This week, CREATE! staff met with leaders from the communities of Walo, Gagnick Mack, and Darou Diadji and pledged to strengthen their mutual financial and technical partnerships. With support from Vibrant Village Foundation, CREATE! is now working with these villages to address the challenges of climate change, food and water insecurity, and the lack of economic opportunities in rural Senegal.
CREATE! Executive Director Barry Wheeler, on visiting these new partner communities, is “enormously impressed and inspired by the resilience, creativity, knowledge, dignity, and warm-heartedness of the villagers with whom we work and collaborate.” Barry Wheeler and leaders from each community signed memoranda of understanding that outline CREATE!’s commitments to these villages and the responsibilities of Walo, Gagnick Mack, and Darou Diadji to work towards the programs’ success. Each community has promised to participate fully in program activities and to contribute financially to the purchase of seeds, gardening tools, and other supplies.
In the past few months, CREATE! staff have partnered with representatives from the Senegalese Department of Water and Forestry to lead improved cookstove training sessions in each of these communities. CREATE! Country Representative Omar Ndiaye Seck, who leads our project implementation team, has enjoyed working with these communities and is thrilled CREATE! is able to expand its partnerships with Walo, Gagnick Mack, and Darou Diadji. Along with CREATE!’s highly skilled field technicians, Seck will oversee project activities in these new partner communities.
Over the next two years, CREATE! will work with community residents to rehabilitate hand-dug wells and provide access to clean, abundant water throughout the year in quantities sufficient for household use and vegetable cultivation. CREATE! field technicians will also train 200 women in sustainable agricultural techniques and mobilize them into agricultural cooperatives. CREATE! will utilize a participatory approach to design and implement these projects, and will employ simple, technologically appropriate solutions.