In the past several months, we have worked with the women of the market gardens to establish a poultry-raising project where the women’s groups raise chickens to sell locally. With minor capital investment on our part, the women have really taken hold of this program and have excelled. There have now been several rounds of chickens as they use the profits of the sales to reinvest and start the cycle over. They are able to bring in additional income, have greater access to good sources of protein, and are learning important new skills. We recently sat down with some of the women; here’s what group leader Fatou Sarr had to say:
“We have been easily able to sell the chickens without difficulty, so the fear of a customer is dismissed. With just a bit of effort, we have invaluable results with this poultry project. I know that each of us likes this project, so we will do everything to make it sustainable. We talk about the future of our economic situation with peace of mind because we are now sure that we are no longer unemployed as before the arrival of Andando. Peace and hope are the feelings that drive our vision of the future because of programs like the poultry project and also with the gardens.
“Each one of us know more than ever that we are economic agents. We are capable as women to contribute effectively to the improvement of our respective households’ income. We are better viewed as a contributor to the family expenditure. For example, some of our family members have bought our chickens to cook at home. So, this gesture immediately shows the interest of all the members of the family in this project.
“In addition to the gardens where we have been working the last few years, Andando has added the poultry project. For us, we like to see it as a kind of reward for our commitment and our patience. Because of this, the community has learned some lessons about development and working hard, and to have confidence in themselves and the union's efforts. We manage together, we act together, and it is important for the future of the community. With good management, we believe that the project will keep expanding.”