Dié Sene, 50, lives in the village of Darou Diadji with her husband and children and has seen the changes that have taken place from transforming the desert through sustainable practices. She says, “I decided to participate in CREATE!’s training programs because I had heard of their benefits and I wanted to support my family and meet our daily needs.” Dié believes that her children are now healthier because they are eating fresh, nutritious vegetables that she helps to grow in the Darou Diadji garden site.

“Before we partnered with CREATE!, our village was in drought. Now, with the garden site and the tree planting campaign, we have many trees and fresh fruits and vegetables in our village. CREATE! has helped us transform a great desert into a green place for the whole community.”

Transforming the Desert: planting mint crops

Mint is one of the many crops that cooperative members in Darou Diadji grow year-round. Many in Senegal enjoy drinking mint in their tea.

Dié also appreciates her clay-sand improved cookstove. With only a few pieces of firewood, Dié is able to cook lunch for her family. She no longer needs to walk long distances to collect enough firewood for cooking. She adds, “There is no longer deforestation in the village thanks to our improved cookstoves and the tree planting campaign.”

Dié has noticed a lot of changes in Darou Diadji since CREATE! began partnering with the community two years ago and believes that working in the garden together has improved relationships between women in the community. She says, “We now meet frequently in the garden site. Before, this was impossible.”

Transforming the Desert: Bell pepper plant

With training from CREATE! field technicians, cooperative members in Darou Diadji know how to properly care for vegetables, like this healthy bell pepper.