Wherever you may be in the world, we invite you to take a break and travel (virtually) with us to rural Senegal where the warm climate and the warmth of the people will welcome you. Take a walk with us through the thriving community garden of Mbossedji village. This is a unique opportunity to learn about building sustainable community self-sufficiency in Senegal with CREATE! agricultural technician Ousmane Diallo, Mbossedji community garden president Ndeye Diop, and community members Awa Dieye and Fama Thiam. We would also like to thank Fatou Thiam and Fatou Sow from the CREATE! Communications Team for filming the tour.

A Brief History of Mbossedji

Mbossedji first partnered with CREATE! in 2019. By November, they had already gained access to clean, abundant water. This is thanks to the support from Rotary International led by the Bellevue Rotary Club, Washington, USA and the Rotary Club Dakar Millénium, Senegal and donors like you. Once the participants started agricultural training with CREATE!‘s technicians, the community of Mbossedji turned their barren land into a lush green oasis in just a few months.

Word about Mbossedji’s thriving garden has spread to other neighboring villages as well as to communities further away resulting in people traveling to Mbossedji to buy their fresh organic produce. In fact, during the initial phase of the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 that closed the village markets, Mbossedji’s community garden served as a makeshift market for the neighboring villages, selling their fresh produce to their neighbors and friends!

Located in the Kaolack region of Senegal, Mbossedji is no stranger to droughts, desertification, and a nine-month dry season. See below how participants in Mbossedji work together with the land to create a year-round community garden in the desert.

Visit the Community Garden of Mbossedji:

Looking Forward

Mbossedji’s success does not stop here. Starting this month, the women in Mbossedji will work with CREATE!‘s technicians to form women-led Voluntary Savings and Lending Associations (VSLAs). For the first time, women will now be able to transparently manage their finances from their community instead of working with an expensive external money-lender. VSLAs are self-managed and include all levels of literacy. All activities are carried out in full view of the entire association, building trust and creating transparency among members. Now women can save their income each week, take out loans, and make individual and communal purchases.

The women participating in the VSLAs have already agreed upon a grinding mill as one of their first communal purchases. As of now, they walk at least 5 km to a neighboring village to use a grinding mill for grains such as millet. Purchasing one of their own will save them time and money in the long run.

Ndeye Diop is a strong and dynamic leader. She always encourages the Mbossedji Community Garden group to work hard for the future of the village and the next generation.