Teningue says, “With the help of CREATE! technicians, I am able to raise chickens at home because I have the knowledge I need to do so.”
Meet Teningue Faye, a 21-year old cooperative member in the community of Gagnick Mack. Unusually for rural Senegal, Teningue does not live in a large multi-generational family compound but instead lives in a small house with her husband and three children. Her husband grows millet, peanuts, beans, and corn during the rainy season but does not have work the rest of the year. Although Teningue manages all of her housework alone, she still finds time to work in the village’s cooperative garden.
Teningue says, “I decided to participate in CREATE!’s programs because I felt that training from CREATE! was the only way for me to change my life.” She adds, “CREATE! gave me an occupation. I can know grow a variety of fresh vegetables and raise chickens to feed my children.”
Teningue has noticed a lot of changes in Gagnick Mack since CREATE! partnered with the community two years ago and believes that training in poultry production has been the most beneficial. She says, “I have noticed an improvement in health in Gagnick Mack. Now, everyone can get chicken and it is very nutritious. We also earn a lot of money from selling chickens in the village.”
Of CREATE!’s improved cookstoves, Teningue says: “The cookstove is good for me. Instead of walking many miles to collect firewood, I can now cook lunch with just two small pieces of wood.”
Ndeye Amy Diop says, “CREATE!’s programs have changed my community because now we have the skills we need to be self-sufficient forever.”
Ndeye Amy Diop, 21, lives with her in-laws in the small community of Walo while her husband is off working in Dakar. She started participating in CREATE! training programs about two years ago because she wanted to support her family. Ndeye says that before CREATE! started working in Walo, “the village didn’t have a market and we couldn’t find any vegetables. Now, we have created a small market where we sell vegetables that we grow in the garden site.”
CREATE!’s partnership with Walo has improved access to healthy food and food security in the community. Ndeye says, “My family eats fresh vegetables that I grow myself and I no longer need to walk long distances to buy healthy food.” She also appreciates the benefits of poultry raising in Walo. “Years ago it was very difficult to find chicken in the village but now thanks to our poultry shed we are able to eat chicken frequently.”
Ndeye adds, “My life has changed thanks to CREATE! because now I’m able to work in my village and earn money to solve my problems.”
Ndeye enjoys cooking with her improved cookstove. She says, “Collecting firewood for cooking is now easy because the improved cookstove only requires a few pieces of wood to cook a meal.”
Growing chickens require consistent, diligent care. Cooperative members visit their poultry sheds to check on chicks multiple times each day.
In recent months, CREATE! field technicians worked with community volunteers in Walo, Gagnick Mack, and Darou Diadji to help them build their own poultry sheds. After receiving training in the care, management, and marketing of poultry from CREATE! field technicians, cooperatives in all three communities purchased flocks of 100 chicks to install in their sheds. The cooperatives in Walo and Gagnick Mack timed the sale of their first flocks of chickens to coincide with Eid al-Fitr (Korité) celebrations in early July. The poultry cooperative in Darou Diadji will sell their chickens later in the month.
Well-constructed poultry sheds can withstand heavy rain, punishing heat, and incursions from curious (and hungry) animals.
With knowledge and support from CREATE!, women in these communities will be able to supplement their families’ diets with this important protein source and sell poultry for profit in local markets. Poultry production brings numerous economic benefits to women in CREATE!’s partner communities. Selling poultry is very profitable and women are able to reinvest their earnings into the next round of poultry production. In several of CREATE!’s partner communities, poultry cooperative members have built a local market for their chickens by providing consistent and easy access to high-quality meat for their neighbors and friends.
Ndioba says, “Thanks to CREATE! I have the ability to work to support my family right here in Walo.”
Ndioba Ndiaye of Walo is a member of her village’s new poultry cooperative. She says, “We have just started to raise chickens in Walo. This is a new experience for our community and it will bring many benefits.” Ndioba says that she didn’t hesitate to participate in this new income generating opportunity because she “likes working” and wanted to contribute to the development of Walo.
Bigué says that her improved cookstove is very important to her. “Since we began using the improved cookstoves, there are fewer fires in Walo. Because the stoves use less firewood, we no longer need to cut down trees.”
“CREATE!’s programs are helping us participate in developing our own rural communities.”
Bigué Diouf, 32, decided to participate in CREATE!’s training programs to support her family. She says, “Two years ago, I stayed at home without an occupation. Now, I am able to work in the garden. Thanks to the help of the technicians, I now have many skills and knowledge in vegetable cultivation.” Bigué’s dream is for Walo to become a regional market for vegetable production.
The cooperative in Walo will plant over 2,000 trees during the upcoming annual rainy season tree planting campaign. In this photo, Bigué helps prepare sachets for tree seedlings.
Bigué is also appreciate of the economic benefits of participation in CREATE!’s programs. She says, “The entire village appreciates our Voluntary Savings and Lending Association (VSLA). We now have the opportunity to save money for our future.” Bigué also notes that everyone in Walo is very excited that the agricultural cooperative will soon be raising chickens in their community – the first time chickens will ever be raised in Walo.
During this hot part of the year, cooperative members in Walo water vegetables twice daily.