SOS SAHEL is an African-born grassroots organization with over 40 years of experience. Food security and nutrition of rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa lie at the heart of our actions.
SOS SAHEL is the only organization working from East to West Africa in both the French and English speaking countries, harnessing local potential. Supported by SOS SAHEL’s expertise and approach, local community members are able to identify their own needs and priorities and find sustainable solutions to food security that they can then spread to the rest of the community.
Our projects address challenges to development in innovative, integrated ways spanning a variety of sectors from nutrition, to health and hygiene, to women’s empowerment. Our programs tackle the root causes of food insecurity and poverty in the Sahel, and in the process address issues of malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation and limited resources for economic and social development of rural families.
VOICES from the Field
I am member of a women’s shea producing group in Sidoba, Mali. I was trained by SOS SAHEL on how to select the best almonds, harvest them in an environmental manner and sell them at the best price. We were given the equipment and technical knowledge to produce quality shea butter more efficiently. The deepening of my knowledge and my skills allowed me to earn more money (about 150 euros per year) and assume the role of head of household. Through my agricultural work and this extra income, my children can eat their fill and go to school.
– Aramatou, Farmer in Mali
I am the President of Store Management Committee of Warrantage in Soukuy. With SOS SAHEL we set up an innovative storage system – the warrantage - which enables us to enhance our crops and increase our revenues. During the time of harvest, the market is flooded with grain and the selling price is low. With this system, producers may store their crop to sell at a better time. Meanwhile, the microfinance organization with which we work grants us a loan, which allows us to cover our daily expenses and to send our children to school. This allows us to feed our family throughout the year and even reinvest and grow!
– Dakio, Farmer in Burkina Faso
With SOS SAHEL we set up a literacy class for women in our village. We spend three hours, four days a week in these sessions. The facilitator, Ms. Diallo, teaches us essential basic techniques to develop job management skills. Tasks include taking stock of activities, keeping written records of our operations, and keeping accounts. Before SOS SAHEL, only one woman in the group was able to read and count. Today, we can all commit ourselves to developing the group's activities.
– Anta Diop, Farmer in Senegal
Before SOS SAHEL, our school was made of straw and there were often fires. It was very dangerous and always needed to be renovated. The parents' association of students worked with SOS SAHEL to build a new school and adapt curricula. Today the building is secure and well equipped: it consists of 3 classrooms and latrines and has a drinking water supply. The school is now official and has a teacher sent by the state. At school, I learn civic and sports education, ethics, arithmetic, writing, and French. Later, I hope to become a doctor because we do not have one in my village.
– Moussa, Student in Chad (9 years old)
Before SOS SAHEL, the women of my village had to walk several hours each day to find water which was often drawn from unhealthy or polluted sources and then carried back in jugs with our own hands. The children were sick and had severe diarrhea. SOS SAHEL installed drilling methods in our village and I got involved personally to learn to manage drilling. After training, I am now a member of the Water Management Committee and responsible for hygiene.
– Antoinette, Farmer in Burkina Faso
SOS SAHEL helped us to enhance our knowledge and production methods in our garden. Trained in new techniques, we are better equipped and the garden size has since doubled. Today we produce over 70% of the fruits and vegetables for the village school. In addition, to avoid losses and to preserve foods and their nutritional qualities, SOS SAHEL has taught us how to use solar dryers.
– Aïcha, Farmer in Djibouti