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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

Boosting Organizational Development Skills in Senegal: A Farmer-to-Farmer Initiative

Eric M. Washington

At Winrock International, we believe in empowering communities by enabling them to be self-sufficient and equipping them with the necessary tools to build and strengthen their organizations. One of our most successful projects is the Farmer-to-Farmer program in Senegal, where we aim to improve the organizational development skills of the ANAMO group members. The objective is to teach, inspire, and enable these farmers to manage and operate their group effectively, transforming them into efficient producers and processors. Our project encompassed broad and comprehensive training covering various crucial aspects. These included understanding roles and responsibilities, honing leadership skills, improving decision-making processes, enhancing communication, and mastering conflict resolution. We also delved into the complex yet rewarding areas of group dynamics, advocacy, transparency, accountability, and administrative and financial management. Each of these areas is a vital cog in the organizational machine, and their mastery ensures the smooth functioning of any group.

The training was designed to do more than impart knowledge. We wanted to equip the participants with organizational capacity tools that would enable them to survive and thrive. By fostering these skills, we aimed to empower the group members to develop income-generating activities, collaborate with partners, and strengthen their network, all while involving all group members in the process. The topics requested by the participants – such as leadership, communication, conflict resolution, and entrepreneurship – were successfully developed and presented. This ensured that the training was tailored to their needs, and it was rewarding to see its tangible impact on their activities. In the words of the Coordinator of ANAMO Thienaba, Mamadou Diallo, “We have been fortunate to receive this training. It allowed us to get connected and develop our network. Now, I will lead the House of Tool I manage differently in terms of its functioning.” These words encapsulate the transformative impact of the Farmer-to-Farmer initiative.

As we continue to work with the ANAMO group members, seeing the ripple effect of the training sessions is inspiring. The knowledge and skills gained benefit the participants and their communities. It is a testament to the power of education and the strength of a community when it has given the right tools to grow. At Winrock International, we are dedicated to creating and supporting initiatives that make fundamental, sustainable changes in communities worldwide. The Farmer-to-Farmer project in Senegal is just one of the many ways we are striving to make a difference, and we are excited to see the lasting impacts of our work in the years to come.