The cool season has come to an end in rural Senegal, and daily high temperatures now hover in the low 100s Fahrenheit. Nonetheless, the CREATE! field team continues to work hard with the beneficiaries in all thirteen partner communities so that they can continue to grow food and access clean water during this hot and dry time of year.

Communications Assistants Ndeye Fatou Thiam (back) and Ndeye Fatou Sow (front) have been photographically documenting the work of the communities, in addition to interviewing beneficiaries about their experiences. We have been so impressed by their photos from the field, we wanted to take some time to highlight the best of the best and take you on a tour through a few of our partner villages to see what they’ve been up to.

Gardening in sandy soil is a major challenge of growing food year-round in the desert. To combat this, CREATE! technicians teach women to mix compost, as seen here in Keur Daouda, which adds nutrients to the soil without needing synthetic fertilizer. Vegetables from CREATE! partner communities are becoming widely known throughout the region for their high quality and for being grown naturally without heavy pesticides or fertilizers.

Santhie (above), is one of our newest partner communities that joined CREATE! last year. They are in the hot, dry Louga region of northwestern Senegal, about three hours from CREATE! headquarters in Gossas. Despite the harsh climate, members of Santhie’s garden cooperative have taken quickly to their trainings and are harvesting an abundance of fresh tomatoes and peppers this season.

Check out all that glowing green lettuce! With the dedication of the cooperative members, Mboss’ garden site continues to thrive, even in the hot season. Members come out to the garden every afternoon to water the crops by hand and harvest vegetables that are ready to come out of the ground. It looks like they’ll be harvesting a lot of leafy greens pretty soon!

Fass Koffe is one of CREATE!’s graduated communities. Under the leadership of cooperative president Khady Kebe (right), their poultry shed has remained a successful part of their income generating activities to this day. Many women have taken what they’ve learned about poultry production from CREATE!’s technicians and started their own poultry sheds at their homes.

Trees are an important part of every community garden. They provide a windbreak from the hot breeze off the Sahara Desert, as well as shade, moisture retention, firewood, and fruits and nuts to eat. In Darou Diadji, above, community members have really taken to the tree planting campaigns and have planted their garden with rows of Moringa trees, bananas, and papaya, among other varieties.

We are so proud to see the hard work and commitment that members of our partner communities continue to put in, overcoming challenges at the village level with innovative solutions, encouraging each other, and becoming role models for others!