Almost 11,300 Senegalese refugees fled to Guinea-Bissau a few decades ago to escape the armed conflict between the regular army of Senegal and the rebels of the MFDC (Movement of the Democratic Forces of Casamance). They fled from war and therefore from death and destruction, but it cannot be said that they arrived in a stable context both from a political and socio-economic point of view: Guinea-Bissau, with a population of about 1.5 million inhabitants , in fact, it ranks at the bottom of the Human Development Index. This means that about half of the population is forced to live below the poverty line ($ 1.25 / day).
After many years and constant mediation work by UNHCR, a United Nations organization that deals with refugees, these people, who for many years have now settled in the Cacheu region in the villages on the border with their country of origin, have now , with a special law of the government of Guinea-Bissau, the possibility of obtaining citizenship and many of them have already obtained it. This however, although to be considered an important goal, does not solve all their problems because they continue to live in a very poor context aggravated by the pandemic in progress.
Regione di Cacheu, Guinea-Bissau
The aim of the project is to complete the socio-economic reintegration of refugees, former Senegalese refugees and the population of the villages where they were welcomed, consolidating the results obtained in the previous four years in 34 villages in the Cacheu region, border region with the Senegal.
We will work on areas relating to the economic sustainability of households, in particular agricultural activities, generating income and forms of savings and revolving credit but also in the psycho-social area on community organization, on the most vulnerable subjects (minors, women, the disabled) and to eradicate the scourge of gender-based violence.
Region of Cacheu,
7,360 people, belonging to 34 villages
- Socio-economic integration of refugees: it will be an action aimed at promoting the fruitful coexistence between refugees, former refugees and local communities. The collaboration of various development actors, such as government and the private sector, will be used. Support is provided for 37 income-generating activities with an initial non-repayable loan for the start-up or strengthening of the activity itself after careful training of the people involved and selection of the most interesting proposals. The activities will mainly concern horticulture with agroecological techniques, breeding but also other activities in the non-food sector. An action is also envisaged to encourage savings and revolving credit methods managed independently by groups, especially women, who in this way can obtain, on a rotating basis, loans with a very low interest rate, for their needs. and to initiate or strengthen income-generating activities, also in this way.
- The fight against gender-based violence: the already existing Protection Committees in the 34 villages will be strengthened. which are responsible for informing the population about the rights of women, children and the disabled, as well as assisting victims of gender-based violence. It will operate through specific training sessions in 10 primary schools, with parents and pupils and a training course specifically intended for teachers will be proposed. There are also 9 meetings on the subject with local institutions and a special seminar with them. Particularly important will be the 25 thematic Djumbai, that is public meetings in the presence of local traditional authorities, during which it will be a question not only of gender violence, but also of integration between different ethnic groups. Finally, 7 radio programs are planned, always on the theme of prevention of gender-based violence: this is still the most effective tool to reach the greatest number of people even in the most remote villages.
- Strengthening of child protection: 5 new committees for the protection of children will be formed on a community basis. They will collaborate for this purpose with families, communities, national authorities and other national and international organizations suitable for the purpose.
- Support for particularly difficult cases: particular attention will be paid to people with disabilities. 8 people will receive both educational and financial support to start income-generating activities.
I am Sara Gianesini, graduated in Public Relations and Communication. After 6 years in the private sector, in the commercial and marketing sector, I decided for my personal attitude and strong ethical choice to dedicate myself to the world of international cooperation. After some important experiences in Brazil and Africa and many doubts about the professional and human future to take, today […]