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Small scale companies hope for increased confidence in the future in Senegal

the 34-year-old Atekh Ngom is typical of a generation of young men with a pessimistic view of the future in Senegal. He is willing to make great sacrifices in order to get it better elsewhere.

Atekh Ngom drove a taxi in his home town of Touba in many years, but the money was not enough. A couple of years ago, he moved to the capital Dakar. He makes appearances as a driver, but often don't know if he has a job from one day to another.

" It is my duty to support my family. I feel bad and ashamed that I can't handle it. I feel desperate when nothing in my life is going in the right direction. The life that I saw in front of me when I was growing up are not, " says Atekh Ngom.

left in Touba, a few hours from Dakar. Atekh Ngom do not travel home very often.

" I only go to Touba when I have worked up enough money. I know that they will be disappointed if I come empty-handed.

A great month to earn Atekh Ngom equivalent to 1500 sek. In Dakar, he lives in an apartment along with nine other men in similar life situation, with the families left behind in rural areas. The room that he shares with two other costs 450 dollars a month.

Atekh Ngom jump into as a driver, but often don't know if he has a job from one day to another. ”I would go anywhere to work for a while, I wish there was a safe way to get to Europe,” he says. Photo: Mia Holmgren

and a better life, moves constantly in his head. The problem is that he does not have the thousands of dollars it costs to arrange the journey.

" I would go anywhere to work for a while, I wish there was a safe way to get to Europe.

in The last few years, the information the flight to Europe has become more nyanserads. Atekh Ngom and his friends know that the risks are great, both with the trip itself is the ability to get the stay. Very few senegalese people considered to be considered for refugee status.

Atekh Ngom says that some men from Touba were tricked by the smugglers. They thought that they had come to the south of Spain, but had been dumped in the desert in the neighboring country of Mauritania. Others who left and have not heard anything from, and their families are very worried.

" But there are stories with happy ending as well. If the families who receive money sent from Europe and can buy the cattle or get a better house. It's them that everyone is talking about. I can't stop thinking that I must try, " says Atekh Ngom.

as the independent think tank the Pew Research Center announced last year to 46 per cent of the population in Senegal to leave the country. Almost as many assured that they are going to make a try within the next five years. Even if the country has a high economic growth, more than six percent per year, then in 2015, it is only a small part of the population that may be part of the prosperity. In rural areas the illiteracy rate is high and a high proportion of the children die before five years of age.

Molly Melching, the founder of the influential assistance organization Tostan, says that migration is often performed in two steps. First, an attempt to find a job in cities such as Dakar, Thiès and Saint Luis. Not seldom the young men are greeted by their mothers to take the plunge. To leave the country, they must have earned money and often even taken loans to pay the smugglers. It is about the tens of thousands of dollars, which often sets the whole families ' finances at risk.

Molly Melching, founder of the assistance organization Tostan. Photo: Mia Holmgren

– this trend is likely to escalate further. Climate change leads to that the desert is spreading and destroying the arable land. Then can be fewer people living in rural areas, " says Molly Melching, who comes from the united states but is active in Senegal since the age of 45.

the Organization Tostan has since the beginning of the 1990s, reached five million people in Senegal and five other african countries. A three-year training with human rights as a starting point has led to the inhabitants of 8.500 villages and communities has stopped könsstympa their daughters and stopped the child marriage.

in rural areas, where nearly 20,000 women have been elected to political offices and participate in the governance of the villages and districts. It is this development that Molly Melching now want to elaborate on to create more chances and livelihood outside of the cities.

– People that are now aware of their rights and have been given political assignments need a better understanding of the opportunities that the new positions means. Such training will be an important continuation of the Tostans program in the villages, " says Molly Melching.

Senegal has implemented a decentraliseringsreform where more power and thus more money – has been moved from the government in Dakar to the regions

– the Goal is that people should learn how to apply for state money to projects that create jobs and income to the inhabitants of the villages. It can be about the poultry farms or plantations of different kinds. There are examples that hit very well and got others to follow after. With a functioning everyday life decreases people's interest to move. says Molly Melching.

– this does not solve the migrationskrisen in Africa, but it is a step in the right direction. Similar decentraliseringsprocesser is ongoing in several other countries, " says Molly Melching

Corruption is widespread in Senegal and there is a hope that less money should be lost on the road when the contribution and support are handled at a regional and local level, with fewer intermediaries.

living in rural areas. In the poor and barren region of the Fouta in the north, near the border with Mauritania, it is now difficult to trace any optimism. The pharmacist with the fine house in the city of Linguère is upset at the prospect of migrants being tricked and exploited, but would not hesitate to take the chance if the opportunity was given. The hotel owner a few blocks away resonate in the same way and in the small villages along the dusty roads dream, many herders and farm workers to be someone else.

As a young mother of two stands of 22-year-old Maari Ba out in among those who dream of Europe. ” I have talked with my husband about to give me over a period of time. I am more motivated than what he is,” she says. Photo: Mia Holmgren

As a young mother of two stands of 22-year-old Maari Ba in Kodiolel out among the most eager in the pursuit of a different life. When she as a 15-year-old married a man who was a teacher meant that she herself ended up in the school.

" I married me out of love, but it was not that I thought about myself. I have no money of their own and can't make any decisions on their own. I am totally dependent on my husband, " says Maari Ba.

about to give me over a period of time. I am more motivated than what he is and his mother would be able to take care of the kids for a few years.

Maari Ba says that it would be safest to travel together with others to increase security. In France, Senegal's former colonial power, or any other country, she hopes to be able to work as a salesman, or anything else.

" I'm ambitious. And I am not a person who gives up without trying, " she says.

for a total of 60 villages. She was married off as a 13 year old and have six children. As a woman she had no rights at all before the hemmes village Fourdo joined the organisation Tostans training programs. Mareme Dembas own life has evolved in a way that she never imagined, but she understands the frustration many young people feel, especially those who have acquired an education.

" I think a lot about what's going to do. To get the opportunity to go many years in school is important, but if there are no jobs available, it is not possible to stay here. We have begun to think in other paths. The villagers save money on a joint account to use the sewing machines or tool that can provide income in the future, " she says.

" at the same time, I urge all who intend to give themselves to really think about. Here in the Fouta be family and relatives, which has always been a sense of security even in difficult times. It is very unclear what awaits the travelling from here. And it may be impossible to repent for the one who borrowed a lot of money.

Read also: Swedish special transport is managed in Dakar

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