With that said, unemployment and illiteracy are rampant, and the poverty level is exceptionally high, especially in rural areas. The correlation between abject poverty and social unrest in developing countries is well documented. DSHF is focused on collaborating with Senegalese citizenry to develop educational opportunities, with the intent of improving literacy rates, and consequently employment opportunities. In so doing, DSHF envisions a means of “helping Senegal help itself”, and in the process, foster stability in an unstable region.
Located in the Sahel in West Africa, Diorbivol and surrounding villages are populated by the Puulars, a historically nomadic tribe of herdsmen. Conditions in the region are exceptionally hot and dry, with temperatures frequently ranging above 120 degrees F. Annual rainfall is about 8 inches, but virtually all of this falls during an 8-12 week period in late summer. The extreme environment, including remoteness, locust infestation and other hazards, means that the villagers have very limited resources and means of survival. Despite these conditions, the villagers are extremely optimistic and generous with others, and they are a great model of “community”.