Rise Against Hunger currently implements Empowering Communities projects with partners in five countries, supporting sustainable solutions to address global hunger and uplift communities for years to come. In Senegal, the Leveraging Agriculture to Unite Communities and Hospitals (LAUNCH) project, implemented in partnership with Development in Gardening (DIG), works to improve food security and generate local incomes by establishing community gardens and supporting participants in setting up their own home gardens.
Ibrahima, a young man living in Senegal, serves as the President of the Young People Association in his neighborhood and participates in LAUNCH. As part of the project, Ibrahima and his fellow participants completed a 16-week training on vegetable gardening techniques. After the tenth week of training, the LAUNCH participants had an idea — to clear a vacant lot in their neighborhood and transform it into a vegetable garden using some of the skills they had developed during the training program.
The vacant lot had been a dumping ground for plastic and other village waste. During the training developed by DIG and Rise Against Hunger, Ibrahima said that he and the other participants were shown how to create a garden from a vacant lot. They first cleared the lot. Goats, pigs, sheep and chickens all wander freely in the neighborhood, so they fenced in the area with a cloth mesh to minimize the number of village animals treading through the garden. They then constructed raised beds, prepared the beds with manure and ash and ensured the area had access to water.
The lot now grows vegetables. Ibrahima said that the garden has improved conditions in his community because the land that was previously not utilized now produces food for the village and gives them the opportunity to earn money by selling produce at the local market.
Ibrahima shared that the garden has truly become a community project. “The women of the village are going to work with DIG to do training in the garden with us,” he said. He also hopes that the community’s youth will continue making money and feeding the village with the garden’s produce.