In late May, CREATE! Founder Barry Wheeler joined the Senegal field team in welcoming Mariama Sarr – the Senegal Minister of Women, Family, and Children – to the communities of Walo and Diender. During her visits, Minister Sarr toured the cooperative garden sites, tree seedling nurseries, poultry sheds, and Appropriate Technology Training and Demonstration Centers.

Minister Sarr Meeting Cooperative Members

Cooperative members proudly shared their thriving gardens with Mariama Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Women, Family, and Children.

Minister Sarr’s visit was in honor of Senegal’s National Women’s Month. During the month of May, she visited many rural villages to better understand the economic situation of women in Senegal and to see solutions to rural poverty in action. During her visit to Walo and Diender, many regional and local dignitaries spoke to the crowd.

Bearing gifts to Minister Sarr from the garden

The cooperative presidents gave Minister Sarr a gift of vegetables from their verdant gardens.

Hundreds of cooperative members and village residents – from Walo, Diender, and other partner communities – greeted Minister Sarr. They were proud and excited to share their thriving gardens with her. She was very impressed with the work of the cooperative groups in these villages and expressed her support for CREATE!‘s continued success in the region.

Minister Sarr viewing tree nurseries

Minister Sarr praised the cooperatives’ thriving tree seedling nurseries.

All of CREATE!’s field technicians were present to greet Minister Sarr and communicate the tenets of CREATE!’s philosophy of grassroots and sustainable community-based development. Cooperative presidents from both Walo and Diender also spoke eloquently about how participating in CREATE! programs has changed their lives and their communities.