In the CREATE! partner community of Ouarkhokh, there are now 12 households that have their own poultry sheds. Seven of these are owned by CREATE! cooperative members, who learned how to raise poultry through CREATE! training and shared this knowledge with their neighbors. Even with all of this chicken available, demand (and prices) for poultry remain high in Ouarkhokh and surrounding villages. Some young men have even returned from the city to earn a living by raising and selling chickens in Ouarkhokh.

Using the skills that she learned from CREATE! field technicians, Mere Awa Top, 45, has built her own poultry shed at her home. In addition to the income that she earns through her participation in the cooperative poultry project, she is also selling her own chickens for extra income. She says, “My children now frequently eat chicken and I earn a lot of money.”

Mere Top in garden

Mere Awa Top says, “CREATE! has helped me earn money and save it in our community Voluntary Savings and Lending Association (VSLA).

Each morning, Mere Top gets up early to complete her housework before working in Ouarkhokh’s cooperative garden site. In the afternoons, she sells vegetables in the village’s market. Mere Top says that she decided to participate in CREATE! training programs because they offered an opportunity for her to learn how to meet her needs and have an occupation. She also believes that participating in CREATE! training programs has brought the women of Ouarkhokh together. She says, “We used to stay at home but now we gather everyday to work together in the garden site.”

Mere Top thinks that CREATE! programs have increased Ouarkhokh’s self-sufficiency, She says, “Before CREATE!, women in our community traveled to Dahra or Linguere (each between 10 and 15 miles away) to purchase vegetables. Now that we have a garden in Ouarkhokh, we no longer need to depend on other communities. Many people know about our project here and they now come here to buy chickens and vegetables.”