History of the Peace Corps in Senegal
|History of the Peace Corps|
|Since 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries, more than 182,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries all over the globe.
The Peace Corps program in Senegal began in 1963 with the assignment of 15 English teachers to secondary schools around the country. In the ensuing years, the program has grown considerably. On average, about 120 Volunteers work in a wide range of projects throughout Senegal.
History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Senegal
In the past, the predominant Peace Corps project was TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language), with the rural development project playing a secondary role. Current programming efforts integrate the goals of the government of Senegal to benefit the rural population with the goals of the Peace Corps, placing special emphasis on projects that meet basic human needs. Currently, Peace Corps/Senegal has projects in small business development, natural resources management, agriculture, and rural health.
Peace Corps/Senegal will continue to assign Volunteers primarily to small-scale projects aimed at training rural individuals or communities to tackle their own development problems and priorities. This policy reflects Peace Corps/Senegal’s continued adherence to a philosophy of grass-roots sustainable development and coincides with a growing recognition by the government of Senegal that a centralized, top-down development approach is neither effective nor affordable.