Taking risks to become female leaders

The Tandana Foundation, in collaboration with Alpha Formation Traduction et Conception Documentaire au Pays Dogon, organized workshops about women’s leadership. During one of the workshops, after a module about the topic of the difficulties of women leaders, particularly lack of self-confidence, participant Aissata Kansaye, who was selected as the policewoman of the workshop, described one of her past struggles in order to encourage other women to take risks. Continue reading “Taking risks to become female leaders”

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Moral Obligations and Meaningful Action: Part 3

The development project as an attempt to bring all societies “forward,” along a supposed continuum, is unjustifiable.  And yet there is much important work to be done that looks very much like, and is even called, “development.”  Without development theory as a guiding framework, why do we do this work?  I have tried to explain the philosophical underpinnings for Tandana’s work, describing how they led to the work we do, but even more importantly, to the way in which we do this work. 
Continue reading “Moral Obligations and Meaningful Action: Part 3”

Kindness and generosity in Ecuador

The following post was written by Chloe Willeford, a high school student who recently returned from a volunteer trip with the Tandana Foundation in Ecuador. 

One month ago, my group of eight other students, three leaders, and I touched down in Quito, Ecuador, to begin a three-week service trip helping Agualongo de Quichinche, a community outside of Otavalo. Little did I know that the trip would teach me and help me grow just as much, if not more, as it helped Agualongo.

Continue reading “Kindness and generosity in Ecuador”

First-Person Orientation and Reaching Out: Part 2

The development project as an attempt to bring all societies “forward,” along a supposed continuum, is unjustifiable.  And yet there is much important work to be done that looks very much like, and is even called, “development.”  Without development theory as a guiding framework, why do we do this work?  I have tried to explain the philosophical underpinnings for Tandana’s work, describing how they led to the work we do, but even more importantly, to the way in which we do this work. 
Continue reading “First-Person Orientation and Reaching Out: Part 2”

Easing the financial burden of education

Through the generous support of its donors, providing scholarships is one important way the Tandana Foundation assists promising students in pursuing their educational aspirations. Each student’s story is unique, along with their future career goals. In the following, Sisa Pacari Fuerez López recounts her family’s struggles to pay for the children’s schooling, and shares how Tandana’s scholarship has helped ease their financial burden and enabled Sisa and her siblings to continue advancing in their education. Continue reading “Easing the financial burden of education”

Reaching Out to Others with a Personal Approach: Part 1 – The Tandana Foundation

The development project as an attempt to bring all societies “forward,” along a supposed continuum, is unjustifiable.  And yet there is much important work to be done that looks very much like, and is even called, “development.”  Without development theory as a guiding framework, why do we do this work?  I have tried to explain the philosophical underpinnings for Tandana’s work, describing how they led to the work we do, but even more importantly, to the way in which we do this work. 

Continue reading “Reaching Out to Others with a Personal Approach: Part 1 – The Tandana Foundation”

Reflections from Savings For Change members in Teguedou

Interested in learning what women in the  Savings For Change (SFC) program think of the impact of their participation? Below, three members from the village of Teguedou share their reflections on the  SFC program, which is a savings and credit program for women that the Tandana Foundation has helped establish in many communities in Mali. The goal of the program is to allow members to pool their savings and take out loans in order to assist them in starting or expanding micro-businesses. Continue reading “Reflections from Savings For Change members in Teguedou”

Another village asks to join the Olouguelemo Association

From April 27-28, the General Assembly of the Olouguelemo Association – funded by the Tandana Foundation – was held in Andjine Nantanga, Mali. During the General Assembly, a delegation of villagers from Biné requested permission to join the fifteen villages that were already part of the Olouguelemo Association after witnessing the successful growth of trees in nearby protected forest areas, which members of the association came together to establish and oversee. The following are comments from the Biné delegates. Continue reading “Another village asks to join the Olouguelemo Association”

What we can do now

 

Organizing in work groups. Making phone calls independently. Teaching their children to read and do math. These are a just a few examples of what three women, of the more than one thousand women who have participated in the Tommo So literacy and numeracy classes and recently launched leadership workshops, write about what what their participation in these programs assists them in doing. Below, those three women share their experiences before and after taking part in these programs, all of which the women asked the Tandana Foundation to help bring to their villages in rural Mali. Continue reading “What we can do now”

