Women's Garden Association: Well and Fencing Project
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Info about the Women's Garden Association: Well and Fencing Project
This women’s Garden Association has practiced market gardening for many years with limited success due to inadequate access to water and constant livestock intrusions. Despite these obstacles, the women’s knowledge about gardening and dedication to it are enormous. The women sell most of their produce but also keep some for their families. Therefore, not only is gardening an income-generating activity, but a way to introduce vegetables into a diet which is all too often void of nutritious food.
The need for a deep, cement-fortified well and durable metal fencing was raised by the Garden Association after they were granted a one-acre parcel of land by the mayor’s office. The association will provide the sand and gravel needed for the well, the wooden posts for the fencing, and most of the manual labor.
It is important to note that this village is located in an area of Mali known for its traditional gold mining. This is back-breaking and often environmentally degrading work. It is also a very unreliable source of income. Many women spend the entire day sifting for gold with no results. Sustainable ventures such as farming and gardening are often neglected in hope for the quick cash gold can provide. Market gardening needs to be promoted in this area, and with a little help, this motivated women’s association can set an example for the rest of the women in the village.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.