Over the course of the last 10 years, CREATE! has partnered with 18 communities in rural Senegal. When the organization began in 2010, we started with five partner communities who were the first to train with CREATE! technicians using our unique model and approach. Our model focuses on building sustainable development as defined by the communities themselves. We provide training and support that enables communities to take ownership of their sustainable development projects, and continue to sustain and grow the programs that CREATE! establishes, according to their own needs and motivations.
Meet Mame Fatou Kebe
Fass Kane is one of CREATE!’s first partner communities that started projects in 2010 and is continuing to manage these programs on their own today. Mame Fatou Kebe is a mother of three from Fass Kane who is dedicated to improving her community and her children’s future. When invited for an interview with CREATE!’s technicians, Fatou was happy to discuss how their projects are working today. “The women in Fass are always working together,” she says. “I am able to manage any CREATE! program.”
Before, many women could only work during the three-month rainy season or had to leave their family to look for jobs in urban areas. However, since CREATE! technicians held trainings in Fass Kane, Fatou and many other women in the village have been growing fresh vegetables and raising poultry on their own. Year-round activities like these mean a year-round income for women in Fass Kane! “We sell the extra of our production to other villages after taking the quantity we need,” Fatou explains. With programs like community gardening and poultry raising, women can ensure food security for their families as well as neighboring villages while earning an income.
CREATE! worked with the women in Fass Kane to organize Voluntary Savings and Lending Associations so that they could locally manage the income they earned. VSLAs create financial independence for women in rural communities where they can manage their income from the program activities, take out small loans, earn credit, and save. “The VSLA is very important in the community because we have the opportunity to save money ourselves and make loans for satisfying our needs,” Fatou explains. “Before, I couldn’t save money because there wasn’t a secure savings group in the community.” When asked what Fatou uses the VSLA programs for she tells us, “I have many opportunities and can solve most of my family’s needs. I borrow money for doing small business and I save money for holidays like Tabaski.”
CREATE!‘s Partner Community Expansion Since 2010
Hundreds of women and families have had their lives changed as they are able to take the future of their community into their own hands through sustainable development. We are so grateful to donors like you who have supported CREATE!’s work and women like Fatou, so that she can help pave the way for the next generation. Watch the video below to see CREATE!’s program expansion across rural Senegal over the last 10 years: