In his column, “Out of Africa, Part II,” Thomas Friedman vividly describes his recent visit to the village of Ndiamaguene in northwestern Senegal, along with a team working on a National Geographic documentary called “Years of Living Dangerously.” Rapid desertification and uncertain rainfall means that farming is no longer a viable livelihood for many living in Ndiamaguene. Survival often means migrating to Dakar or Europe to search for work. Friedman’s column expertly summarizes the economic and cultural insecurities of life in Ndiamaguene – conditions shared by our partner communities in rural Senegal.

At the end of his column, Friedman suggests that one solution to slow the migration of young men from West Africa is to work with them to build opportunities at home. We agree. CREATE! training helps secure livelihoods in rural communities so that families can stay together. On our blog, you can read the story of one young man who is a member of the agricultural cooperative in our partner community of Ouarkhokh, located near Ndiamaguene.

We are so pleased that Thomas Friedman’s column is bringing attention to the challenges faced by communities in Senegal suffering from the effects of both climate change and economic uncertainty. We will let you know when National Geographic’s “Years of Living Dangerously” premieres in the fall.

Landscape outside Ouarkhokh garden

The impacts of climate change and desertification are apparent in this photo depicting the landscape just outside Ouarkhokh’s fenced garden site.