Going beyond medical support

In the rural communities of the Quichinche parish, getting access to medical care is not always easy. Residents often wait long amounts of time to receive support and assistance through Ecuador’s public health system. Twice each year, the Tandana Foundation‘s Health Care Volunteer Venture teams and staff from the public health centers visit these rural communities to provide primary care to the local residents. Tandana’s Patient Follow Up Coordinator then works with the patients who are referred for additional care, advocating for them in the public health system. It is our goal that, through this process, patients learn how to use the system on their own. In the following videos and translations of their transcripts, three of these patients explain in their own words how the HCVV visits helped them receive needed medical support and more. 
Continue reading “Going beyond medical support”

‘We see clearly, we hear, we walk’

After women in the village of Kansongho told the Tandana Foundation that they would like to learn literacy and numeracy skills, so that they could keep records for their businesses and be independent in the marketplace, Tandana began the Tommo So literacy program in 2012. When women in neighboring villages saw what women in Kansongho were learning, they too, asked to participate, and that demand has continued to spread. To date, Tandana has provided classes to 1,117 women in 29 villages. In 2018, the foundation added women’s leadership workshops for former literacy students from each village to its offerings and supported these leaders in creating official women’s associations. Each new association was invited to submit a proposal for an income-generating enterprise, and the ten best proposals were selected to receive funding. The following letter was written by  Assatou Goudienkile, on behalf of the women from the village of Nounou, explaining how their participation in the literacy and women’s leadership programs has helped them become self-reliant. Continue reading “‘We see clearly, we hear, we walk’”

Language barriers and Tandana

My name is Joseph White and I’m a student going into my fourth year at the University of Cincinnati. I’m majoring in Psychology and minoring in Africana Studies and Sociology. I’m the first in my family to attend college, so a lot of my time at the university has been spent building a network of people that are already doing the things that I want to do. My success begins on a small scale. A college education is not the standard in my family. Continue reading “Language barriers and Tandana”

Learning while working alongside nature’s caretaker

Matias on the left and Hope on the right.

Many of the Tandana Foundation volunteers, who have come to Ecuador on Gardening Volunteer Ventures since 2013 as well as other programs, have worked alongside Matias Perugachi and learned how to grow plants, raise crops and nurture trees in our joint efforts to make the area more productive and sustainable. We have planted trees on hillsides to break the wind and along community streets to add greenery and purify the air. We have planted gardens at the community’s health center and schools to improve nutrition, and we have worked in the fields to plant and tend crops to provide food. Continue reading “Learning while working alongside nature’s caretaker”

Checking in on the Olouguelemo Association’s tree nurseries

Tree nursery managers with their seedlings.

In the rural Malian township of Wadouba, members of the Olouguelemo Association take care of tree nurseries that they established to combat the effects of deforestation and desertification. These nurseries allow them to produce new trees to be planted both in their protected forest areas and in farmers fields. Not only do the new trees benefit the environment, but they also provide fruit to the local communities. The Tandana Foundation assists the village-run association in caring for their nurseries through providing training and other resources. Below, two Olouguelemo members each describe the goals, productivity, and associated benefits of the tree nurseries they oversee. Continue reading “Checking in on the Olouguelemo Association’s tree nurseries”

Dreams become possible through education

Gladys (derecha) después de graduarse con otros estudiantes

My name is Gladys Estefania Torres Imba. I am 20 years old and I live with my parents and my three brothers, 3 kilometers from the city of Otavalo, in the community of Panecillo. I am the only daughter in my family . My father is a bricklayer and my mother is a housewife. She did not have the opportunity to go to school, and my father only went to school until third grade, which is why he works in that profession. However, they have worked hard so that my brothers and I can receive an education. All my brothers are studying at school. One of my brothers receives a scholarship from the Tandana Foundation, just like me. Being the only daughter, I am the first in the family that is going forward with university studies.

