Imagine supporting a family of seven in the sweltering savanna of rural Senegal… Ndoya Kane, 30, does just this. Ndoya not only provides food for her family regularly from her community garden, but she also generates income in her village of Fass Koffe.

As the sun begins to set, Ndoya finishes her work in the garden. She walks over to the solar pump to fill her container with clean water before returning home to her seven children. Her children eat fresh vegetables from her garden every day. They also eat chicken from the poultry shed Ndoya built next to their home. Ndoya sells the poultry to her neighbors, providing them with an important source of protein as well as earning an income for her family

The Benefits of a Community Garden

Before Fass Koffe partnered with CREATE!, Ndoya would visit multiple markets outside of her village to buy vegetables, chicken, and ‘sweet’ (clean) water. The markets are expensive since their products are imported from other regions. Because of the distance and cost, Ndoya’s visits to the markets were infrequent and rare, as were her purchases of fresh produce and poultry. This changed after Ndoya began to cultivate a year-round garden in her community. She says that since she’s been able to provide her family with vegetables daily, she’s noticed an improvement in her children’s health as well as her own.

community garden

Ndoya harvests mint (nana) from her garden. Mint leaves are often used for Attaya tea, a traditional and ritualistic Senegalese tea consumed daily.

“I have learned many things from the CREATE! team because I didn’t have any knowledge before. Thanks to the technicians I have many occupations in my community like gardening and poultry production.” With the CREATE! team, Ndoya learned how to sustain a community garden year-round and manage a poultry shed. Senegal’s dry season runs from November to May, leaving a seven-month period of parched soil that’s inadequate for farming. However, the solar water pumping and gravity-fed irrigation systems that CREATE! installed made it possible for Ndoya to maintain her garden year-round. She says, “CREATE! has changed my family’s life conditions because now I am working to support them.”

Success stories like Ndoya’s really go to show how deeply people’s lives can be affected through training and empowerment at the village level. Consider helping more women like Ndoya by donating to CREATE! today.