Monday, May 3, 2010

The Guediawaye CMC : Exemplary Social Entrepreneurs and Activists

Last week, Guillaume, Malick and I had the opportunity to sit in on a Community Management Committee (« CMC » in Tostan-ese) meeting in Guediawaye, on the outskirts of Dakar. Tostan is currently running its 30 month-long human rights-based non-formal education program in Guediawaye. While participants won’t be starting the Jokko module for literacy and social empowerment until October 2010, we have a lot to learn from this village in the meanwhile!
Some context : During Tostan's education program, we help found a community-based organization to support local development projects long after we've left the village. The CMCs are composed of 17 democratically-elected community members – including a minimum of 9 women – who engage in income-generating activities in order to raise funds to support advocacy efforts and development initiatives.
Barely 2 years old, the Guediawaye CMC serves as an exemplar and is close to obtaining GIE (Groupement d'Intérêt Economique / Economic Interest Group) status, which is the most fundamental economic unit recognized by the Senegalese government. With the funds generated from fabric dying, millet grinding, table gardening and soap-making the Guediawaye CMC is able to support awareness-raising for the prevention of HIV /AIDS and malaria and to lead neighborhood clean-up activities.
The discussion in the CMC meeting was lively and inclusive (I only wish that my understanding of Wolof had been a bit better!).

Roof-top table gardens.

Ground millet, ready to be sold.

Dame Guéye leads an interactive exercise.

Malick and Guillaume discuss serious stuff.

Guediawaye CMC members talk strategy.

Lindsay Powell


Entrepreneur Indonesia said...

I am really quite amazed about him...

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