Podor is a town of 8,000 inhabitants and is situated in the valley that runs along the Senegal River. The Toucouleur and Fulani people constitute the majority (80%) of the population. Podor has produced many of the important Islamic leaders for Senegal and is an Islamic stronghold. To earn their living many people cultivate their fields and gardens or raise cattle. The district "Lycée" (last few years of High School) is situated in Podor. Changing values in the society (relating to hard work and moral values) have left the youth confused, listless and lacking in perspective. Some have turned to drugs. As yet there is no church and no local believers.


Spiritual background. For one millennium, Islam has fashioned the life and the culture of the Toucouleurs. They are known as the defenders of the Muslim faith and, as the first black Africans to convert to Islam, they brought Islam to many other people groups. Their cultural and spiritual roots are bound up with the epic heroes who, according to the people, were virtuous and wise and did many miraculous deeds. They related to God (Allah), gine (spirits) and spoke to Satan. The same mix of anything spiritual is still an integral part of their present day beliefs and practices.

Every day, Toucouleurs seek potions and rituals for healing, gris-gris, love spells as well as praying and reading and reciting the Koran.