Greetings from Gossas, Senegal! For the next few weeks, I will be writing blog posts directly from Senegal as I visit CREATE!’s partner communities for the first time. On this trip, I am traveling with CREATE! Executive Director Louise Ruhr and CREATE! book keeper, Marjorie Bridges. This week, we visited CREATE!’s partner community of Darou Diadji.
A small, remote village, Darou Diadji does not yet have access to electricity. It does, however, have a large and dynamic cooperative group that warmly welcomed us to the garden site. The Darou Diadji garden is one of the largest in any CREATE! partner community – nearly 2 ½ acres in size. CREATE! field technician Ousmane Diallo has worked with cooperative members to train them in the cultivation of eggplants, onions, lettuce, peppers, mint, tomatoes, and many other vegetables. The Darou Diadji garden site also has a large fruit orchard, including papaya and banana trees.
In Darou Diadji, CREATE! has also partnered with the village’s primary school. As part of this partnership, CREATE! provides training in basic agricultural cultivation for the students. The garden cooperative group also donated a portion of their site to the school so that students can practice growing eggplants and other vegetables. This is a great way for the students to participate in CREATE!’s programs and to build goodwill between the community, the garden cooperative group, and CREATE!
After touring the garden site, we sat down with some of the cooperative members. CREATE!’s Country Director, Omar Ndiaye Seck, spoke to the cooperative about the importance of maintaining their motivation, dedication, and hard work. We also heard from a couple of women representing the cooperative group, who thanked us for our support. The group also served us coffee as we talked.
I greatly enjoyed my visit to the Darou Diadji garden site and I look forward to sharing some other experiences from my trip next week!
CREATE! Grants Manager