Community Description: Facing the Kolda cotton factory is a quartier called Samba Koulibaly; named after a Malian man who here years before the cotton factory arrived when there was not even a paved road going through Kolda. Samba Koulibaly’s predecessors and namesakes will probably remain the chief of the quartier until the end of time.
The cotton factory is the largest employer in Kolda and one of the most secure jobs one can attain though its only seasonal work they pay nicely and one knows that for 5 months they will have a steady income.
Mohamadou Djamanka until recently worked in a factory in Spain where he sent money back to his family. He now owns a boutique facing of the cotton factory where he works everyday from 7 am to 11:30 pm, unless it is cotton-processing season. During that time his two wives take turns manning the boutique and he crosses the street to work clothed from head to toe ready for the work at hand.
All year long Mohamadou’s wives and kids grow vegetables in a small plot near their house. They usually have enough to eat and a bit to sell. They are the definition of urban gardening, here in Kolda.
Project Description: “The food situation in Senegal and throughout the world is in a dire state. Rising food prices combined with a limited availability of food has led to misery and malnutrition, rapidly hitting the world’s poorest and developing populations the hardest. In Senegal, with nearly half of all families considered “food insecure” by the World Food Program and half the population living in large towns and cities, there is a growing need for individuals and families to produce their own food,” Peace Corps Senegal, Urban Agriculture Website.
Many Koldans grow everyday veggies, but many more only grow essential grains like rice, corn, and millet during rainy season. Mohamadou and his family believe they should be saving money on vegetables and growing them themselves. One day while I was hanging out at Mohamadou’s boutique he showed me the math of the money he was saving each month by gardening in his small plot and it was upwards of $27, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is.
Project Impact: 14 Men, Women and Children
Peace Corps Volunteers Directing Project: Marcie Todd
Dollar Amount of Project: $150.00
Donations Collected to Date: $150.00 Fully Funded!