Last week, an important delegation toured the cooperative garden and other program sites in CREATE!’s partner community of Diender. The Préfet (the chief civil administrative officer) of the Préfecture of Gossas, the Sous-Préfet (the Sub-Prefect) of Ouadiour, the Head of the Senegalese Department of Agriculture office in Gossas, and the Lieutenant in charge of the local office of the Senegalese Department of Water and Forestry met with CREATE! field staff, Diender community leaders, and cooperative members. The dignitaries praised CREATE!’s programs in Diender and the hard work of beneficiaries in this community. They were also impressed that the Diender cooperative will assume responsibility from CREATE! for these programs at the end of this year. Diender cooperative members very much appreciated the visit and the praise and encouragement from these important visitors.
Collaboration with local, regional, and national government officials is an important part of CREATE!’s strategy for undertaking sustainable initiatives that are consistent with the felt needs of the communities with which we work. These partnerships ensure that our partner communities have the full support of governmental, as well as local, traditional authorities. Over the past two years, CREATE! has been partnering with representatives from the Senegalese Department of Water and Forestry to conduct trainings in the construction of improved cookstoves and the care, planting, and maintenance of tree seedlings. The Department of Water and Forestry is strongly committed to forest preservation and believes that CREATE!’s improved cookstoves and tree planting programs are an integral part of this conservation effort.