitoring the technical side of the project.
  • AJE (Association Jeunesse Espoir): who will provide the social support for the talibés.

The land is ideally located right next to the CIPA but also within walking distance for all the talibés.

For this upcoming trip, I have meetings lined up to secure the local support we need to build a chicken run for up to 500 chickens. Until the convention was signed, it was impossible to follow up on any leads. This trip will no doubt help us make major steps forward with the project. Do stay tuned for the latest developments via our social media channels.

Meanwhile, following the success in training the first cohort of talibés at the CIPA, we are already in talks regarding the training of further and larger cohorts. Most encouraging is the interest the “government fund for vocational training” has expressed in these projects. This is a great first step towards the sustainability we are aiming for.

Looking forward to writing more in our next report!

Warm wishes and thank you for your continued support.




The chickens raised during the training
The chickens raised during the training
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Graduation portraits
Graduation portraits

Dear Friend of Aspyre Africa,

Graduation Ceremony

On the 20th April, Senegal’s national day of the Talibe Child, our partners and us proudly witnessed the culmination of the 10-month journey that has given our young beneficiaries the skills they need to secure a livelihood. Wearing their graduation polo shirts and surrounded by their friends, they were all smiles as they received their certificates. It felt like a true milestone for all who were present, including some reporters.

Sustainable livelihoods

While their individual ambitions today may differ, all of them came out of the training with a love for horticulture & aviculture, and a real motivation to put to good use what they have learned. All of them are also facing the same reality: they must urgently secure an income to cover their daily expenses while finishing their Koranic learning.

It is not surprising therefore that following the great success of the aviculture module during their training, the talibés themselves suggested chicken farming as a first and collective income generating activity. Following a market analysis as well as lengthy discussions with all those concerned, they are confident that the profit will allow them not just to cover their expenses, but also to save up for the purchase of the equipment they will need to start a second activity in horticulture.

Access to land, local funding, & support

We will soon have access to a piece of land located very closely to the training centre and which belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture. Committed to finding sustainable solutions and aware that a chicken-farming project requires a bigger infrastructure investment than what we had anticipated; we explored the possibilities of mobilizing local support. Things are looking very promising and the investment will most likely also benefit future cohorts of talibes who will receive the same training.

The vocational training centre’s expert in aviculture will provide the technical support for the management of the chicken-farming activity. In addition, social support will be provided by our local partner (AJE) to guide the talibés and most importantly to explore with them their longer-term options.

Your support

Despite the delays on the ground, we are confident that the decisions made will help achieve our goal of securing the livelihoods of these young men. Any additional funds raised for this project will go towards buying extra equipment, further technical capacity building as well as extra support to individual income generating projects. Thank you so much for your trust in Aspyre Africa and for making this possible.

With warm wishes, Savina

Horticulture teacher handing over a certificate
Horticulture teacher handing over a certificate
Veronique (Aspyre Africa) with happy beneficiary
Veronique (Aspyre Africa) with happy beneficiary
Group portrait with certificates
Group portrait with certificates
Me with our beneficiaries
Me with our beneficiaries
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It is with great pleasure that we can announce that the first group of talibés has now finished their 10 month training. We were back in Senegal last month to witness the final weeks of training and most importantly the module in chicken rearing, which was received with great enthusiasm! It took some careful planning and teamwork to secure the regular feeding and watering of the chicks, but they all did an excellent job and of the 100 chicks raised, only 2 died. They will soon be sold at a unit price of 3000 CFA (£4), of which all the profit will go to the talibés. The CIPA training centre will only recover the initial investment for the 100 chicks. Usually the CIPA shares the profit of the sales with the students, but because of the extreme vulnerability of the talibés CIPA Director Mr Diop decided to give all of the profit to them. We highly appreciate his caring gesture towards our vulnerable students.

At the end of the training the talibés all passed a comprehensive assessment test of knowledge and skills acquired through the “Competence-based Approach” method. Mr Diop was very pleased with the outcome as he confessed that the beginning had not been easy at all due to the low, often non-existent, level of education of the talibés. The talibés found it particularly difficult to get used to the formal and stringent system throughout the training: a way of life they had not previously been exposed to in the Koranic schools. Worried that the delicate timetable might clash with the talibes’ other commitments, he had been hesitant to include the chicken-rearing module in their course. However, they made it work and the results were impressive. Today the Director is totally open to renewing this enriching experience with other cohorts of talibés!

The graduation ceremony is scheduled for the 20th April, the National Day of the Talibé Child, and we are planning to invite authorities, other Koranic teachers, potential partners as well as the media. We will also seize this perfect opportunity to launch our “Sustainable Livelihoods” project that you are supporting, for which we may have just found the perfect partnership with free access to land and further capacity building. In the coming weeks the talibés will be working closely with our local partner to develop their business plans with both collective and individual targets. Our aim is to be able to launch their activities around their graduation time. We look forward to updating you on the progress soon after the ceremony, including with some videos!

Thank you so much for your support!! With warm wishes, Savina

Our Project Manager with the CIPA Director
Our Project Manager with the CIPA Director
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Organization Information

Aspyre Africa

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AspyreAfrica
Project Leader:
Savina Geerinckx
London , United Kingdom
$55,860 raised of $65,000 goal
329 donations
$9,140 to go
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