NGO Programs

Story of the separation of GENSEN and CRESP Senegal and

the division of their former programs

Following the 3rd International Ecocities and Ecovillages conference in January 1996, a small group of conference participants joined Dr. Serigne Mbaye Diene, President of the Yoff village association, APECSY, in creating the EcoYoff program, to bring to life the vision of the conference.

EcoYoff soon needed NGO status in order to win large sponsored development contracts. CRESP Senegal was born in 1999 as an affiliate of CRESP Cornell (Center of Religion, Ethics and Social Policy). Over the years, programs with UNITAR, the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, OSIWA, USAID and other major donors followed. Marian Zeitlin wrote the EcoYoff Newsletter, circulated by Tufts University, until a 2005 car accident forced her temporarily to focus on essentials. Gradually, however, with the growth of the GEN Senegal Network and the development of the Living Routes Study abroad program, both under CRESP's umbrella, a majority of activities in the former CRESP building began gravitating away from Yoff and towards Senegal's rural villages..

In 2006/2007, a funding short-fall for CRESP's computer training program in 2006/7was the factor leading CRESP to leave GENSEN and join forces with a newly funded computer program within the Christian Children's Fund Yoff branch office, the PDEF (Programme pour le Développement de l'Enfant et de la Famille). Thus the institutional separation of the old CRESP into GENSEN and the new CRESP refocuses both organizations and restores the EcoYoff mission, of combining African village wisdom with modern technology in Yoff for the betterment of both.

Dr. Diene directs the new CRESP, which has come into being at a time when the 26 year old village association, APECSY (Association pour la Promotion Social, Economique et Culturelle de Yoff), is undergoing a renaissance, and is leading the ancient fishing village of Yoff into new and interesting development activities. The information technology department and an educational program for housemaids are the sections of the old CRESP that have come to the PDEF. However, the new CRESP is expecting to expand its activities, locally, nationally and internationally.