In pursuit of our primary socioeconomic rights objectives of reducing poverty and alleviating human misery, we recently met with RNI’s Community Team Representatives from a few communities in Dakar, Senegal. The objectives of the meeting were to:
- Reiterate the vision and mission of Refuge Network International (RNI) in Africa, with specific reference to Senegal
- Reflect on the socioeconomic conditions of the poor in Dakar, its suburbs, and rural communities across Senegal
- Reaffirm our commitment to work towards the realisation of Economic and Social Rights (ESR) in Sub-Saharan Africa in general and Senegal in particular
- Refocus attention on the need to evolve more pragmatic community-centred, socio-economic rights-based strategies, towards addressing Senegal’s persistently high poverty rate which is currently about 46%.
- Restructure RNI’s operational structure in Senegal by decentralising from the centre to grassroots community teams, to facilitate more impactful engagement between our local workers and their local communities.
We also used the opportunity to welcome the West African country of Guinea to the RNI family. Our new team in Guinea will work towards socioeconomic rights protection in the country through grassroots mobilisation, community engagement, and enlightenment campaigns.
During the trip, we received an invitation to speak to university students in one of the city’s campuses and also did a radio/tv interview highlighting our work in the country. While the university talk was rescheduled due to time constraints, we managed to enlist a number of tertiary institution volunteers from various disciplines ranging from medical and law students to those in Arts and education, at both graduate and postgraduate levels. Their education and varied expertise will be an invaluable asset to RNI as we work towards supporting vulnerable and marginalised people in Senegal.
Some photographs of the Dakar Conference with a few RNI Community Team Representatives