What is the Sahel?
The Sahel is a relatively fertile region of north-central Africa that extends from Senegal to Sudan. It forms the transitional zone between the Sahara Desert to the north and the humid savannas in the south.
What is VNGPS and the Green Sahel Project?
The Green Sahel Project is a partnership between Rotary District 5190 and a Senegalese NGO (nonprofit organization) called Volunteer Network for a Green and Prosperous Sahel. The aim of the project is to plant 16,000 fruit trees for families all across the Sahel region of Senegal while also building a large community farm serving hundreds of people in a town called Fonde Elimane. Great care is taken to make sure that the trees actually grow to maturity. At this community farm, organic permaculture techniques will be taught in order to save the farmers money while also giving them sustainably high yields. The main purpose of this project is to implement sustainable solutions to hunger and malnutrition. Secondary benefits include mitigating climate change, financial instability, the expansion of the Sahara Desert, and diminishing biodiversity in the region.
VNGPS is a partnership of volunteers all across the Sahel region of Senegal, headed by its founder, Mamadou Babacar Diop. Being volunteers, no one in the organization gets paid, not even its founder, Mamadou Diop. This is part of what makes it such a good partner for Rotary since part of the rules of Rotary projects is that all donations given have to be used to buy materials. This means that no money is wasted on overhead or corruption. Although VNGPS has only been around for 2 years, it has been a huge success in the region. It has boots on the ground right now and wishes to expand its impact. Click "Learn More" below to find out more about how these fruit trees and agronomic practices are affecting the region and planet.