Better Together: Shared Learning Spreads Success
When introducing new concepts to villagers in our West Africa* program, our local partner always starts out with a “Moussa and Halima” story. Moussa is a traditional farmer who never changes and never gets ahead, and the dynamic Halima is always learning and improving her practices. One villager reacted by saying, “Halima didn’t do what was right. She didn’t share her idea of how to improve her field with Moussa! You should always share what you’ve learned with others, even if they don’t ask!”
In that same spirit, some sixty people from different community groups recently gathered for an annual meeting under a large shade tree to learn from each other’s experiences, mistakes, and successes.
One group said their first attempt at organizing failed because they didn’t enforce membership rules. The second time around, they laid out the rules more clearly, as well as how they would be enforced. Several years later, the group reports long-term success.
Another group started a community garden with 30 participants, but had a crop failure from watering too much. The following year, only seven people had the courage to try again. But, when the other villagers saw the turnaround in how much they harvested and how the food had helped their families, more and more people joined. There are now 60 people gardening together.
A third group goes beyond simple gardening and marketing advice, helping each other when someone is sick, or giving marriage advice when couples are having difficulties.
West Africa* Program
Led by World Renew and local partner SEL (Showing Everyone Love)*
*For security reasons, all names are changed.
64 communities, 2,500 households, 17,500 individuals