Last Friday marked the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Senegal. During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. In addition, individuals spend this month reflecting on and enacting Islamic tenets, including empathy for the poor, charity, and communal worship.
The weather forecast for rural Senegal will remain dry and hot for much of the next month, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees. CREATE! field technicians and beneficiaries will continue to tend gardens, build cookstoves, care for chickens, and participate in other activities – all while fasting.
At the end of Ramadan in Senegal, Muslims will celebrate the holiday of Korité with three days of feasting with family and friends. Korité is a national holiday in Senegal and many families travel from cities to their rural home villages to celebrate with their extended families. Many of CREATE!’s VSLA groups time the payout of their savings and lending cycle to coincide with the end of Ramadan and Korité celebrations. VSLA participants used their payouts to cover the costs of clothing, household goods, and food for their Korité celebrations. Poultry cooperatives are also planning ahead for Korité. Some cooperatives have doubled the number of chickens they raise so that they will have an ample supply for the end of Ramadan.
To CREATE!’s Senegalese staff and beneficiaries, Ramadan mubarak!