48in48 Nonprofit Highlight – April 2020: The Jef Jel Project
What does Jef Jel mean?
Your first question is likely, what does Jef Jel mean? The phrase translates to “the nature of your reward equals the nature of your effort” from the Wolof language in Senegal. The team at The Jef Jel Project uses the phrase to ground the good work they are doing for small communities in Senegal. Their mission is to provide vital assistance to struggling communities in Senegal so that they can fully participate in their local economies. They approach this mission through both community support and economic development.
The Jef Jel Project supports economic development projects by providing microfinancing to the local community to create jobs and create a local economy, keeping people from moving away from their village. They mentor the local people around the best ways to create jobs and provide critical advice as the businesses get rolling. Through community support efforts, they fund various projects that benefit the entire community. Some examples include installing solar panels for power, bringing running water into the village, providing sanitary facilities, supporting the local medical facilities, and building and running a school where they are teaching English, French and Arabic to the young children. They provide scholarships to the boys and girls who perform well in order to advance their education and go into college, with an emphasis on the girls, who often are overlooked in the region.
What impact does The Jef Jel Project have on Senegal communities?
They provide opportunities in the areas of farming, fishing, and raising chickens. They supply materials to local and larger city hospitals in the region. They offer sanitary conditions training, bringing more education around the importance of sanitation. The team knows how important it is to allow the Senegal community to pick the projects and initiatives themselves – they must really want to do something so the efforts can truly take hold and succeed. As the locals begin to make money, it all goes back into the local community.
What’s a flagship program to highlight?
The Jef Jel Project provides, funds and manages the Anna Daniel Scholarship for Girls, which recognizes young girls who show exceptional ability to succeed in the academic environment. This scholarship pays for their primary school tuition and has provided scholarships to more than 20 students to date. Anna Daniel is the great great-great-granddaughter of George Washington Scott, who gave money to start Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.
How can you get involved and volunteer your help?
We have good news for readers who are wanting to get involved, even during these different times of social distancing and sheltering in place across the globe.
- First, you can absolutely donate! Funds go directly towards the various initiatives mentioned here.
- If you have access to medical supplies or equipment along with disposables, please donate them knowing they will be used by the Senegal community.
- If you have website and social media skills, the team is looking for help promoting their online presence. If interested in volunteering some of your time in this way, please reach out directly to Ward Broom.
How has working with 48in48 benefited The Jef Jel Project?
The team feels they got a lot out of working with 48in48, including an updated site that can highlight their various projects and provide a direct way to receive donations. The updated site has helped increase awareness as well as donations. The Jef Jel Project no longer solely relies on word-of-mouth, and they now use social media to broaden reach and awareness. They learned how to organize their approach online and received many good ideas from the team who helped them build their updated site.
Go check out The Jef Jel Project website today, and reach out to get involved!