In the past few months, our teams in Senegal have been working diligently on several phases of our projects in the Keur Soce area. Much of this work has been focused on the five new market gardens we are establishing this year.
As with our other gardens, they will each be managed by a women’s cooperative with established leadership structures, along with the assistance of our garden technicians, on a daily basis. Utilizing local labor and contractors, locally available materials, and using appropriate technology, these systems will be up and running by July of this year and the women will be able to start production immediately.
On a recent trip to Senegal, we met extensively with each cooperative to discuss leadership and ownership over the project. By agreeing to terms in a Memorandum of Understanding, we outline accountability structures, community contributions, and savings plans that ensure that the project will be sustainable. Throughout the process, our team meets with the women as well as local leadership to keep everyone on the same page. We are excited by the response we have already seen in these communities and their participation in the process. As with our other gardens, close to 100 women will work the land at each garden on a daily basis, providing vital nutrition and much needed income for themselves and their families.
We are also expanding our school-building program and construction is underway at Kouthieye & Keur Pate Malick Primary Schools, where we are building new classrooms for these severely underserved schools. We have partnered with the communities and active school administrations to give these schools enough classrooms to comfortably accommodate all the students. We anticipate an increase in enrollment next year as local parents see the school as a more viable option than the previous set up. We will also do book distributions, latrine construction, and other improvements.
Finally, we continue to monitor and evaluate our other programs and follow up on specific needs. We just learned that the newly built health post in Sama Toucouleur has recently seen the birth of FOUR sets of twins! This would never have been possible with their previous facility and we are excited by the hope and good news coming from past projects.
Later this year, we will be constructing two more rural health posts to serve people just like this. With your help, we are able to accomplish more and more each year. We are encouraged by this growth and we have even more ambitious plans for the future!