On Wednesday December 5, SEM Fund held a general assembly meeting with over 150 women entrepreneurs to initiate the process of becoming a credit and savings union. SEM Fund beneficiaries from Dakar, Pikine, Parcelles Assainies, Yoff and Fatick came together to learn about what these changes would entail and to provide their feedback.
On Friday 23rd September 2011, 39 young people from Dakar and the nearby city of Mbour mobilized to reforest 5 ha in a joint initiative with Lamine Keita, the Minister of Youth, and Babacar Ndaw, the Minister of Ecovillages. The Ministers themselves attended the event, which was broadcast on RTS (Radio Télévision Senegalaise), the national TV channel. The trees will produce small twigs used as fuel in the Sustainable Energy Project in Save80 stoves.
Reforestation plays a key role in SEM’s climate change mitigation activities. Since early 2011, The SEM Fund has been developing a tree nursery for its reforestation activities for the CDM Dakar Sustainable Energy Project. Our Forestry Expert, Colonel CISSE, has worked with villagers in Louly Ngonom to grow five species of trees: Prosopis Juliflora, Ziziphus Mauritiana, Acacia Mellifera, Morenga Oleifera, Eucalyptus Camaldulensis. Over the summer, the SEM Fund in collaboration with the “Agence National Des Ecovillages” (ANEV) planted over 27,600 trees on 24 ha of degraded land in the ecovillage of Mbakombel.
SEM has signed a tri-party agreement with the Projet de Gestion Intégrés des Ecosystèmes du Sénégal (PGIES) and its microfinance subsidiaries. This agreement allows SEM to serve its target beneficiaries through the microfinance permits of PGIES’ loans and savings subsidiaries. This is great news as this allows SEM to serve our ecovillages within the new regulations imposed by the Senegalese government regarding microfinance. SEM will keep working towards acquiring its own microfinance permit in order to create a network of savings and loans branches throughout ecovillages within our target location. For now this MOA is a great transitional measure to ensure we keep serving the poor especially in rural Senegal.