Thanks to the dedication and hard work of cooperative members, the garden site in Diender has undergone an amazing transformation over the past five years. Currently, Diender cooperative members are growing carrots, tomatoes, mint, and onions in their garden site, while also maintaining pepper and lettuce plants in their vegetable nurseries. The garden’s cashew trees are also thriving. Later this year, the Diender cooperative hopes to expand the size of their garden and increase their vegetable production by fencing an adjacent piece of land.
In addition to their successful garden, women in Diender are also active participants in cookstove training programs, Voluntary Savings and Lending Associations (VSLAs), and soon, poultry production. Cooperative members have increasingly grown in technical capacity since 2010.
During his recent visit to Senegal, CREATE! Board member Ron Taylor remarked on the transformation underway in Diender. Ron noted that cooperative members in Diender have reached a point where “they realize all this effort in the gardens is not so much about the vegetables but more about rising out of poverty.”
The success of the cooperative group in Diender epitomizes CREATE!’s larger goals in Senegal. CREATE! strives to help communities reach a point where they “no longer need help.” With their expanded garden and poultry production shed, the Diender cooperative will soon be able to sustain these programs without CREATE!’s financial and technical assistance. As one Diender cooperative member noted, “peace reigns in our village.” Diender will continue to grow and thrive far into the future.