Archive for the Cooperative Community Gardens Category

“I Now Have a Good Life”

Ndeye in the Fass Kane garden

Ndeye Kane has been part of the Fass Kane cooperative for the past six years and says, “with the knowledge that I have learned from CREATE! field technicians, I’m now able to work for myself.”

 

“I’ve meet people from many NGOs but CREATE! is my favorite! I now have a good life and I will be able to use the skills that I have learned to support myself forever.”

Ndeye Kane, 50, enjoys working in the Fass Kane cooperative garden with her daughters, neighbors, and friends. Ndeye says, “CREATE! programs are very important for rural communities. I decided to participate in a CREATE! agricultural cooperative because I believed that this training would change my life.”

Fass Kane is a market town and many people earn a living by selling vegetables in the market. Ndeye says that women used to travel to the city of Kaolack, about 22 kilometers away, to purchase vegetables to sell in Fass. “Now,” she says, “we can sell and eat vegetables that we grow here in our community.”

 Ndeye also appreciates the training that she has received in the care, maintenance, and marketing of poultry. She says, “I’ve gained many benefits from participating in the Fass Kane poultry cooperative. Access to fresh chicken has improved the nutrition of my children. I am also able to keep my own chickens at home because I have the skills and knowledge to do so.” She has also learned how to build an improved cookstove. She says, “I love my improved cookstove. Improved cookstoves help women in our community cook more quickly and economize their firewood. We can also save time because we no longer need to walk many miles to collect firewood.”

 

Working in the garden

Ndeye weeds pepper plants in the Fass Kane garden site. She is happy to bring home peppers and other vegetables to feed her 11 children and grandchildren at home.

Senegal’s Minister of Women, Family, and Children Visits CREATE! Partner Communities

Barry Wheeler with Minister Sarr

CREATE! Founder Barry Wheeler and Field Technician Codou Gadji greet Mariama Sarr, Minister of Women, Family, and Children, in the Walo garden site.

 

In late May, CREATE! Founder Barry Wheeler joined the Senegal field team in welcoming Mariama Sarr – the Senegal Minister of Women, Family, and Children – to the communities of Walo and Diender. During her visits, Minister Sarr toured the cooperative garden sites, tree seedling nurseries, poultry sheds, and Appropriate Technology Training and Demonstration Centers.

 

Meeting Cooperative Members

Cooperative members proudly shared their thriving gardens with Minister Sarr.

 

Minister Sarr’s visit was in honor of Senegal’s National Women’s Month. During the month of May, Minister Sarr visited many rural villages to better understand the economic situation of women in Senegal and to see solutions to rural poverty in action. During her visit to Walo and Diender, many regional and local dignitaries spoke to the crowd.

 

Bearing gifts from the garden

The cooperative presidents gave Minister Sarr a gift of vegetables from their verdant gardens.

 

Hundreds of cooperative members and village residents – from Walo, Diender, and other partner communities – greeted Minister Sarr. They were proud and excited to share their thriving gardens with her. Minister Sarr was very impressed with the work of the cooperative groups in these villages and expressed her support for CREATE!‘s continued success in the region.

 

Viewing tree nurseries

Minister Sarr praised the cooperatives’ thriving tree seedling nurseries.

 

All of CREATE!’s field technicians were present to greet Minister Sarr and communicate the tenets of CREATE!’s philosophy of grassroots and sustainable community-based development. Cooperative presidents from both Walo and Diender also spoke eloquently about how participating in CREATE! programs has changed their lives and their communities.

“Improving my Children’s Health”

Diarra in the garden

Diarra Ndour says, “Before CREATE!, it was difficult to find vegetables to eat in Gagnick Mack because the village is very far from towns with large markets. Now, we have easy access to healthy vegetables.”

 

Diarra Ndour, 41, loves working in the Gagnick Mack cooperative garden. She believes that participating in CREATE! training programs has changed her life. She says, “I have noticed an improvement in my family’s health because we now have clean water, fresh vegetables, and nutritious chicken.”

In the past, families in Gagnick Mack rarely ate vegetables. There was no work available in the community and farming was only possible during the three months of the rainy season. “With access to clean water,” Diarra says, “it is now possible for us to grow food throughout the year. For the past two years, since we first partnered with CREATE!, we have been eating fresh vegetables grown in our village.”

Diarra is especially appreciative of her training in poultry production. “Before we had the poultry shed in Gagnick Mack, my family only ate chicken every few months. Now, we can eat chicken often.” Diarra is happy that she is now able to raise chickens because she has the skills and knowledge to do so. She says, “Chicken is great for my children’s health because it is rich in protein. I am also able to earn money by selling chicken to my neighbors.”

 

Watering lettuce

Diarra waters recently transplanted lettuce in the Gagnick Mack garden site. Each day that she works in the garden, Diarra is able to bring home vegetables for her 7 children.

New Partnership with Mboss

 

Community gathering in Mboss

In CREATE!’s newest partner community of Mboss, women are meeting to organize into cooperative groups.

 

CREATE! is excited to announce our newest community partnership! In late April, CREATE!’s Senegal field team signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leaders in the community of Mboss. Through extensive meetings with local leaders, our field technicians formulated specialized training, activities, and project support to help women develop methods and strategies of community self-development that are based on local needs, knowledge, participation, and social-mobilization.

 

MOU Signing

In late April, CREATE! Senegal staff signed a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives of the new cooperative groups.

 

The village of Mboss is located just south of the town of Gossas, the location of CREATE!’s Senegal office. About 80 women committed to participating in CREATE! training programs in this community. This group includes women from Mboss, Gossas, and other small surrounding villages. These women have demonstrated their commitment to CREATE!’s philosophy of self-development by starting their own dry season garden on land donated by community leaders and by building, using, and maintaining efficient clay-sand improved cookstoves.

 

New Mboss garden site

Volunteers in Mboss have started to clear brush from their new cooperative garden site.

 

Women in Mboss are eager to begin agricultural activities in their new garden site. In the past week, they have been working to fence the one-hectare garden site and clear it of brush. Next, CREATE! field technicians will work with community volunteers and a traditional well digger to rehabilitate a well in the garden site. After the well is rehabilitated, CREATE! will install a solar powered pumping system and gravity-fed irrigation system. Once access to clean, abundant, and affordable water is secured, CREATE! field technicians will begin to instruct women in sustainable agriculture techniques.

 
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