The whole world has felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic this year which has brought with it a sequence of challenges. In rural Senegal, communities are facing increased food insecurity, economic issues, and are in dire need of proper sanitation supplies. CREATE!’s goal focuses on supporting communities in building sustainable self-sufficient futures in the face of climate change. However, our ultimate mission is to strengthen and build community resilience, even in the face of a worldwide epidemic. Our mission continues while we adapt and respond to the changes that 2020 has brought.

Community members in Soupa Serere now have staple food items to support their families through the challenges brought forth by COVID-19.

Challenges in the Village of Soupa Serere

Recently, CREATE! was approached and selected by Acronis Cyber Foundation to carry out our COVID-19 response in their partner community of Soupa Serere based on our presence in the Fatick Region of Senegal. Omar Ndiaye Seck, CREATE!’s Country Director, led our team in assessing the needs of the village of Soupa Serere and speaking with the village chief. We were moved by the food insecurity in the village that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic in Senegal.

Located almost four miles from the nearest national road, Soupa Serere is a small village in the dry Fatick region. In 2019, Acronis originally collaborated with this community to build a school in response to the inaccessibility of education in this area. Since Soupa Serere is one of the only villages in the area with a school, many children from neighboring communities attend this school as well. Learn more about the students’ lives and dreams here.

Children watch as community members help CREATE!‘s technicians unload the trucks carrying bags of rice, sugar, pasta, and bottles of oil.

Addressing These Challenges Together

This year, Acronis returned to Soupa Serere with CREATE! to support the community as they face the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. Together, Acronis and CREATE! acquired and distributed a total of 500 PPE masks to both school children and their families. CREATE! also installed a fully stocked handwashing/ sanitation station in the schoolyard for the students along with extra soap.

However, as noted by the village chief in Soupa Serere, the community is facing drastic food insecurity as the country heads into the nine-month long dry season. Earlier this year, COVID-19 closures halted rural communities from accessing local markets or the means to sow their fields during the short rainy season. This created an even greater challenge in an already affected region of Senegal. To support Soupa Serere in combatting this issue, Acronis and CREATE! acquired and distributed:

  • 70 50kg-bags of rice
  • 70 5kg-bags of sugar
  • 70 5kg-bags of pasta
  • 70 5-liter cans of oil
  • Soap and one handwashing and sanitation station for the school

“The Acronis Cyber-CREATE! partnership brought a smile back to a population impacted by global economic issues which made them lose this joviality for ages,” Seck tells us. We are honored to be a part of the solution in Soupa Serere and hope to spread this kind of success to more villages throughout rural Senegal.

Seck demonstrates how to use the handwashing and sanitation station. This station will be placed in the schoolyard for the children to use!