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Supporting the integration of groups of young people of the Commune d’Arrondissement of Parcelles Assainies (Dakar) into income-generating activities

The project is promoted by M.A.I.S. with the Ngo Re.te and in partnership with the local Ngo  Concept. It is co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it supports the association sector of small enterprises and grassroots organisations for the integration of groups of young people into income-generating activities, as well as local development through the strengthening of the Commune d’Arrondissement of Parcelles Assainies.

Intervention area:
Commune d’Arrondissement of Parcelles Assainies – Dakar – Senegal

October 2007 – October 2010

Parcelles Assainies is a suburb of about 200.000 inhabitants, situated in the outskirts of Dakar and on the expansion axis of the city. The age group of people younger than 19 years represents about 57% of the population, with a slight predominance of girls.
In the suburbs of Dakar, most of the people survive in a poverty condition and live in large families and in promiscuity because of the limited physical room. the art of scraping, streetwise life and survival strategies prevail in an insecure life organisation.
Widespread poverty  makes the capital city a centre of arrival for young  migrants from rural areas, who are forced to live in absolutely poor conditions to make their living in the city.

In the handicraft sector, starting from the age of 6 or 7, boys are employed as apprentice in car repairs, in welding laboratories, in carpentries, and in small building sites. Forced to carry out difficult and hard tasks, they move with no protection and safety devices in an environment where the basic safety rules are usually ignored; they get paid with food, some education and sometimes with a shelter.

In an urban environment, housemaids employed for domestic chores (washing, cooking, house cleaning, dish washing and baby sitting), or in small informal tasks, represent the great majority.  
The number of housemaids younger than 18 years is estimated to be about 53.700, among whom one quarter between 6 and 14. These girls are exposed to hard living and working conditions, to a precarious housing, to promiscuity, to harassment, to unwanted and early pregnancies, to abortions, to infanticide and to sexually transmitted diseases.

Some minors working as self-employed workers also exist:  they work as shoeshine, paper boys, car washers, peddlers, or giving small services around the city; some of them work as waste gatherer. Although there are insufficient data about this issue, the existence of minors who are used for illicit activities, such as sex tourism, drug dealing, smuggling and pornography  is quite a fact.  More and more children can be seen on the streets as beggars, as a daily practice for family support. Moreover, there is a worrying phenomenon, represented by the talibè exploitation of children  attending Koranic schools, who are sent to begging for a living.


The general objective of the project is the reduction of the young and women’s unemployment and of the minors’ exploitation in Parcelles Assaines in Dakar, in particular with their integration into work life and with the creation of micro enterprises.
The young people involved, 4852 inhabitants of the suburb, of whom 4454 young of both genders, will benefit from alphabetization courses, professional training (IT included) and from the integration in small handicraft enterprises.
300 people will have access to credit through local mutuelle.  
Some work will be done for institutional strengthening and participation to local development.