Although a poor nation, Senegal is widely seen as model of
stability in a region of Africa often ravaged by conflict. The
country is home to just over six million children who can
expect to live until they are around 60yrs old. Many children
in Senegal live within polygamous families sharing their father with two or
more wives and living within a rural compound that's home to around ten
people. Most children have around five siblings however not all will survive
birth or even reach their fifth birthday.
traditional village homes are made from mud bricks with wooden roofs
entwined with millet stalks and are often decorated with numerous family
photographs with the father spending time with each wife and children and
household tasks being rotated amongst the women.
Each day life for most Senegal children starts with breakfast of baguettes then
chores including collecting water
from nearby wells. Then its off to school for those who attend
where reading, writing and arithmetic form the basis of study.
Although education is free in Senegal and compulsory up to the
age of sixteen, there are simply not enough school places and
it is estimated that of children between the ages of five and
fourteen just over 40% actually attend school with the figure
dropping even further for older children.
girls go to school in Senegal than boys, mainly due to
poverty, and in secondary school the attendance rate for girls
is just 15%. This is reflected in literacy rates for Senegal
children, currently standing at 51.1% for boys but just 29.2%
After school, its more chores, then of course, play, with
football being a firm favourite, not just for boys, but girls
as well. In fact, football for girls is widely promoted in
schools as its seen as away of keeping girls in education who
may otherwise drop out believing that education has no part of