How women revitalized a local community in The Gambia through gardening
Sita Huma is a cattle-rearing and rice-farming community in the Central District of the lower river region of The Gambia. Many in the community do not have continuous access to nutritious fresh vegetables to supplement the vitamins and protein they get from fish and meat. Fresh produce is expensive for most families there.
To address the community’s food security needs and provide supplemental income to families, a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia supported female farmers who wanted to develop skills and knowledge about productive and sustainable garden practices, increase food security and nutrition in the village, and increase opportunities for income generation.
This community-led project was funded through a USAID Small Project Assistance (SPA) grant. The Peace Corps Volunteer collaborated with counterparts who built a new fence around the abandoned garden, rehabilitated two existing wells in the garden, and drilled a new borehole and installed five reservoirs to address water-supply needs.
As a result, counterparts report that local women produced over 250 bags with a single onion harvest and some were sold through a partnership with the Regional Women Marketing Federation in the lower river region. Additionally, more than 160 pounds of hot peppers were harvested and sold.
To ensure the sustainability of the garden, the community opened a bank account specifically for contingencies so they will be prepared if they need to make repairs in the future. The community also created a garden fence committee that meets to discuss plans, fees, and other community concerns.
To meet the counterparts and learn more about the project, check out the video below.
This project was funded through the Small Project Assistance (SPA) Program, a collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Corps that supports grassroots community development projects and capacity development. SPA harnesses the unique capabilities of both agencies: Peace Corps’ network of trained Volunteers live and work in communities largely outside the reach of traditional development assistance, while USAID provides funding and technical support. Since 1983, SPA has used more than $76 million in USAID funding for programs in more than 115 countries worldwide – reaching more than 30 million local community members through community-led development.