A student speaks with a project beneficiary during her Micro-finance internship in Senegal.

Micro-finance Internship in Senegal

Help adults who have lived on the street build sustainable businesses and gain financial independence

Join our Micro-finance internship in Senegal and help build sustainable futures for talibés, who have spent their lives on the street.


Talibés are young boys who are sent to religious boarding schools where they receive no formal education. They are often forced to spend much of their time begging for scraps of food and small change. Once they turn 18, they are left without the skills or means to adequately support themselves.


Through this Micro-finance initiative, started and fully funded by Projects Abroad, we provide these talibés with business advice and small, interest-free loans to help them secure a steady income. As an intern, you’ll play a key role in managing loans, assessing business plans, and giving business advice.


In the process, you’ll gain a lot too. While providing support for budding entrepreneurs, you’ll get a deeper insight into the world of micro-finance. This will give you valuable experience to boost your CV and kick-start your career in the finance or business sectors.


You’ll live in the vibrant town of St Louis. You’ll stay with a host family, giving you a unique look into what life is like in Senegal as a local.


Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price

We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 01 571 5080 for more info.

When you apply you only pay €295, which comes off the total price.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01 571 5080 to see if we can offer a discount.

Project Overview

Start Dates:

Completely flexible dates

Minimum Duration:

One Week

Placement Location:

St Louis (Read More)

Accommodation:

Host family Read More

Requirements :

Anyone aged over 16 can join

What's included in the price?
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • Access to our alumni services and discounts

  • Visa support and advice

  • Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website

  • Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor

  • Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination

  • A free cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

  • Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable

What's not included?
  • Flights

  • Visa costs (where applicable)

A student speaks with a project beneficiary during her Micro-finance internship in Senegal.

Is a Micro-finance internship in Senegal right for me?

Our Micro-finance internship in Senegal is a good fit for you if you’re interested finance, international development, or business. By working closely with entrepreneurs and helping to hone their skills, you’ll learn what it takes to be successful in business. You’ll also be working closely with local staff who have a wealth of micro-finance knowledge and experience to share with you.


What’s more, you’ll be giving valuable help to local entrepreneurs. So if you’re motivated by using your skills to make a difference, this internship is a great way to do that.


You’ll also learn a variety of other skills like leadership, teamwork, and the ability to adapt to change. These will all stand you in good stead for your future career. You can use this experience to boost your CV, and even talk about what you learnt during job interviews.


You don’t need any particular experience or qualifications to join. Bring along a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard, and we’ll help you with the rest! Our local staff are available 24/7 to guide and advise you throughout your project.


This project runs year-round so you can join at any time. The minimum duration is one week, but we recommend staying longer to get the most out of the experience.

What will I do on the Micro-finance placement in Senegal?

With the support of your supervisor, you’ll be involved in a variety of tasks to assist entrepreneurs. Here are some of your main tasks:


  • Manage and coordinate small-scale, interest-free loans
  • Conduct workshops to teach vital business skills, encouraging long-term success
  • Help with developing marketing strategies to establish a customer base
  • Select entrepreneurs to support and assess their business plans

Manage loans


When entrepreneurs are selected for the programme, their interest-free loans need to be managed. You’ll be involved in coordinating loan payments and repayments. You’ll record what’s been paid and calculate what’s outstanding. You’ll also be involved in arranging additional loans for businesses that need further support after repaying their initial loan.


Conduct workshops


Our workshops are valuable to small business owners. They provide talibés with business advice and teach them the basics of running a business. You’ll help with running workshops and presentations to support talibés in their business ventures. Through knowledge sharing, you’ll help ensure the long-term success of their businesses.


Develop marketing strategies


Marketing is a vital aspect of running a business. You can help with brainstorming marketing strategies for small businesses, helping them develop a customer base.


