Global Efforts, Local Changes: Making a Difference in Rural Senegal
Using a participatory approach and appropriate technologies, CREATE! develops self-sufficiency projects in Senegal in partnership with rural communities, working closely with them to identify and meet their needs. These projects are organized into four core project sectors: water, cooperative community gardens, renewable energy, and income generation. As part of CREATE!’s innovative five-year graduation program, we work with rural communities to rehabilitate abandoned wells and install solar-powered pumps, establish tree planting campaigns, and lead trainings in sustainable agriculture, Voluntary Savings and Lending Association (VSLA) programs, and poultry raising.
With over 50 communities applying for partnership with CREATE!, the selection process is highly competitive. To participate in CREATE!’s sustainable projects in Senegal, communities must demonstrate a high level of commitment and self-motivation, donate land to be used communally for their garden, and be willing to put in some amount of financial investment into their own programs. The goal is for communities to graduate from CREATE!’s integrated, community-based programs after five years and be able to run these projects independently and for perpetuity. So far, three communities – Fass Koffe, Fass Kane, and Diender – have successfully graduated from CREATE! training programs. CREATE! technicians continue to work with these communities and engage in a regular process of monitoring and assistance, but we have been incredibly proud of their continued success in the year since they have graduated from the program.
CREATE!’s staff and field technicians, who are all young Senegalese professionals trained in their disciplines at local universities and technical programs, manage our programs in Senegal. They relate readily to community members, responding to their specific needs and engaging them in the search for solutions to poverty in their own communities and their own country. Halfway around the world, CREATE!’s US staff works to coordinate administrative operations, secure funding, and conduct public outreach, making our self-sufficiency projects in Senegal a truly global effort made possible by local engagement.
Community Leadership Spotlight: Khady Kebe
When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope. We also secure the future for our children.
—Dr. Wangari Mathaai,
Founder of Greenbelt Movement, Kenya and Nobel Prize Winner
Since graduating from CREATE’s program in 2016, Khady Kebe, president of the cooperative in Fass Koffe, has made sure that her community keeps up the momentum that they gained from working closely with CREATE.
Khady and her cooperative group took it a step further in exemplifying the level of self-sufficiency that CREATE strives to instill in its partner communities, by taking the initiative to improve the watering system for their community garden. While they had more than enough water to meet their needs through the well and solar pump, they weren’t getting enough water pressure to pipe it all the way to the farthest blocks of crops in their garden. “We know that without water, we can’t do anything,” said Khady, “so we decided to elevate the platform to see if it would improve the water pressure problem.”
Under Khady’s leadership, the group were successful in doing that by pooling their finances saved up from the sale of their own vegetables and poultry. It turned out, they had enough to fund the project all on their own and were proud to do so without assistance from CREATE. “Since the elevation of the platform, we have noticed an improvement of the water at the site,” said Khady, describing the increased water pressure that now enables them to more quickly and thoroughly irrigate all their crops. The project was a success, thanks to the leadership of Khady and the teamwork of the community cooperative.
We know that without water, we can’t do anything, so we decided to elevate the platform to see if it would improve the water pressure problem.
—Khady Kebe, Fass Koffe Women’s Group President
Where We Work
- Back Samba Diour
- Boustane Lo
- Darou Diadji (graduated)
- Diender (graduated)
- Fass Kane (graduated)
- Fass Koffe (graduated)
- Gagnick Mack (graduated)
- Keur Daouda
- Keur Ndiouga
- Ndiagne Kahone
- Ouarkhokh (graduated)
- Thienaba (graduated)
- Walo (graduated)