In January, CREATE!’s partner communities in Senegal hosted two special visitors – Marsha Wallace, co-founder of Dining for Women (DFW), and Patricia Andersson, a longtime DFW Chapter leader and coordinator of DFW’s travel program. Marsha and Patricia spent several days in Senegal meeting with CREATE! cooperative members and touring garden sites during the Dining for Women visit to Senegal.

Marsha in the Ouarkhokh Garden

Marsha toured the Ouarkhokh garden site with CREATE! field technician Mohamed Diagne. Both Marsha and Patricia were touched by the enthusiasm that our field technicians have for their work and the affection they have for cooperative members, whom they consider to be their “mothers and sisters.”

Marsha and Patricia were so impressed that the hard work of women in CREATE!’s cooperative groups is now bearing fruit. They were happy to see the transformative power of training from our field technicians. Now that women grow their own vegetables locally, their families have access to healthier diets. Although Marsha and Patricia do not speak local languages such as French and Wolof, they felt that “words weren’t necessary to communicate.” They both felt very welcome among the women in our partner communities!

Marsha Dancing at VSLA Meeting

Marsha celebrates with community members following a successful, self-managed VSLA meeting. VSLA members have fully adopted all of the principles of the savings and lending programs.

Dining for Women is a global giving circle that funds grassroots programs working in developing countries to fight gender inequality. DFW supported CREATE!’s integrated programs in the community of Thieneba for two years.

Patricia Sharing Garden Photos

Patricia shared photos of her garden at home in Portland, OR with members of the agricultural cooperative in Thieneba, during the Dining for Women visit to Senegal.