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ORT-SEN Mother & Child Care

ORT-SEN Mother & Child Care

Senegal, Dakar - Hann, Yoff & N'Gor Region

The ORT-SEN (in French: Santé, Éducation & Nutrition) project is a Community Development Center addressing mainly Mother and Children in the districts of Hann Bel Air, N'gor and Yoff, poor neighbourhoods in the Senegal capital city, Dakar.

Populated by fishermen and rural migrants, these densely populated areas suffer from serious deficiencies in education, health, employment and environment.

The socio-economic situation (rural migrants, unemployment, lack of sanitarian and health services, malnutrition, etc.) has put the community development as an essential platform to mitigate the very difficult living conditions. In the capital city of Dakar, 72.5% of the adult population is either unemployed or working few hours for a very limited income, under the poverty line.

ORT-SEN is the outcome of the partnership between Dakar's Urban Community and World ORT. World ORT International Cooperation seeks funding to renew and develop the ORT-SEN programs in the disadvantaged suburbs of Dakar.

The concept

Improving the quality of life of the population and fighting poverty rely on the quality of the health services, the education, the income from work and the community's solidarity.

With the ORT-SEN program, the town of Hann Bel Air, in particular, as this is the project's primary target, benefits from a Community Development Unit and four satellite units including two units in Hann-Pecheur, one unit in Hann-Montagne and one unit in Hann-Village.

The important socio-educational and environmental impact gave birth to its enlargement in Yoff and N'gor. To this end the 'Rehabilitation and Extension of ORT-SEN's project wants to express the realities of a social dream, but also a strategy based on self-care by:

  • Restoring and extending the infrastructure;
  • Strengthening the local organizations;
  • Developing and implementing strategies in staff capacities;
  • Creating a primary school in the Community Development Center;
  • Improving the hosting capacities of the satellite units;
  • Enhancing the local population self sustainability;

Project activities

The ORT-SEN Rehabilitation and Extension Project focuses on four components targeted to improve the quality of services and strengthen the Centre's position and self-sustainability.

Education

The early childhood structures of ORT-SEN, 8 kindergarten, provide a regular continuous education to 800 children, 7396 children since 2002. Along with providing the children with the basic tools ensuring their success in primary school and compensating the gaps with the general population, the structure guarantees proper nutrition and health care and mothers' awareness on these topics.

Current priorities:

  • Restore the infrastructure of the various sites of city boroughs of Hann Bel Air (Hann Pecheurs, Hann Montagne and Hann Village), N'gor and Yoff;
  • Equip the preschool and primary schools;
  • Increase the enrolment rate for children by the construction of 6 new classrooms, a management office and a toilet block doubling the capacity to 1500 children and creating ancillary activities;
  • Improve the Hann Mountain, N'gor and Yoff hosting structures with playgrounds and possibly erect shelters for extramural activities;
  • Strengthen the training of nursery assistants and educators;
  • Install a modern library and a model digital space;
  • Recruit teachers for primary school by 2012.

Health, Nutrition and Environment

During the years 2002-2007, 40.352 people consulted the Community Clinic, including 29.342 adults (essentially women), 9.451 children and 1.559 children from the ORT-SEN kindergarten. 9.028 children have been vaccinated. The number of patients is equivalent for the last years.

Consultation by a gynaecologist at ORT-SEN costs 500 FCFA (USD 0.60) compared to 2000 to 3000 FCFA in public clinics or 10.000 to 15.000 FCFA with private clinics.

Current priorities:

  • Strengthen the Health assistants' training and train new staff;
  • Install an ultrasound device with a competent technician. Currently inaccessible to the poor population, this service will make the positive change, mostly for pregnant women. The ultrasound device for the health service will be an invaluable resource for monitoring the health of mothers and children, and a crucial tool in reducing infant mortality;
  • Develop a nutritional program based on local nutritional products under the slogan "eat local";
  • Develop a program to improve child nutrition in collaboration with health development's staff coming from the various communities;
  • Expand a program to coach and support pregnant women in pre and post natal and their children;
  • Develop information meetings and prevention among adolescents on recurrent diseases (HIV / AIDS Hepatitis IST.) and family life education;
  • Train children on first aid to develop the spirit of prevention.

Training

More than 200 women have been trained at ORT-SEN to become childminders and medical assistants. 60% of the graduated trainees are employed by ORT-SEN, the other are recruited by the municipality services.

Current priorities:

  • Promote professional training and significantly improve quality and relevance of the services;
  • A Mother and Child Care updated approach, including the psychological aspects;
  • Preventive health, including STDs/AIDS prevention and information;
  • Nutrition;
  • New pedagogical approaches;
  • Community work and self-governance;
  • Improve the cutting and sewing centre's equipment and training methodology;
  • Develop and increase the vocational training and its relevance to the market;
  • Develop accessible and income generating activities to meet the socioeconomic needs of communities.;
  • Initiate new modular activities with the community development workers;
  • Strengthen the community self management's capacity and their commitment of their living places.;
  • Create a training centre for new information and communication technologies with a new approach to computer skills answering the employment market's demands. (Teleworking, maintenance, internet programming and audio visual services).

Income Generating Activities (IGA)

The workshops mainly address girl teenagers dropped from the formal education providing them with training in hairdressing, sewing and fabric dying. After the training most of them improve their income working at the Center's workshops.

The expected results of the planned improvements include:

  • Cutting and sewing will lead to the creation of a competitive production unit, currently making only school uniforms (1000 units / year).
  • Learning hand embroidery especially weaving, beadwork and new design techniques and models will open new income's opportunities.
  • The processing of local agricultural products will generate income and to improve healthy and balanced nutrition.

Current priorities:

  • Rehabilitate the income generating activities workshops;
  • Develop a structure to find jobs for the trainees;
  • The community work will provide the tools for self governance in the various city hoods. A management committee will be established for transparency and ethics of the project.

Partnership and self-management

ORT-SEN enjoys of the partnership with World ORT, the Municipality of Dakar, the Case-des-tout-Petits (Ministry of Education/ early childhood department) and the local community.

  • World ORT provides its 50 years experience in implementing and managing 350 development projects around Africa.
  • The Municipality of Dakar embraces the project, paying part of the local coordinator (community worker) and of the staff.
  • The Case-des-tout-Petits ( the Ministry of Education- early childhood department) monitors the education program.
  • The neighbourhood committees, organized by the full-time local coordinator, are effeciently monitoring the entire project.

It must be emphisized that ORT-SEN is financially self-sufficient for its daily regular activity, due to the municipality's budget, the income from the population financial participation in services' cost and a small revenue from the IGA (like the production of 1000 school uniforms/year by the sewing workshop).

The current project will strengthen the local community leadership and increase the centers' revenue from its activity resulting in creating the appropriate financial and managerial autonomy and insuring the perennity of the structure ( without further foreign investment).

Financial Aspects

Finances Resources since the end of World ORT's project monitoring ORT-SEN resources became increasingly scarce especially this year with the economic crisis and the departure of the key partner SHEEL SENEGAL. The main resources come from:

  • The Municipality of Dakar and county boroughs of Hann Bel Air, N'gor and Yoff.
  • Support of the early childhood program by the "Case des Tout-Petits".
  • Revenue from registrations and monthly payments cover part of the staff's salaries and the structure operating.
  • The sale of tickets for medical consultation allows to replenish the stocks of medicine and also to strengthen certain allowances of volunteers.

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