Larry Fitzgerald working with Oxfam America traveled to Dakar Senegal on Tuesday March 12th 2013 to continue his ongoing work to visit local communities working with Oxfam and improve their access to income, food and security.
Joining Larry on the trip is friend and former teammate Anquan Boldin, who Larry traveled with to Ethiopia last year to visit Oxfam America projects there, and Roddy White wider receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.
As staff from Oxfam travel with the group they have a photographer documenting the trip, and ESPN is sending a crew to film the trip to ensure that this important work can be shared around the world in an effort to raise awareness for the issues that the people of Senegal face daily.
The group will be traveling by plane to Kedougou, in southeastern Senegal. Flight services are being provided by the same charter service that is used by the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Embassy when traveling in the region to ensure the safety of all involved with this Oxfam expedition.
During one of the first stops the group visited a women's garden project next to the river in Samecouta Senegal. Here they learned about how the women manually carry water water from the river to water their crops of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, a type of squash, and other vegetables. The residents then use the crops to feed their families and sell the produce at market as a source of income.
The Oxfam team helped the locals with the crop watering for the day and aided in the repair of a fence used to protect the area. Fences are key to growing crops in the area as the garden is very close to a river leading to hippos who sometimes raid their crops as an easy food source.
After a hard days work and some fun moments dancing with the locals, Larry and the team retired for the night in a hotel in Kedougou.
On Wednesday the group visited a village near Kedougou where the community makes their living doing very labor intensive mining for gold. In more recent years the good mining land near the community has been taken over by large mining companies.
However the people in the village have mined gold for generations and continue to do so through traditional methods and taught Larry and the rest of the Oxfam group how.
The local community currently is also part of the Saving For Change program. This program is designed to aid women in pooling their resources to run projects in the village such as a nearby cereal bank where grain can be stored to be used later.
Later that day Larry and the Oxfam group said goodbye to the people of the mining village and flew back to Dakar to stay at the Terrou Bi Hotel in preparation for their trip to Goree Island Thursday morning.
Thursday morning the group toured Goree Island viewing its important heritage locations such as a slave castle / slave housing on the island. Goree Island's history has led to its being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Larry has visited a number of UNESCO sites in his travels over the years.
Later that day Larry and the Oxfam group visited a youth rugby league where they played a game of rugby with the local children. Later that evening the group had dinner with the people from the local community to end their day.
Stay tuned for more updates on Larry's Oxfam 2013 trip…..