The many impacts of the Olouguèlèmo Association’s environmental protection work

The Olouguèlèmo Association has been actively organizing and implementing projects to conserve and restore the biodiversity and environment across the Wadouba Township of Mali. Nineteen communities are now a part of the association, which receives support from The Tandana Foundation in the form of funds, training, and other resources. In the following blog, Moussa Tembiné gives a summary of the Olouguèlèmo Association’s work and describes the positive results of their activities. Continue reading “The many impacts of the Olouguèlèmo Association’s environmental protection work”

A job teaching others, and learning so much in return

The Tommo So literacy, numeracy, and leadership classes organized by The Tandana Foundation have trained more than 1,400 women in rural Mali and impacted thousands of more lives. Besides empowering and changing the lives of the students in the classes, the program has also created new and transformative jobs as instructors for other community members and even previous students themselves. One instructor, Hama Kansaye, describes what he has learned as a result of being trained as an instructor, and how the role has impacted his life below. Continue reading “A job teaching others, and learning so much in return”

Overwhelming generosity enables Tandana to expand programs

Thanks to the support of dozens of purpose-driven individuals, The Tandana Foundation was able to raise enough money to increase the number of people who will be able to participate in three programs it organizes with communities in rural Ecuador and Mali. During its annual Friends and Funds Raiser event, Tandana raised thousands of dollars, which the nonprofit will use to welcome more students into its scholarship program in Ecuador, and more women into its literacy and numeracy and student-mothers programs in Mali. Continue reading “Overwhelming generosity enables Tandana to expand programs”

Tommo So – a language of unimaginable value

A language is an important part of any culture, along with the identity of its people. The ability to speak, read, and write allows a community to communicate with one another and conduct business and everyday transactions. Despite being told otherwise, Sophie Sorgho learned that Tommo So, a language spoken by the Dogon people of Mali, has great value thanks to her participation in literacy classes organized by The Tandana Foundation in her village. In the following, Sophie shares her story. Continue reading “Tommo So – a language of unimaginable value”

The importance of literacy for using cellphones

Cellphones are an important means of communication for many people around the world, but being able to use them requires the ability to read what is displayed on the screens. In a recent conversation, one prospective student speaks with Kessia Kouriba, a literacy teacher for The Tandana Foundation in Mali, about her desire to take the Tommo So literacy classes in order to be able to operate her phone.  Continue reading “The importance of literacy for using cellphones”

The progress of the Savings For Change group in Dimbily

The Tandana Foundation has partnered with villages around the Bandiagara District of Mali to establish Savings For Change groups in their communities. As a result, thousands of women have benefited from the micro-loan program, including Fatouma Kouriba, who provides an update on the SFC group in Dimbily below. Continue reading “The progress of the Savings For Change group in Dimbily”

The impact of the Kilegou school garden

In April 2018, the Tandana Foundation partnered with the residents of Kilegou to create a garden at the elementary and junior high school. To support their efforts in establishing the school garden, Tandana provided the community members with a fence, tools, training, seeds, and water containers, helping to solve the water problem during the driest months. The students are now growing many vegetables, some of which they sell to earn money for their notebooks, pens, and other school supplies. Read the thoughts of the school’s director and a student about the impact of the garden below. Continue reading “The impact of the Kilegou school garden”

A trusted partner in Mali

Not every organization or individual who promises to help a group of people delivers on that promise. The Tandana Foundation, however, has earned the reputation that the organization can be trusted after continually following through on the projects it has collaborated on. In the following, Sara Tembine describes how she and other women in her village were deceived, and how her knowledge of Tandana’s work led her to argue in favor of her village partnering with Tandana on several projects. Continue reading “A trusted partner in Mali”

Finishing school, even with a baby

The Tandana Foundation’s student mothers program helps girls from rural villages in the Bandiagara District of Mali attend middle school, even if they become mothers. To go to schools in the city, girls must find families to host them, but if they get pregnant, the families usually send them back to their villages and they have to drop out of school. Through this program, Tandana trains families to explain that they can still host the students even if they are young mothers. In addition, it also provides food and basic medical supplies for the babies, so they are not an additional cost to the families. Tandana currently supports 10 student mothers, assisting them in staying in school despite the challenges of motherhood. Below one of these student mothers, Mariam Doumbo, shares the many benefits this program has offered her.
Continue reading “Finishing school, even with a baby”

