HI works to develop an inclusive, sustainable and fair society which improves the quality of life of vulnerable people, including people with disabilities.
Inclusive education, Senegal - Humanity & Inclusion | © J-J. Bernard / HI
HI first started its activities in Senegal in 1995. Its first interventions focused on physical rehabilitation and mine clearance in Casamance in the South of the country.
Today HI has broadened its fields of action to include: maternal & and child health, inclusive education, economic inclusion of vulnerable people and people with disabilities, rehabilitation, diabetes.
We work in areas of the country where the needs are most significant, Dakar in the north, and the three regions of Casamance in the south.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HI has continued to help the world’s most vulnerable people. We have adapted our interventions in more than 45 countries.
Senegal is a major economic power in West Africa, but its wealth is very unevenly distributed. A substantial percentage of the country's population lives in a situation of extreme poverty and people with disabilities are highly represented in this category.
The legislative framework on disability in Senegal has changed for the better since 2010, when the country ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, there are still a lot of difficulties transposing the laws subsequently adopted into tangible political actions. People with disabilities in Senegal face barriers on a daily basis when trying to access health, education and employment services. Victims of discrimination, they continue to fight to have their fundamental rights upheld.
Including children with disabilities in education is one of the major challenges for development in Senegal. The number of disabled children aged 7 to 16 is estimated at 35,369 (2013 census). 66% of them are not in school, compared with 37% for Senegal as a whole.
The country has also been heavily impacted by conflict in Casamance, which has lasted more than 30 years. This conflict has harmed the country's economy and hindered its development, in particular with the use of anti-personnel landmines. This means much of the agricultural land in this region of Senegal is inaccessible.
Number of HI staff members: 89
Date the programme opened: 1995
The purpose of the convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. It also aims to promote their inherent dignity.