Jose Sanchez is an indigenous farmer who grew up working in the fields of a newly formed commune and was optimistically helping organize the former share-croppers that had been liberated from huasipungo, ‘serfdom,’ in the 1960’s. He lives in Cotacachi, a town of 8,000 located a few miles from Otavalo, and with his wife maintains and manages (at a low salary) a beautiful guest house owned by an absentee landlord long resettled in Quito. His mother is still the owner of a small cornfield in the lands of the former hacienda, but it is not mechanized and doesn’t produce much crops or income. The net result of the ‘liberation’ of the sharecroppers is that they, as before the 1960’s, do all the work and yet remain quite poor. Continue reading “From hacienda to commune to cooperating farm families”
Last year, The Tandana Foundation funded six women’s associations’ business proposals in the Bandiagara District of Mali. These women’s enterprises are now starting income-generating activities, including making nutritional seasoning balls out of néré seeds, raising sheep, transforming cotton into cloth and indigo dyeing. Below two women talk about their income-generating activities. Continue reading “Recent updates from the women’s enterprises in Mali”
The women who participate in the Savings for Change program in Mali continue to experience the positive impacts of their work and their collaboration with each other. Through the program, which is supported by The Tandana Foundation, the women have been able to save money, repay their loans, and manage the costs of running their businesses. Below, two women share how the SFC program has benefited their income-generating activities as well as their villages. Continue reading “Becoming more respected, secure, and in harmony through the Savings For Change program”
The Tandana Foundation provided a start-up revolving fund for six women’s associations in Bandiagara District of Mali last fall. Each of the groups recently collected their first reimbursement for materials used in their income-generating enterprises. In the blog below, three women from these groups share their thoughts following this first repayment that has refilled the operating fund. Now, each group can use its fund to buy more materials and continue earning income. Continue reading “Six women’s associations reimburse their revolving funds, ready to continue earning with their enterprises”
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”
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’”
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”
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”
In the rural communities of the Quichinche parish, getting access to medical care is not always easy. Residents often wait long amounts of time to receive support and assistance through Ecuador’s public health system. Twice each year, the Tandana Foundation‘s Health Care Volunteer Venture teams and staff from the public health centers visit these rural communities to provide primary care to the local residents. Tandana’s Patient Follow Up Coordinator then works with the patients who are referred for additional care, advocating for them in the public health system. It is our goal that, through this process, patients learn how to use the system on their own. In the following videos and translations of their transcripts, three of these patients explain in their own words how the HCVV visits helped them receive needed medical support and more.
Continue reading “Going beyond medical support”
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’”
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”
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.
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”
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”