Evaluating the success of our women’s program in Mali

The Women’s Literacy, Leadership, and Enterprise (formerly known as the Women LEAP program,) which was launched by the Tandana Foundation with support from Dining for Women, has been highly successful. The project’s goal is to promote women’s economic independence and participation in local decision-making in the Bandiagara District of Mali by improving their literacy, numeracy, and association management, democratic governance, and leadership skills. Continue reading “Evaluating the success of our women’s program in Mali”

Hear from participants in the Women’s Literacy, Leadership, and Enterprise program

The Tandana Foundation’s Women’s Literacy, Leadership, and Enterprise program has touched the lives of more than 1,000 women in Mali. As the program continues to grow, thanks to its proven success, increasing demand, and support from Dining for Women, Foundation Beyond Belief, and others, it’s always nice to hear from the women who are a part of the program. The following blog contains the testimonials from three courageous women about how the Tommo So literacy and numeracy classes, leadership workshops, and Savings for Change initiatives have impacted their lives. Continue reading “Hear from participants in the Women’s Literacy, Leadership, and Enterprise program”

Tandana funds six women’s association enterprises in Mali

As part of the Women’s Literacy, Leadership, and Enterprise Program, the Tandana Foundation used part of a grant from Dining for Women to provide startup funding for six new women’s associations’ business proposals in the Bandiagara District of Mali. These women’s associations are now starting income-generating activities, including making nutritional seasoning balls out of néré seeds, raising sheep, transforming cotton into cloth and indigo dyeing.  Continue reading “Tandana funds six women’s association enterprises in Mali”

The roots of intercultural collaboration and friendship in Mali

Volunteers and residents of Kansongho celebrate restoration of the well

Every story of friendship has a beginning. For the Tandana Foundation and the Bandiagara District in rural Mali, the story began when Tandana’s founder Anna Taft first visited the Kansongo village in 2007. Despite initial hesitations, this friendship blossomed into a mutually beneficial relationship, creating unanticipated opportunities for intercultural learning and much more. The following blog post describes how this friendship grew into a great collaboration between the American foundation and the local community, along with the impact of their joint efforts. Continue reading “The roots of intercultural collaboration and friendship in Mali”

‘Long live the Tandana Foundation’

In rural Mali, the Tommo So literacy and numeracy classes, along with the recently launched leadership workshops, which are made possible thanks to the support from Dining for Women, continue to have extremely positive impacts on the women who participate in them. Below, three women share their stories of how these programs, which have been established in many villages by the Tandana Foundation, have changed their lives for the better and have assisted them in becoming community leaders. Continue reading “‘Long live the Tandana Foundation’”

Olouguèlemo Association launches reforestation campaign in Wadouba, Mali

Thanks to the continuous assistance and advisory support from the Tandana Foundation, the Olouguelemo Association was able to organize, for the first time, a reforestation campaign in the township of Wadouba, Mali, in partnership with the town hall.

Here are the speeches recorded during the launch ceremony of the reforestation campaign in Wadouba, which took place on August 17, 2018. Continue reading “Olouguèlemo Association launches reforestation campaign in Wadouba, Mali”

Taking risks to become female leaders

The Tandana Foundation, in collaboration with Alpha Formation Traduction et Conception Documentaire au Pays Dogon and support from Dining for Women, organized workshops about women’s leadership. During one of the workshops, after a module about the topic of the difficulties of women leaders, particularly lack of self-confidence, participant Aissata Kansaye, who was selected as the policewoman of the workshop, described one of her past struggles in order to encourage other women to take risks. Continue reading “Taking risks to become female leaders”

Reflections from Savings For Change members in Teguedou

Interested in learning what women in the  Savings For Change (SFC) program think of the impact of their participation? Below, three members from the village of Teguedou share their reflections on the  SFC program, which is a savings and credit program for women that the Tandana Foundation has helped establish in many communities in Mali. The goal of the program is to allow members to pool their savings and take out loans in order to assist them in starting or expanding micro-businesses. Continue reading “Reflections from Savings For Change members in Teguedou”

