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NEWS APRIL - JULY 2019



IDENTIFY, FORM


After the completion of the community garden project for women in the Kabar neighborhood, we have focused on identifying new projects together with women from local groups and other development agents. It has been months of numerous meetings to collect the voice of the women of Kafountine and Diannah and devise interventions for the coming months.


And with some sadness for the closing of the cycle with the Kabar women (Jamooral Association), but with excitement to take the next steps we have started formulating.


 

RAINY SEASON


Around here begins the season of rains, humid heat, full rice paddies, rutted dirt roads and green everywhere.

It is also a time of traditions and religious festivals, where modernity and the ancestral are mixed in this amalgam of colors and ethnicities that is Casamance.

 

HOW DO WE DO THE IDENTIFICATION JOB?


At Kakolum we are clear about things: we do not want to fall into the trap of projects carried out from an office, unrelated to the real needs of the population and drawn up based on copy and paste based on Eurocentric guidelines. That is why, for us, identification is key in our strategy as an entity: meetings, meetings, interviews, questions and more questions...


We want to make sure that what we do makes sense, and what better way than to give shape to the ideas expressed directly to us by the people they will be intended for.


So these months we have met with local groups of women, teachers and directors of educational centers, students, authorities, gendarmes, representatives of civil society, etc.


Always with notebook and pen in hand and eager to listen and soak up a thousand visions of things, of daily problems and their alternative solutions.



 

"We don't want to fall into the trap of projects carried out from an office, unrelated to the real needs of the population and drawn up based on copying and pasting".


 

AND WHAT DID WE GET FROM THE IDENTIFICATION WORK?


After the meetings, we were able to develop two different projects:


The first arises from a very special man. One day someone sent us a dossier with an idea worked on and elaborated with great care. This is the Director of the Secondary School (CEM) of Diannah, M. Wade, who after years of managing the school and in permanent contact with the students' mothers had a dream.


He wanted the Center to serve as a source of income for the mothers of his students. With a plot of land of more than three hectares and the surroundings of the CEM classrooms deserted, that man had devised a solution to the economic problems of the families and the CEM together with the group of mothers: turn this deserted space into a community garden, in that the mothers' association could cultivate in exchange for a small fee allocated to the school's coffers. With this, the center could improve facilities and cover the fees of vulnerable students, and the Association of Mothers of Students would increase family income and food security.



The second arises from our close contact with the women of Kabar and the meetings we held there during the execution of the previous project. Did you know that, in the southern part of Senegal, between 20% and 50% of what is harvested is lost? The women of Jamooral know this, and they want to find a solution.




They spoke to us about their lack of knowledge of conservation techniques, the periods of most demand, the humid and hot periods in which the products die quickly, their desire to expand their activities and to increase the profits of the work in the garden And from there the second project we have in mind was developed: the construction of a food processing center and a sales space in the Kabar district.









FIGHT AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE WITH ZEROSET


And finally, we have good news.


At the end of the year we will start a project with the collaboration of ZeroSet and the Public Health Agency of Barcelona, which involves all the youth associations of Kafountine and which has as its central theme violence against women and girls.


It includes raising awareness through theater, training, mobilization days... The Ziguinchor region is one of the regions in Senegal where there is a higher incidence of gender violence, and we are happy to be able to work alongside local youth associations to do our bit to create fairer and more inclusive societies.





We keep taking steps!


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