The annual Meeting of the Board of Directors of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel was held in Dakar, Senegal, from 18 to 22 February, in the presence of the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Card. Peter K.A. Turkson.
Founded in 1984 by St. John Paul II, the Foundation was initially entrusted to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which merged into the Dicastery in August 2016.
The Foundation includes countries of the Sahel area (Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad), which according to the estimates of the Human Development Index 2018 is still one of the poorest area on the planet, training ground for terrorist group, swith serious food and climate crises .
The Foundation promotes and implements projects against desertification in the environmental sector, in the management and development of agriculture and livestock, in water pumping plants, in improving access to drinking water for all, and in renewable energy. It also trains specialised technical personnel, who can operate at the service of their Country. Over the years, it has become also an instrument of inter-religious dialogue.
The Board of Directors has analysed projects submitted, in the number of 125 in 2018. Among these, for the first time, also projects in the field of migration, with particular regard to the training of young people and work.
In the course of the mission, Card. Turkson visited the Foyer Maria Goretti of the "Pouponnière des Soeurs Franciscaines Missionaires de Marie" in Dakar. Women and young girls are welcomed in this structure to follow training courses in home economics, information technology and pedagogy for toddlers.