Another village asks to join the Olouguelemo Association

From April 27-28, the General Assembly of the Olouguelemo Association – funded by the Tandana Foundation – was held in Andjine Nantanga, Mali. During the General Assembly, a delegation of villagers from Biné requested permission to join the fifteen villages that were already part of the Olouguelemo Association after witnessing the successful growth of trees in nearby protected forest areas, which members of the association came together to establish and oversee. The following are comments from the Biné delegates. Continue reading “Another village asks to join the Olouguelemo Association”

What we can do now

 

Organizing in work groups. Making phone calls independently. Teaching their children to read and do math. These are a just a few examples of what three women, of the more than one thousand women who have participated in the Tommo So literacy and numeracy classes and recently launched leadership workshops, write about what what their participation in these programs – made possible thanks to support from Dining for Women,  assists them in doing. Below, those three women share their experiences before and after taking part in these programs, all of which the women asked the Tandana Foundation to help bring to their villages in rural Mali. Continue reading “What we can do now”

‘We see clearly, we hear, we walk’

After women in the village of Kansongho told the Tandana Foundation that they would like to learn literacy and numeracy skills, so that they could keep records for their businesses and be independent in the marketplace, Tandana began the Tommo So literacy program in 2012. When women in neighboring villages saw what women in Kansongho were learning, they too, asked to participate, and that demand has continued to spread. To date, Tandana has provided classes to 1,117 women in 29 villages thanks to support from Dining for Women. In 2018, the foundation added women’s leadership workshops for former literacy students from each village to its offerings and supported these leaders in creating official women’s associations. Each new association was invited to submit a proposal for an income-generating enterprise, and the ten best proposals were selected to receive funding. The following letter was written by  Assatou Goudienkile, on behalf of the women from the village of Nounou, explaining how their participation in the literacy and women’s leadership programs has helped them become self-reliant. Continue reading “‘We see clearly, we hear, we walk’”

Checking in on the Olouguelemo Association’s tree nurseries

Tree nursery managers with their seedlings.

In the rural Malian township of Wadouba, members of the Olouguelemo Association take care of tree nurseries that they established to combat the effects of deforestation and desertification. These nurseries allow them to produce new trees to be planted both in their protected forest areas and in farmers fields. Not only do the new trees benefit the environment, but they also provide fruit to the local communities. The Tandana Foundation assists the village-run association in caring for their nurseries through providing training and other resources. Below, two Olouguelemo members each describe the goals, productivity, and associated benefits of the tree nurseries they oversee. Continue reading “Checking in on the Olouguelemo Association’s tree nurseries”

Advocating for gender equality in local elections

During a series of workshops on women’s leadership sponsored by The Tandana Foundation and made possible through support from Dining for Women, participants learned how to form and lead women’s associations and also shared their experiences in leadership. In rural regions of Mali, women are rarely well represented in township councils. To encourage more women to seek these community leadership positions, Oumou Kansaye used examples from her experience in politics to inspire other women during one of the workshops. In the following, Oumou Kansaye tells her story, including desribing a speech where she argued for the equal treatment of female leaders from rural communities. Continue reading “Advocating for gender equality in local elections”

Meet Tandana’s Savings for Change Trainer

The following is the story of Tandana’s  Savings For Change (SFC) trainer Moussa Tembiné. The SFC program is a savings and credit program for women that the Tandana Foundation has helped establish in many communities in Mali. Through this program, women are able to pool their savings and take out loans to assist them in starting or expanding micro-businesses.

Continue reading “Meet Tandana’s Savings for Change Trainer”

A woman leading by example to inspire others

 

The following is a letter written by Kessia Kouriba, a teacher in the women’s literacy program sponsored by the Tandana Foundation with support from Dining for Women in partnership with the Alpha Formation Traduction et Conception Documentaire au Pays Dogon (AFTCD/PD), a technical linguistic service in Bandiagara, Mali.  Kessia highlights the importance of women taking leadership roles and overcoming traditional gender barriers, just as she has done.

