Helping People Help Themselves

February 19, 2008Andrea Calabrese
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Thanks to Development Gateway Senegal and other organizations, Fallou Diagne is better able to meet his business needs.

Senegal

Fallou Diagne is the financial coordinator at Le Collectif des Groupements Associatifs de Pikine Ouest, a collective consisting of neighborhood development associations and cultural and athletic associations. In an attempt to better support his family, Diagne started diversifying his income-generating activities last year by offering essential products to the women of Pikine, a suburb of Dakar. To do so, however, he needed to use a computer, and his computer skills were not strong enough to manage this expansion. In September of 2008, therefore, Diagne attended a training class on the use of new technologies provided by the "Micro Entrepreneurs and ICT” project. “I agreed to attend this training to improve my computer skills as well as to manage more effectively my business. My personal goal was to get familiar with Excel and the Internet,” Diagne said.

The project, managed by Development Gateway Senegal and PlaNet Finance Senegal, in partnership with Microsoft Unlimited Potential, is designed to provide individuals like Diagne with the tools and knowledge necessary for them to help themselves. In Diagne’s case, what he needed was a tool to help him organize his very busy schedule. His friend, who also enrolled in the course, needed something to set himself apart from the 48precent of Senegal’s population that is unemployed. After attending the course offered by Development Gateway Senegal, Diagne’s friend successfully found employment and, self-admittedly, feels more confident. In Diagne’s own words, “The content of the training addressed my needs, and this project helped us in two major ways: first to better manage our business and second to create jobs [and] opportunities.”

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