We continue our series with the women of the Keur Soce women’s garden cooperatives. These women are bringing beautiful gardens to life in the middle of harsh and arid conditions in rural Senegal. To learn more about the program and these women, here is part one and part two. Today, we speak with Awa Nair.
What have you learned working with Andando in the market gardens in the past year?
I learned the practice of gardening techniques, such as how nurseries work, making garden beds, how to plant, how to maintain plants, how to pick fruit & vegetables, etc. Through the training workshops we learned to vary the garden according to the needs of the market and other important practices.
How has your participation in the project changed what you believe about yourself?
My cash income has increased and I can add more to our household budget. I feel proud that I am able to contribute more toward the success of our household.
How has this project changed what you believe about your community?
The garden and Andando helps women's groups. So I think that the project called the community into a union and the organization of the work. Before, everyone was in solitude in income-generating activities, but with this project increases our chance of having a better income. The project has created the availability of vegetables and allowed their geographic accessibility because we sell the produce in the local vegetable market.
How has the project changed what you believe about the future?
We must capitalize on this and develop it not only we who are currently beneficiaries, but, for future generations of women in the community. And also why not for men?
How has the project changed what you spend your time on?
The project has especially changed the use of our time in the afternoon because we had not much to do. Now, we are in the garden in the afternoon, watering as we do in the morning. On the other hand, today we have the impression of having lost a lot of time before the arrival of Andando. As a result, we feel to be relieved by Andando both individually and collectively. It gives us work for the entire year.
How does your dedication in this project show?
We put in everything up to the limit of our capacity,physical and intellectual, because we are the beneficiaries of this great program.
How has the project changed you as a person?
I now know that a woman can support herself in everyday expenses and does not have to rely on the men for everything.
How does this make you feel about the future?
Our dynamic organization will be strengthened, and with that, the income of households will be increased. We see ourselves developing and we can take that into our own hands.