Recognition of THP-Senegal Epicenters as Associations in 2012

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Update to the Global Board

April 2012

From July to December 2011, THP-Senegal expanded its activities from an exclusive focus on implementing the Epicenter Strategy to continuously integrate the strategic initiatives. This began with a meeting with the members of the National Advisory Council to assess the four initiatives and has been supported through thoughtful alignment of strategic activities with the ongoing epicenter projects.

For those epicenters in Phase I, THP-Senegal strengthened its focus on mobilization activities. Phase III epicenters worked to consolidate specific programs, in particular, food security, while also seeking ways to improve sustainability. THP-Senegal chose to put a strong focus on organizing general assemblies to share information and begin the process of legal recognition for each epicenter as an Association. On top of this work, THP-Senegal re-launched the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) during the reporting period with the support of the Trainers of Trainers (TOTs). As shared in earlier reports, THP-Senegal temporarily halted this program in order to re-align the WEP activities to become cross-cutting, efficient activities with various other programs.

Accomplishments

  • Development of THP-Senegal’s Strategic Plan: At a leadership retreat held in Saly, Senegal over two days in September 2011, consultants guided THP staff, members of the National Advisory Council, and guest experts in microfinance and nutrition, in the development of a strategic plan. This was carried out in response to and in light of the strategic initiatives established by the Board of Directors during its meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, in April 2011.
  • Re-launch of the Diokoul-NguerNguer Epicenter: Diokoul Epicenter, which has long been mobilized but not yet constructed, was allocated a parcel of land by Nguer Nguer village in the epicenter’s catchment area. THP-Senegal mobilized all the villages of the epicenter of Diokoul / Nguer-Nguer, and a meeting with the new leaders, representing the 11 villages of the epicenter, permitted the creation of a common vision in harmony with the strategy of the epicenter.
  • Full revival of Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP): After a hiatus from WEP activities, during which THP-Senegal staff worked to re-align this program’s activities within the Epicenter Strategy as a whole, this program was re-integrated into all regular activities. During the period, thousands of women and men attended capacity-building sessions, supplemented by community radio broadcasts that expanded the reach of these workshops.
  • Focus on 2011 Agricultural Campaign: Food Security committees of several epicenters ordered thousands of kilograms of fertilizer and seed for millet and souna (a grain) to be sown; these agricultural inputs will cover hundreds of hectares of partners’ farmland.
  • Formal Recognition of Epicenter Associations: The Association of Volunteer Literacy Trainers of Koki Epicenter (ARAK) received formal recognition from the government in late November 2011. This is a crucial step on the path to self-reliance, as ARAK is now a legal entity. THP-Senegal is guiding similar formal recognition processes in other epicenters. Specifically, THP-Senegal has organized informational general assemblies (GAs) to raise awareness on the importance of seeking legal recognition; these GAs took place in over half of THP-Senegal’s epicenters. All epicenter partners supported this step toward self-reliance, and THP-Senegal will pursue legal recognition for each epicenter.
  • Literacy & Education: THP-Senegal oversaw the execution of an exchange visit to Sanar Epicenter, during which various stakeholders for the preschools met with epicenter leaders to discuss lessons learned and to brainstorm solutions to challenges that affected each of them. (See photo below).
  • Health & Nutrition: THP-Senegal organized a workshop for healthcare professionals to define the priority aspects of the health & nutrition program. The group made a series of recommendations to THP-Senegal; namely, to focus on raising community-level awareness by using didactic training tools, such as picture books, to spread the message more broadly
  • Advocacy & Partnerships: THP-Senegal invited local government officials, as well as technical partners, from Bambey to visit an epicenter. The visitors admired the model and expressed a belief that this model could be expanded for implementation across the country.

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