Hello members and supporters of the Tandana Foundation, Continue reading “A woman leading by example to inspire others”

Joining together to keep a special teacher in rural Mali

Elé is from the village of Dianweli, about 7 km from Yarou-Plateau. He attended secondary school in Bourgouma, 3 km from his village. He is certified with a technician’s diploma (BT) from the professional school of Kayes in western Mali.

Elé composed the following passage about his experience as a subidized teacher and how the Tandana Foundation teamed with the local residents to ensure he was able to receive payment for his work and stay teaching in rural Yarou-Plateau. Continue reading “Joining together to keep a special teacher in rural Mali”

Teaching literacy to empower women in Mali

Tembel Bamia, President of the women of Assa

Being able to read words and understand numbers help women in Mali shop at the market independently and succeed in their work. The Tandana Foundation has partnered with members of 30 villages to establish literacy and numeracy classes – thanks to support from Dining for Women – that teach women to read, recognize numbers and count, improving their abilities to support their families. Below are comments from two women whose lives have changed through their participation in these classes. Continue reading “Teaching literacy to empower women in Mali”

Inside successful community environmental protection in Wadouba, Mali

To address the challenges of deforestation and desertification, 15 villages in the Wadouba Township of Mali have come together to discuss and make decisions about protecting the environment. The Tandana Foundation supports the locally-run Olouguelemo environmental protection association. The following are thoughts from two association members on how their work has benefited the community.
Continue reading “Inside successful community environmental protection in Wadouba, Mali”

Villagers praise new well in Ologuiné, Mali

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Hama Guindo, ancien secrétaire général de la jeunesse de Ologuiné: aujourd’hui, si vous me demandez de parler mon impression de ce puits, je ne vais pas finir maintenant. Avant la population d’Ologuiné vivais d’eau de rivières ou dans les marres qui se trouvent dans le jardin de maraichage, les animaux du village de Ologuiné, Orsongho, Kani Gogouna et Gagnaga tous venaient boire dans ses rivières et aussi c’est un lieu où les femmes font leur lessive. Continue reading “Villagers praise new well in Ologuiné, Mali”

Olouguelemo Association Committee Members Reflect on its Environmental Initiatives

Olouguelemo committee members

The Olouguelemo Environmental Association, with which Tandana has partnered since its inception, is made up of 15 member villages in Mali. Each member village selects committee members, who represent their village at meetings of the whole association. Continue reading “Olouguelemo Association Committee Members Reflect on its Environmental Initiatives”

Respect and Responsibility Bring About Positive Change

A volunteer connecting with a villager in Mali

In May 2017, The Tandana Foundation held a fundraising event. Tandana’s Founding Director, Anna Taft, spoke at the event. Below is the text of her speech. Continue reading “Respect and Responsibility Bring About Positive Change”

Students thankful for opportunities that have grown from school garden in De, Mali

School garden in De, Mali

Below are videos of two students and the school director talking about the school garden in De, Mali. Continue reading “Students thankful for opportunities that have grown from school garden in De, Mali”

Savings for Change Program Opens New Lives for Women

 

A Savings for Change Group Member

Voici quelques commentaires des femmes participants au programme Epargne Pour le Changement de la Fondation Tandana dans la commune rurale d’Ondogou, au Mali. Ces commentaires sont datés du 17 mars 2017. Continue reading “Savings for Change Program Opens New Lives for Women”

Founding Director Explains Tandana’s Personal Orientation

In November 2016, The Tandana Foundation held a dinner celebrating its 10th anniversary. Anna Taft, Tandana’s Founding Director, spoke at the dinner. Below is the text of her speech. Continue reading “Founding Director Explains Tandana’s Personal Orientation”