Help with selecting entrepreneurs


With the help of your supervisor, you’ll evaluate business plans and choose entrepreneurs to support. This can involve doing house visits and conducting interviews with entrepreneurs so you can hear their vision first-hand. You’ll also be able to advise them on how to improve their business plans.

Where in Senegal will I work?

St Louis

Our Micro-finance placement in Senegal is based in St Louis. This city is north of the country’s capital, Dakar. It’s located along the coast, near the Senegal River mouth.


You’ll be working in disadvantaged communities. Buildings will often be rustic, and facilities are basic. This makes your role providing support even more important. You’ll also spend time working in our Micro-finance office. Here, you’ll have access to resources like computers, the internet, printers, and meeting rooms.


St Louis has a lot to offer in the way of natural beauty. During your free time, you can explore this breathtaking region. The white-sand beaches along the coast are perfect for sunny, summer weekends. You can also go birdwatching in lush marshes or the National Park of the Birds of Djoudj. The city itself has colourful markets, and museums and monuments rich in heritage.

AIRPORT PICKUP, FLIGHTS AND VISAS

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Senegal Arrival Procedures page

Students teach basic maths during their Micro-finance internship in Senegal.

A typical day getting Micro-finance work experience in Senegal

A typical work day will start at 9am. You’ll work until 12.30pm, then take a long break to eat lunch, rest, and relax with your host family. You’ll continue your work from 4pm to 6.30pm. Your work week runs from Monday to Friday with your weekend free.


You’ll usually start your day at the office. You can conduct research into business strategies and develop materials for workshops and presentations. You’ll brainstorm marketing strategies or evaluate business plans.


You might spend the rest of your morning collecting loan repayments and tracking and monitoring loans. Your afternoon will be spend doing things like running workshops or interviewing potential loan recipients.


You’ll have your evenings free, giving you the chance to enjoy a meal with your host family. You can also explore the beauty of St Louis.

An intern works with members of a local community during his Micro-finance internship in Senegal.

What are the aims and impact of the Micro-finance internship in Senegal?

The main aim of this internship is to make a valuable difference in the lives of street children in Senegal, known locally as talibés. These young boys are sent to religious boarding schools where they receive no formal education. They are often treated poorly and are forced to spend much of their time begging for food and small change.


Projects Abroad has set up two care centres to support talibés from a young age through our Childcare Project. We started this Micro-finance internship to help secure a more sustainable future for talibés as they get older. By supporting them, we ensure that they’re able to sustain themselves through small-scale entrepreneurship.


We also aim to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to confidently pursue a career in business, international development, or finance.


Under the guidance of your supervisor, who has a wealth of experience working on micro-finance interventions, you’ll learn about entrepreneurship, loans, and business strategy. You’ll gain practical experience in this field through the work you do directly with talibés. You’ll also get the chance to see the particulars of micro-finance in a developing country.


This project was started and is fully funded by Projects Abroad. We rely heavily on the support of interns like you to keep the programme running.


Measuring Our Impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.


Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

You'll stay with a host family in St Louis. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Senegal and have a truly unique experience.


We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.


Your programme fee includes three meals a day.


Find out more about our accommodation.

LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND FREE TIME

Senegal is a beautiful, vibrant West African country. There’s plenty to do in the evenings and over the weekends during your volunteer trip.

Our offices are based in St Louis, a coastal city bordered by white-sand beaches. It’s here that you’ll see colourful pirogues, which are wooden fishing boats painted in cheerful colours and patterns.

You can also take a trip to the Langue de Barbarie or the National Park of the Birds of Djoudj. These are both ideal locations for leisurely afternoon bird watching.

While you’re in Senegal, be sure to browse through some of the local markets. You can sharpen your bartering skills and buy tasty snacks and souvenirs. The many cafes are also perfect for enjoying local dishes.

There will likely be many other volunteers in Senegal with you, so you can also spend your free time bonding with them. This is a chance to make connections with like-minded people from around the world, as you explore together. 

SAFETY AND STAFF SUPPORT

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

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