This past Tuesday marked the beginning of Korité, an important holiday in Senegal and across West Africa. Korité, known as Eid al-Fitr in Arabic, celebrates the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. In addition, individuals spend this month reflecting on and enacting Islamic tenets, including empathy for the poor, charity, and communal worship.
Korité is usually celebrated for three days and includes special prayers and feasting with family and friends. In Senegal, families typically have new clothes made for the holiday. Individuals often exchange gifts and donate to those in need. Korité is a national holiday in Senegal and most urban workers travel to their rural home villages to celebrate with their extended families.
This year, CREATE!’s VSLA groups timed the payout of their savings and lending cycle to coincide with the end of Ramadan and Korité celebrations. VSLA participants used their payouts to cover the costs of clothing, household goods, and food for their Korité celebrations.
To CREATE!’s Senegalese staff and beneficiaries, Korité mubarak!