Indigo Bank Unites Women from Three Villages

the indigo bank management committee
The Indigo Bank Management Committee

Les Femmes de la communauté d’Ondougou, au Mali, teignent le tissu à l’indigo comme activité principale, activité réservée aux femmes d’une tradition particulière.  Elles cherchaient un accès plus facile aux matériaux utilisés dans le procédé de teinture, ainsi que la capacité d’acheter ceux-ci à crédit. Tandana les a aidées à créer une banque d’indigo, afin de gérer un fonds renouvelable pour l’achat de ces matériaux. Tandana leur a également fourni une formation concernant certaines autres techniques, afin que la teinture indigo traditionnelle reste compétitive vis à vis des procédés chimiques, plus dangereux et dont la popularité augmente dans la région, ainsi que pour leur permette d’exercer leur activité de teinture en toute sécurité. Elles ont choisi un comité de sept femmes pour gérer la banque, et les membres de ce comité ont reçu une formation en gestion et tenue des dossiers.  Ayant complété une session de cours d’alphabétisation de Tandana en langue Tommo So,  les femmes membres du comité ont donc été bien équipées pour assumer une telle responsabilité. Voir ci-dessous quelques commentaires des participants.

Women in Ondougou Township, Mali, dye cloth with indigo as their major business, which is reserved for women of a particular heritage. They wanted to have more access to the materials they use in the dyeing process and the ability to purchase them on credit. Tandana helped them create an indigo bank to manage a revolving fund for the materials they use. Tandana also provided training for them in additional dyeing techniques to help them keep traditional indigo-dyeing competitive with the more dangerous chemical dyeing-processes that are becoming popular in the region and to do their dyeing safely. They chose a committee of seven women to manage the bank, and the committee members received training in management and record-keeping. Because they had completed a session of Tandana’s Tommo So literacy classes, the committee members were well-equipped to take on this responsibility.  Below, you can see comments from some of the participants.

Las mujeres en el municipio de Ondougou, Mali, tiñen ropa con índigo, siendo su negocio más importante, el cual se reserva para mujeres de cierta herencia. Estas mujeres querían tener mayor acceso a los materiales que usan en el proceso de teñido y capacidad para comprarlos a plazos. Tandana les ayudó a crear un banco de índigo para gestionar un fondo rotativo de los materiales que utilizan. Tandana también les proporcionó formación en técnicas de teñido para ayudarles así, a mantener una condición favorable del teñido tradicional de índigo con el proceso químico más peligroso que se está popularizando en la región, haciendo el teñido de forma segura. Eligieron un comité de siete mujeres para gestionar el banco y recibieron formación en la gestión y registro. Ya que completaron la sesión de Tandana de clases de alfabetización de Tommo So, las pertenecientes al comité fueron bien preparadas para hacerse cargo de esta responsabilidad. Aqui en debajo se puede ver unas reflexiones de algunas participantes.

Mariam Yanogo:
Mariam Yanogo

Mariam Yanogo:

Je suis la présidente de cette association, d’abord mon remerciement  a vous, Moussa et Yembila, c’est grâce à vous nous retrouvons ici. Sans mentir je dis au fond de mon cœur, ces  trois villages (Kondiougou, Indell, Guinekanda), nous travaillons des mêmes activités mais on n’a jamais collaboré ensemble pour donner des idées et travailler en équipe et si vous voyez qu’aujourd’hui nous sommes ensemble c’est grâce au financement de la Fondation Tandana et ses partenaires. Selon mon information, le 1er magasin de stockage des produits de teinture dans le cercle de Bandiagara donc nous avons eu une grande chance pour avoir ce magasin  et avec cette grâce nous allons montrer  à la Fondation Tandana ce qu’on peut faire.

Mariam Yanogo:

I am the president of this association. First of all, thank you Moussa and Yembila (the trainer). It is thanks to you that we are here. Without lying, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, these three villages (Kondiougou, Indell, Guinekanda), we worked on the same activities without ever collaborating or sharing ideas with one another before, and if you see us together today, it is thanks to the financial support of The Tandana Foundation and its partners. According to my information, this is the first warehouse for indigo dye products in Bandiagara District. As such, we have had the great luck to have this indigo bank and with that blessing, we will show The Tandana Foundation what we can do.

