For the last 10 years, we have been honored to know a great number of women in our partner communities in rural Senegal who are uplifting each other and creating lasting change in their communities. Women who dream big, make those dreams a reality, and inspire the next generation of women to dream even bigger.
With the uncertainty created by COVID-19 this year, the perseverance and tenacity of our programs and the women who lead them have become evident. Now more than ever, people are turning to their local leaders for support and information. CREATE!‘s Community Garden Presidents are taking it upon themselves to ensure their community’s safety and resilience. As our Agricultural Technician, Nogaye Loum tells us, she is inspired by the active role taken by women like Ndeye Diop, the Community Garden President in Mboss. Nogaye explains, “She [Ndeye Diop] is more united and more dynamic than ever because she knows that the disease spares no one and that the food can run out, which is why she is taking care of the site more seriously to meet the food needs.”
Having women in leadership roles is inspiring to other women and young girls. Codou Gadji, one of CREATE!’s agricultural technicians, hopes that she can lead by example in her role as a female agricultural technician. “The women are very motivated when they see a woman doing this kind of work,” she says. “They realize that it is possible to do this work because they have a woman technician, and now they can see that there are many women on the CREATE! team.” At CREATE!, our mission goes beyond community development through appropriate technology, it is about women empowering women to believe in their abilities to transform their own lives.
CREATE!’s programs build a foundation but the women take these skills to the next level with their leadership and entrepreneurial mindsets. With their leadership, they make their dreams a reality. In Wereyane, Arame Diop has dreams of bringing in more infrastructure into the villages. In Gagnick Mack, Teningne Youme has dreams to build a fully equipped health center. In Ouarkhokh, Codou Faye dreams of owning and managing her own bakery. In Walo, Bigué Diouf dreams of developing a regional market in her community. These dreams can be a reality as we have seen with Anta Baba Kane of Thieneba, who started a small market in her community. As Cooperative Garden president and a mother of eight Anta says, “I always encourage them to keep working because with CREATE!, we have sustainable development.”
As we celebrate our 10th anniversary in rural Senegal, we want to thank you for making our work possible and supporting women in actualizing their dreams for the last 10 years. We look forward to more successful decades with you, and supporting women like Anta, Arame, Teningne, Codou, Bigué, and others make their dreams a reality.
Learn more in this year’s 10th Anniversary Edition Fall Print Newsletter where you will learn about how women in rural Senegal are turning their dreams into realities, how one community took the initiative to improve their agriculture project, read touching personal stories from field staff, and see a snapshot of our communities over the last 10 years.