On May 21-27, 2014, 55 Community Management Committees (CMCs) from the departments of Goudiry and Bakel gathered in Tambacounda, Senegal to attend a training session on financial management and receive a Community Development Grant (CDG).

The 220 people in attendance (165 CMC members and 55 village chiefs), along with their communities, are currently participating in the Ndimaagu Project. This project aims to prevent gender-based and domestic violence at the community level as well as encourage partnerships between CMCs and other agencies responding to gender-based violence in Senegal. The Ndimaagu Project is integrated into Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP) and is being implemented in partnership with PATH.

The main goal of the training and fund distribution was to further equip CMCs with the knowledge and means to support entrepreneurial activities that improve gender equity. The training session was specifically organized by Tostan’s Empowered Communities Network (ECN), which connects CMCs with potential partners.  

After the training, each of the 55 CMCs from Goudiry and Bakel received a grant of 500,000 CFA ($1033 USD). The local authorities – the prefects, sub-prefects, and presidents of rural communities from each department – signed a memorandum of understanding for proper monitoring of these funds in both departments.

For proper management of these funds, each CMC will have a registry in the community for transparency and verification of the use of these funds at the community level. Community Management Committees will also be monitored by trained Tostan supervisors who will track information about the funds when they are distributed and also monitor the four rounds of CMC-led loan collections from community members participating in the Ndimaagu Project.

Tostan believes that the funds given to the 55 CMCs will help jump-start activities that will contribute to the reduction of poverty and gender-based violence in the area. Through income-generating activities, women can claim their space in the household by financially providing for their families.  These funds will also allow the beneficiaries to practice what they learned in CEP for the long-term.