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CREATE! has partnered with two new communities this year! We have chosen to work with Boustane Lo and Mbossedji after they showed enthusiasm and dedication to participating in new projects and developing sustainable communities in rural Senegal. In the photo above, cooperative president Rokhy Dieye signs a Memorandum of Understanding between Boustane Lo and CREATE!.

Improved Cookstove Training

In 2018, our field team in Senegal demonstrated an improved cookstove training in the communities of Boustane Lo and Mbossedji. Women from across the villages joined our technicians to mix sand, clay, dry grass, and water to form the foundational material. They worked from afternoon until evening measuring materials and collaborating together to build the community’s very first improved cookstove. After that, the women in both Boustane Lo and Mbossedji adopted this sustainable technology into their own kitchens. Now, families are greatly reducing firewood consumption and developing an improved level of household health and safety.

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Women in Boustane Lo mix materials together during their community’s improved cookstove training.

The Importance of a Participatory Approach

If community members enthusiastically engage in the construction and use of the improved cookstoves, then they earn the opportunity to participate in CREATE!’s fully integrated programs. We provide training and support that enables communities to take ownership of their self-development projects and continue to sustain and grow the programs that CREATE! establishes, according to their own needs and motivations. Therefore, people can develop sustainable communities on their own and graduate to self-sufficiency after five years of partnership. Michael Carson, CREATE!’s Executive Director visited Boustane Lo and Mbossedji last month. He says, “I was impressed with the level of organization of the women that I met along with the support from their husbands and religious leaders in their villagers.”

The First Steps Towards Developing Sustainable Communities

CREATE!’s technicians have started the process of rehabilitating the wells in Boustane Lo and Mbossedji. In the past, women used to pull up buckets of water by hand. Can you imagine hauling up heavy buckets of water from a well over 100 feet deep every single day? It’s hard work, and as a result, many people resort to buying water outside of their community. Many villages have a commercial water system that provides water in the community. However, this water is costly and salty. Community members were unable to drink from the commercial system, and the cost to sustain a garden was too high.

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Before we rehabilitate a well, our technicians get the quality of the water tested to make sure it will be good for gardening and household consumption.

After the wells have been rehabilitated and solar-powered pumps installed, the communities will have regular access to clean water year-round. Water is the foundation of success in rural Senegal and in addition, will open the door to year-round agriculture in Boustane Lo and Mbossedji. Something that neither community has experienced before.

Community members start agricultural training with CREATE!‘s technicians after access to water is ensured. As a result, the communities once barren fields will turn into lush, year-round gardens. Let’s take a look through some of the previous before and after photos from CREATE!’s partner communities:

Before and After Photos:

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Keur Daouda in March 2017 and September 2017.

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Mboss in May 2017 and June 2018.

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Santhie in November 2017 and September 2018.

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Wereyane in November 2017 and February 2018.

What will Boustane Lo and Mbossedji’s garden plots look like after they start cultivation? Stay tuned for their progress throughout the year! Thanks to the support and generosity from donors like you, two more communities this year will gain access to clean water and learn agriculture techniques that will improve food security and income generation. Consider supporting the spread of knowledge and sustainable projects across rural Senegal by donating to CREATE! today.