Building financial independence in rural Senegal

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Selecting partner communities!

posted Oct 25, 2013 by Alyssa Tartaglione

Progress

Tostan will distribute the funds raised through this project in late Fall 2013 to communities who have participated in our human rights-based Community Empowerment Program. In each community, funds will be managed by the Community Management Committee, democratically selected during the program to lead development activities and ensure community ownership. The committee will provide small loans to individuals to start up income-generating activities. Interest from these loans will be used to fund development projects or will be redistributed to community members.

The process for selecting the partnering communities is currently underway, and we look forward to providing further details once this phase is completed. We will be sharing updates on this project, and the progress of the women and communities that we are partnering with, in the coming months. We are very grateful to the Catapult community and those who chose to support this project!

Risks and challenges

The rainy season in Senegal is also the busiest time of year for the many members of our rural partner communities who work in agriculture, and so brings an annual break period for our program. This is why we are planning the distribution of funds for late fall.

Get personal

Tostan looks forward to providing this information in a project update in the coming months, once selection of partner communities is complete.

Next steps

Following the selection of partner communities, funds will be distributed to the Community Management Committees established in each community during our full Community Empowerment Program to lead development activities. These committees will then distribute the funds as small individual loans to community members, following our Community Development Grants model.

  • Economic security
  • Education & training
  • Leadership

Give women in Senegal a chance to put their skills to use and provide an income for themselves their families and communities.

Why we care: Women in rural Senegal are learning the skills to remove them from poverty and move towards financial independence; they now need the opportunity.

How we're solving this: $25, $40, or $50 grants will provide women with capital to start their own businesses.

Tostan will provide small grants to 12 communities, each of whom will use collective discussions about future community goals to determine how they will be used. Each community has participated in Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP) and has a Community Management Committee (CMC) that consists of 17 democratically selected women and men to manage and lead community development initiatives.

The committees administer small loans of $25, $40, or $50 to women for a variety of income-generating projects, including fabric dyeing, soap making and vegetable canning. Collective funds are also used for larger community projects such as creating a community garden, building a health center or purchasing an ambulance.

The 12 communities have already been trained on democracy, human rights, problem solving, health and hygiene, literacy, math and project management through Tostan’s three-year program. The funds distributed by Tostan through community grants provide a way of transforming that knowledge and training into real and tangible income-generating and community development initiatives.

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