In the community of Thieneba, CREATE! programs are thriving.
The Thieneba cooperative, which boasts nearly 200 participants, produces tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, African eggplant, okra, cucumber, carrot, watermelon, onion, and lettuce. Women have sold about 1,500 kilograms of eggplant at local markets during the past few months, earning a profit of approximately $400 USD. The cooperative also recently harvested and sold their crops of mint and lettuce, both of which are rarely found in rural markets.
Voluntary Savings and Lending Association (VSLA) groups in Thieneba recently met to conclude their first savings and lending cycle. Association members use VSLAs to save money from selling their garden produce and to make small loans to each other to cover business, personal, and household costs.
In January, Thieneba cooperative members worked with CREATE! field technicians to construct a poultry shed in the cooperative garden site. With knowledge and support from CREATE!, women will be able to supplement their families’ diets with this important protein source and will be able to sell poultry for profit in local markets.
Moussa Gueye, former chief of Thieneba, praises the impact of CREATE! programs in Thieneba. “CREATE! gives people knowledge,” he says. “Even after CREATE! leaves our community, the people will continue to use and benefit from the knowledge that they have gained.”