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U.S. Embassy Supports Women from Tambacounda

U.S. Embassy Supports Women from Tambacounda (Photo US Embassy)

U.S. Embassy Supports Women from Tambacounda (Photo US Embassy)

U.S. Embassy Supports Women from Tambacounda (Photo US Embassy)

U.S. Embassy Supports Women from Tambacounda (Photo US Embassy)

On December 8, 2013, the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea Bissau, Lewis Lukens inaugurated an income-generating project in Tambacounda (southeastern region of Senegal).  The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program funded the purchase of a millet machine ($4000) which was granted to the” GIE AND  Boloo Ligueye” Women’s Cooperative of Inadina.  The Women’s Cooperative matched the grant with an $1000 contribution to build the concrete shelter around the millet machine.

“We believe this initiative is one of the most effective activities to reduce these women’s daily tasks -- while providing them with a revenue stream to improve their living conditions, and subsequently those of their families” Ambassador Lukens said.

The village of Inadina is located 21 kilometers (12 miles) from Tambacounda.  Prior to the purchase of the millet machine, the women from the village had to walk 5 kilometers (3 miles) each way to the nearest machine, or spend hours of hard labor using wooden mortars to pound the cereal for cooking.  Now the work is easier for all the villagers of Inadina, and they open the machine up to women from the surrounding villages as well.

With the profits from the millet machine, the Women’s Cooperative of Inadina has hired an operator for the machine, created a maintenance account for the upkeep of the machine, and most importantly launched a revolving credit account for its members to purchase seeds during the planting season.  The revolving credit account has generated a substantial secondary source of revenue.

The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program is a funding program that encourages local, and community-based initiatives and micro-projects.  This program traditionally targets community groups, cooperatives, associations, and well-organized village committees devoted to the development of their community.