Ruth and Fatou are currently doing feedback and dissemination workshops with young people and adults in Dakar and Kaolack. The workshops have been very useful in understanding more about the cultural significance of key phrases like ‘C’est dur’ and feeling ‘alone’ often used by participants when they talked about the emotional aspects of their relative’s death. Ranking exercises have also highlighted key policy and practice priorities which will be discussed further with government, NGO representatives and religious and local leaders in seminars in Dakar and Kaolack.
Ruth discussed the research in policy workshops in Dakar and Kaolack last week and the findings were widely reported in the Senegalese press. The research project found that Senegalese responses to death show how close-knit urban communities support each other, in the absence of support from government or non-governmental organisations. The crucial importance of informal support from the family and community following a death suggests the need for government and NGO services to adopt a ‘whole family approach’, which recognises the reciprocal roles of different family members. This could help to link up and enhance both formal and informal support systems in urban Senegal.