CREATE!’s programs are successful because of enthusiastic community participation, including leadership from cooperative group leaders and community volunteers! Cooperative group presidents organize and motivate their fellow group members to plan, plant, water, and harvest vegetables, fruits, and nuts from their cooperative gardens. Although CREATE! agricultural technicians lead trainings and advise cooperative groups, group leaders monitor and manage cooperative group activities on a daily basis. Without constant support and encouragement from cooperative group leaders, CREATE! cooperative gardens would not be successful.
Amy Locar is a cooperative group leader in the community of Fass Koffe. She notes: “I’m motivated to help improve my community, and that is something that is possible with CREATE!’s program. CREATE! has provided me this opportunity; I manage and mobilize a group of 24 women.”
CREATE! community volunteers also work to ensure that programs run smoothly in partner communities. Community volunteers, usually men, help cooperative groups by conducting heavy labor, safeguarding the cooperative gardens, and providing guidance to cooperative members as needed.
Adama Gueye, a CREATE! community volunteer, speaks of his experience: “I work as a volunteer for CREATE! because it’s good for the women and it’s good for the development of the village. I want development for my community.”
During the Tabaski holiday, CREATE!’s field staff are on leave to celebrate with their families. In their absence, CREATE! group presidents and community volunteers remain in their communities and continue to work with community members to maintain gardens, tree nurseries, and other programs.