Habitat for Humanity Senegal is a branch of Habitat for Humanity International. We are a nonprofit, ecumenical, humanitarian organization whose aim is to work in partnership with local communities to mitigate the problem of substandard poverty housing around the world.
Poverty housing is commonplace in Senegal, a coastal Sahelian country located at the western tip of Africa. A Muslim society with a secular democracy, Senegal's impressive political stability lies in stark contrast with economic volatility and an increasingly fragmented society.
A third of the country lives below the $1.25 poverty line, and 80% of GDP is centered in Dakar, the capital. Nearly 200,000 new migrants arrive in the city every year, only to find an unforgiving metropolis where nearly half the residents live in unplanned settlements. Low-income families are forced to live in substandard homes that often lack kitchen, toilet, walls, or even a roof.
The poor and vulnerable are often marginalized to the urban peripheries of Dakar, where average rent for low-income families is about $80 for 30 square meters. Housing quality in many of these banlieues, is dangerously substandard and poses grave health and safety risks to the families in question.
Although much of Africa faces dire problems at the moment, poverty housing is particularly endemic to Dakar. The metro region holds more than 30% of the national population, yet it occupies just 0.3% of the national territory. Dakar also has the unique fate of being one of the fastest growing municipalities worldwide, despite already having one of the densest urban populations in the world. Its 4,484 residents per square km ranks around highly developed cities like Tokyo and Barcelona, yet by 2020 Dakar is expected to grow faster than many other hotspots in the developing world, including Bangalore, Jakarta, and even regional centers like Accra and Yaounde. By most accounts it is the only city in the world to be ranked in the Top 50 of these two demographic measures.
Realizing the implications of Dakar's precarious situation, Habitat For Humanity Senegal was started in 2003 to help address the region's sprawling poverty housing. Since inception we have served 352 families across several districts, and have set a target of 1,139 additional families by 2014. Habitat is not an organization that believes in handouts, and our beneficiaries must help in the construction of their house, as well as pay back their (interest-free) loan. Projects are generally in the range of $1,000, and repayments are immediately transferred to the next family, so your donation is truly a "gift that keeps on giving".
We have transformed many lives through our two main programs, new home construction and existing home rehabilitation. Our beneficiary families lack decent accommodation, creating grave dangers and forcing difficult space management questions that no parent should have to face. Simple projects, like building additional living space or installing roof drainage, greatly affect housing quality and security. Health is dramatically improved by the addition of water services, and even the mere replacement of dirt floors can carry a pronounced impact. Understanding that each situation is different from the next, HFH-Senegal works closely with the beneficiary families to ensure the most effective means of home improvement possible. We are always looking for new partnerships to expand our social impact, and currently operate in the following districts:
Habitat for Humanity Senegal is a branch of Habitat for Humanity International. We are a nonprofit, ecumenical, humanitarian organization whose aim is to work in partnership with local communities to mitigate the problem of substandard…