Fatou Thioye, 22, is a member of the agricultural cooperative in Diender and has been active in it for the past five years. She is proud that the community of Diender is now producing its own vegetables. She says, “in my life there has been change for the better since CREATE! arrived in Diender. A few years ago, I wasn’t able to work so I was not able to help my husband support our family. But now, with the money I earn by selling vegetables and chicken, I can support my husband and even pay for my children’s school fees.”

“Years ago,” Fatou notes, “half of the women in Diender went to Dakar to look for work. Now, we all remain here because we have found employment through CREATE!’s programs.” She adds, “Thanks to CREATE! we are able to grow a variety of vegetables. I’m sure that even after CREATE! retires from Diender, we will continue to work in the garden because we now have all of the knowledge and skills that we need to thrive.”

Fatou with her cookstove

Fatou prepares couscous using her improved cookstove. She says, “the improved cookstove saves time because I no longer need to spend so much time collecting firewood.”