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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

Baking for Empowerment

In January 2022, Adama Pouye from Senegal and Nancy Scott from the United States, came together to help the women of Cooperation of the Networks of Users of the Consular Agricultural Training and Transformation Unit (RUUFTAC) create new and improved products to sell in their communities. 

In Senegal, there is a market for bakery products made from local cereals and women are looking for ways to boost their incomes by offering high-quality baked products. Using the new paired model, created during the COVID pandemic to overcome the inability to travel, US volunteers are matched up with a Senegalese volunteer to jointly plan and offer training. Taking full advantage of available technology, Nancy and Adama met over Zoom and communicated via email and WhatsApp to create a training plan tailored for RUUFTAC. Together they helped teach the women of RUUFTAC new techniques to make nutritious baked products using local grains such as millet, corn, rice, and black eye peas. One of the training participants during the training said “We did not believe that pastry can be made from local cereals. Our cereals have more value than we expected.’’

Based on their information gathering with association members and her own experience in the US, Nancy adapted, tested, and proposed recipes. Together Adama and Nancy finalized recipes and planned the training. Adama then provided hands-on demonstrations for how to make corn cakes, millet madeleines, corn birthday cakes with buttercream and chocolate, peanut butter cookies, local cereal fritters, buns, croissants, and black eye pea and pumpkin bread. All of which were delicious according to Farmer-to-Farmer Country Directer, Abibou Diaw, who had the lucky job of being a taste tester for this assignment!

US volunteer joins via zoom to watch the participants try her recipes

Most of the participants have already taken some initiative to implement what they have learned. Some are making healthy children’s snacks from the recipes shared. “Adama and Nancy’s team gave us new and enriching baking techniques. We learned a lot from the local grains available. My little store in front of my house will have new products and attract more customers” Ndeye Seynabou Dieng, member of the cooperative. The goal of this training was to enable the women of RUUFTAC to earn extra income while also creating nutrious items for their community, as a bonus, buying local cereals also helps small-scale farmers in local communities. When women are empowered to use their skills and knowledge, everyone benefits. Thank you to Adama and Nancy for reaching across an ocean and working together to bring their knowledge to RUUFTAC!

National volunteer, Adama, tastes one of the new recipes developed by US volunteer Nancy and baked by a member of RUUFTAC