Rural women play a key-role in the production, purchase and consumption of food. The project focuses on the improvement of the social and economic role of the rural women so that more than 300 families will benefit from their actions.
for the improvement of the family food
involved and benefiting from the Action
Of the families of the Kedougou region (Senegal) lives in poverty
COSPE onlus is a non-profit association, established in 1983 and based in Florence, whose primary purpose is to promote global change, which ensures a model of fair and sustainable development. Today we work in 25 countries around the world, involving thousands of women and men, both in the rural and urban areas.
COSPE works in Senegal since 1985, The Female Action for Nutrition (AFNUT), concentrates its efforts in the Kedougou Region, in the Southeast of the Country, an area affected by one of the highest rates of Senegal malnutrition children. Since women play a crucial role in ensuring food security for the whole family, increasing their skills, abilities and opportunities is the best and most effective solution to facilitate the access and the correct use of food.
The objective of this intervention is to increase the production and the consumption of local food, through information, training, technical support and access to agricultural items for rural families. Through a participatory approach, the involvement and general empowerment of rural women, COSPE works to boost agro-food production (vegetables and poultry and small ruminant breeding), for an easier access to water and for the improvement of the family food with 10 women’s groups (Resource-Groups), which 30 women each, making about 300 families overall involved and benefiting from the Action
The project uses a participatory approach based on the creation and management of Resource Groups (GRs) composed by women. This is a method particulary suited to promote women’s emancipation and increase their economic and social role.
Only the Brave Foundation (OTB) intervenes strengthening in the dynamics of the Resource Groups allowing to increase their strategic function, through the introduction of the direct economic component. The aim is to reinforce the carrying out of economic activities already started or to develop new ones.
A “calebasse”will be created: a simple and effective micro-credit system, widely used by Senegalese women, to increase family income.
Village women often devote themselves to processing and / or resale activities, but the money earned must however be immediately used to meet daily needs and purchase a new stock of raw materials. Under these conditions it is impossible to set aside enough money to increase economic activities. The calebesse is an innovative way to respond to this problem.
Once the fund is set, each woman will receive, alternatively, a relatively large sum (depending on the economic activity she wants to develop) that will allow her to manage her business. After an agreed period (from one to three months), the money will be repaid to the fund and lent to another member. Between the period between loan and repayment, the sum will have realized sufficient profits to generate a substantial income that will be used, as well as to develop commercial activities, also to increase the working capital of the group. At the end of the process, women will have the opportunity to buy more products to transform and / or resell. This system can go on forever and is perfectly sustainable and replicable.
To set up this mechanism, as well as the initial economic fund, it is necessary to accompany the process during the initial period. In fact, women need to identify well the economic activities that they will be able to develop and to understand certain commercial mechanisms such as marketing, to perceive the difference between collection and net income, to calculate depreciation, etc. Initial training and support will be entrusted to local staff who have been working with women for some time, through the GR approach and the operation of the calebasse funds.
The action developed thanks to the contribution of OTB will also make it possible to disseminate the GR approach through the creation of video stories that will have the women involved in the project as protagonists. The videos will be disseminated through the social IT networks, the sites of the actors involved also spread through telematic supports.
Food and nutrition insecurity is one of the priorities of public policy in Senegal. The prevalence of malnutrition, maternal mortality and poverty remains very high, particularly among rural populations that depend on subsistence agriculture. Overall, 18.8% of Senegalese families are in a situation of food and nutritional vulnerability. This rate reaches 25.1% for rural households.
The main causes of food insecurity in Senegal are directly related to low-productivity agriculture and, consequently, low stocks of cereals for domestic use, poverty, non-diversification of diets, high dependence on markets, low income and low recovery capacity of families and communities (ESAN / SMART 2016 survey).
In the Kedougou region, other specific causes increase food insecurity: the low level of knowledge of families regarding nutrition, nutrition and hygiene; poor quality of water used for drinking; low level of enhancement of local products; increasing degradation of the environment and, finally, the effects of climate change on local agricultural production. The region of Kedougou, moreover, is part of what is called the “arc of poverty”, an arched area, composed of the poorest regions of the country, uniting Matam with Ziguinchor. In this vast territory, 78.4% of families live in poverty (ANSD 2016). The scarcity of locally produced resources and inadequate infrastructure hinder the development of this region, although it has great natural and human potential. Although natural and climatic conditions are generally favorable to the development of agriculture, the Kédougou region has long remained in the red zone, according to the WHO classification on malnutrition.
AFNut Women Strategies Responsible
I find that working for and with women is a very useful operational strategy to stimulate and sustain lasting family and community development dynamics. The revolving micro-credit fund activated thanks to the support of Only The Brave Foundation will help cohesion within women's groups and allow them to start productive activities, that are fundamental to increase their decision-making and economic autonomy.
AFNut community agent
For me, the AFNut project represents a great opportunity to contribute to the development of my community and, furthermore, as a woman, I feel happy to be able to work with other women, support them to implement their producing, processing and selling food activities. This helps to strengthen the food security of families and increase their incomes. I want to thank Only The Brave Foundation for its contribution, that allows us to consolidate these results.
AFNut Project Manager
Working to improve people's living conditions is a great responsibility, but it also gives great satisfaction. The fruit of your work, although is very demanding, represents an important opportunity for the people involved in development projects. This is the case of the project that I coordinate which involves 30 women's associations. I thank Only The Brave Foundation for helping us to increase the opportunities for so many women who fight every day to support their family.