Mariam Yanogo:

Soy la presidenta de esta asociación. Antes de todo, gracias Moussa y Yembila (el instructor). Es gracias a vosotros que estemos aquí. Sin mentir, os puedo decir desde el fondo de mi corazón, estas tres aldeas (Kondiougou, Indell, Guinekanda), hemos trabajamos en las mismas actividades sin colaborar nunca antes ni compartir ideas , y si nos ves juntos hoy, es gracias a el ayuda  financiera de la Fundación Tandana y sus compañeros. De acuerdo con mi información,  este es el primer almacén para productos de teñido índigo en Bandiagara. Y siendo así, hemos tenido la grandísima suerte de tener este banco de índigo y con esta bendición, le enseñaremos a la Fundación Tandana lo que podemos hacer.

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Ramata Balam, Gestionnaire du magasin de stockage de teinture:

Pour moi, c’est une grande histoire. Après mes études en comptabilité c’est la première fois de faire mon expérience en comptabilité. Je suis de Guinekanda et marié à Kondiougou, Après les études je me suis marié dans ce village et je pense souvent pourquoi j’ai étudié parce que j’ai tendance à oublier mes notions à 100%  je suis devenue une ménagère. Aujourd’hui grâce à vous et à la Fondation Tandana, je me sent que je suis utile et je commence à mettre en pratique mes études. Franchement je suis contente de cette initiative et c’est ma première fois de voir les femmes de ces trois villages réunir et travailler ensemble. Je vous demande d’être près de nous et c’est un début, nous n’avons pas d’expérience en gestion et c’est  une nouvelle équipe.

Ramata Balam, Manager of the indigo bank:

For me it has been a long journey to get to this point. Since I finished studying accounting, this is the first time I have done accounting work. I am from Guinekanda and married to a man from Kondiougou. After my studies, I got married in this village and have often questioned why I studied because I have almost forgotten what I studied, for lack of using it. I became a housewife. Today, thanks to you, The Tandana Foundation, I feel that I am useful and I have started to put into practice all that I have studied. Honestly, I am happy with this initiative and it is the first time I have seen the women from these three villages working together and united. I ask you to stay close to us since this is just the beginning. We do not have experience in management and are a new team.

Ramata Balam, Gerente del banco de índigo:

Para mí, llegar hasta este punto ha sido un largo camino. Desde que terminé de estudiar contabilidad, esta es la primera vez que trabajo como contable. Soy de Guinekanda y estoy casada con un hombre de Kondiougou. Después de mis estudios, me casé en este pueblo y me he cuestionado frecuentemente porqué he estudiado ya que he olvidado casi todo lo que estudié, por no utilizarlo. Me convertí en una ama de casa. Hoy, gracias a vosotros, la Fundación Tandana,  siento que soy útil y he empezado a poner en práctica lo que había estudiado. Honestamente, estoy contenta con esta iniciativa y  es la primera vez que veo a las mujeres de estas tres aldeas trabajando juntas y unidas. Os pido que os quedéis cerca nuestro ya que esto es solo el comienzo. No tenemos experiencia en gestión y somos un equipo nuevo.

Anta Napo:
Anta Napo

Anta Napo:

Je suis la trésorière, moi personnellement je ne pensais pas que ces trois villages allaient travailler ensemble, cher partenaire de notre association, la manière dont vous avez eu l’idée de nous soutenir avec les  produits naturelles bio, permet de pérenniser les anciennes pratiques et  beaucoup d’entre nous les jeunes filles ne savent pas ces pratiques donc c’est une forte opportunité à nous les jeunes et nous  comptons sur vous nuit et jour.

Anta Napo:

I am the treasurer. Personally, I never thought these three villages would work together. Dear partners, your idea to support us with natural, organic products has permitted us to perpetuate our ancient practices. Many of the young girls among us did not know of these methods and so it is a great opportunity for us and for the younger generation. We count on you night and day.

Anta Napo:

Soy la tesorera. Personalmente, nunca pensé que estas tres aldeas trabajarían juntas. Queridos compañeros, vuestra idea de apoyarnos con productos naturales y orgánicos nos ha permitido perpetuar nuestras prácticas ancestrales. Muchas de las chicas jóvenes no conocían estos métodos y por lo tanto es una oportunidad magnífica tanto para nosotros como para la generación joven. Contamos en vosotros día y noche.