March 9, 2020

Women’s Cooperative comes to life in The Gambia

Featured image for “Women’s Cooperative comes to life in The Gambia”
The Gambian Amputee Ladies Partnership Group’s officially formed after a successful tie and dye workshop last month.

Fatou Njie, bi-president of the Gambian Amputee Association, called a group of female association members together in January of this year to talk about their lives as women with disabilities. From that meeting the group decided to invest more time in their female peer circle forming the Gambian Female Amputee Partnership group.

“I grew up in Sierra Leone where I knew many amputees. I have been in The Gambia for six months now and have made great friends with the football team. I heard about this new ladies group so I offered to volunteer whenever they want me to.” -Mariama Fofana
(Left to right) Mama Mboge, Fatou Njie, Sainbou Conteh with volunteer Mariama Fofana on their way to day two of the tie and dye workshop.

Time spent establishing the existing skill set within twelve ‘Female Focus Group’ attendees paved the way for a number of workshops in the upcoming months the first of which was a tie and dye workshop hosted by single mother of two Tida Fofana in the last weekend of February. Eight places were offered on the two day workshop where participants were taught how to tie a variety of patterns, the science behind dying the fabric, what equipment and materials are needed and where to find them.

Workshop leader Tida shows GAA bi-president Fatou Njie tie and dye techniques that have been in Tida’s family for generations.
(Left to right) Aincha, Haddie and Sainbou have made arrangements to return to Tida’s for further training in the art of tie and dye.

Gatherings such as these not only serve to share skills but give the chance for women to talk about how to work together for a sustainable future for them and their families. The group worked quickly to arrange the next workshop to learn how to make pepper sauce and snacks led by Tako Saho.

Day one of Tako’s (who can be seen here second from left) cooking workshop yesterday. Next on the list of activities is batik and crochet. The group have discussed the possibility of creating a community banking group to support members to develop small businesses

Immediately the local community offered their support by providing lunch for all ten of the group attendees. When asked why she wanted to host a workshop Tako said ” I see this as being the right way to go. For me it is important to see my fellow females being strong, successful and smiling. That is what we want from this.”