SENEGAL – World Renew Senegal has long cooperated with the Lutheran Church of Senegal as a member of the Evangelical Committee for Health here. This 7,000 member church is among the largest Protestant denominations here and does great work in education, agriculture, and healthcare. After a few years of discussion, we are pleased to finally be partnering with them.
After a few years of discussion, we are pleased to finally be partnering with them for the first time.
Last month, Jatu and Esther from World Renew and Pascal from the Lutheran Church of Senegal, or ELS, visited two villages where ELS had previously run preschools and was eager to restart those schools. In the villages of Mbettite and Loul-Ndourndour, both parents and potential teachers, or moniteurs, were already waiting for us. We arrived in Loul-Ndourndour well before the start of the meeting.
They told us how preschool had benefited their children now in elementary school as they had learned letters, numbers, and songs in their own language, Séreer, as well as in French, the language of the elementary school. “I find,” said one mother, “that it stimulates my child’s knowledge.” A father chimed in: “The children’s minds are broadened because of the songs they learned in the school.”
Parents added that their older children, who had attended the ELS-run preschool, had done noticeably better in elementary school than their peers, and that the children had really enjoyed going to preschool.
The schools are known for serving both Christians and Muslims. We asked if both Christian and Muslim parents sent their children to the same school. “Yes,” replied one man, “it is a Christian school but I, for example, am part of the Parents’ Association and have done enrollment at the preschool and I am a Muslim. Moral education is very important!”
Two weeks after our visits to the villages, we traveled to the ELS church offices in the city of Fatick to confirm planning details such as reporting and budget. We met with church officials and got to know each other better. A partnership is a big commitment for World Renew, but because ELS has done this work before with funding from the Finnish government, they already have the required experience. This small and fairly uncomplicated project makes our collaboration a good trial run for future partnerships.
Since our visit, parents have been able to enroll their children and classes will start early December. We will keep you updated.
Joys and Challenges
- We celebrate our new partnership with the Lutheran Church of Senegal to support a preschool program in the area around Fatick. Classes start in early December.
- World Renew and YWAM are preparing for a second year of their Adolescent Health Program. As a response to requests from parents, we will include a boys’ group in the program this year. With the help of YWAM, we will invite youth from the area of Hann-Plage to participate in the program. Gédéon is leading the search for three educators (two women, one man).
- We are planning a second Timothy Leadership Training for the end of January in Salemata (see our previous newsletter). Many parts of the training need to come together: trainers from World Renew Mali, participants from Senegal and Guinea, lodging and food for all, with World Renew Senegal managing logistics and supervision.
World Renew Senegal