Continue reading “Dreams become possible through education”

Advocating for gender equality in local elections

During a series of workshops on women’s leadership sponsored by The Tandana Foundation, participants learned how to form and lead women’s associations and also shared their experiences in leadership. In rural regions of Mali, women are rarely well represented in township councils. To encourage more women to seek these community leadership positions, Oumou Kansaye used examples from her experience in politics to inspire other women during one of the workshops. In the following, Oumou Kansaye tells her story, including desribing a speech where she argued for the equal treatment of female leaders from rural communities. Continue reading “Advocating for gender equality in local elections”

Assisting a health center in providing services to the community

Through its health program in Ecuador, The Tandana Foundation works with the Quichinche Subcentro, a rural health center in Ecuador, to support its work caring for the people of the parish. Tandana collaborates with its staff to visit the more distant communities, to follow up with patients identified during these visits who need additional care, and also to support the staff’s health education work. The following is the story written about a recent collaboration by the director of the Subcentro. Continue reading “Assisting a health center in providing services to the community”

Motilón Chupa: a diverse community based on collaboration

Members of the Tandana Foundation, along with volunteers from the Ohio Master Gardener program and from several U.S. universities have recently traveled to Motilón Chupa, Ecuador, to collaborate with community members on several projects. These projects included installing a water tank to improve the community’s irrigation system and planting a garden near the school. The following is a story written by Motilón Chupa’s president about the history of the community, its diverse people, and how Tandana’s staff and volunteer support helps them achieve the residents’ long-term goals. Continue reading “Motilón Chupa: a diverse community based on collaboration”

Meet Tandana’s Savings for Change Trainer

The following is the story of Tandana’s  Savings For Change (SFC) trainer Moussa Tembiné. The SFC program is a savings and credit program for women that the Tandana Foundation has helped establish in many communities in Mali. Through this program, women are able to pool their savings and take out loans to assist them in starting or expanding micro-businesses.

Continue reading “Meet Tandana’s Savings for Change Trainer”

Working at the weather station

The following is a story by Galo José Perugachi Suarez about his life and work at a weather station in Ecuador. The Tandana Foundation has collaborated with Galo on the creation of a self-guided eco-trail and on planting trees and flowers at the weather station. In turn, Galo often educates the foundation’s volunteers about his observations at the station and the work that he does.
Continue reading “Working at the weather station”

Fixing the roof of Padre Chupa’s community school

For many years, the Tandana Foundation has partnered with the members of the community of Padre Chupa to carry out community projects, such as the roof repair that Segundo writes about.

In a very remote area, approximately 25 kilometers from the city of Otavalo, a small community called Padre Chupa is located, which is home to more than 40 families.

Continue reading “Fixing the roof of Padre Chupa’s community school”

A woman leading by example to inspire others

 

The following is a letter written by Kessia Kouriba, a teacher in the women’s literacy program sponsored by the Tandana Foundation in partnership with the Alpha Formation Traduction et Conception Documentaire au Pays Dogon (AFTCD/PD), a technical linguistic service in Bandiagara, Mali.  Kessia highlights the importance of women taking leadership roles and overcoming traditional gender barriers, just as she has done.

Hello members and supporters of the Tandana Foundation, Continue reading “A woman leading by example to inspire others”

Planting seeds, growing friendships

You won’t find Motilón Chupa on Google Maps. This indigenous Kichwa community high in the Andes in the far reaches of Imbabura Province of Ecuador is literally and figuratively at the end of the road. The community is a tight-knit group of people, living in isolated small houses on steep hillsides with no public buildings other than the elementary school. Continue reading “Planting seeds, growing friendships”

Many thanks from a University graduate

 

Dear godparents and Tandana Foundation members,

My name is David Cachimuel and I was a Tandana scholarship student. This scholarship has supported me since I started at the university, and now thanks to the support, I’ve finished my university studies. I’m the youngest child of a family with five siblings, and the first one to obtain a university degree, which represents a lot of pride for my family because finally someone in the family has a university degree.
Continue reading “Many thanks from a University graduate”

Joining together to keep a special teacher in rural Mali

Elé is from the village of Dianweli, about 7 km from Yarou-Plateau. He attended secondary school in Bourgouma, 3 km from his village. He is certified with a technician’s diploma (BT) from the professional school of Kayes in western Mali.

Elé composed the following passage about his experience as a subidized teacher and how the Tandana Foundation teamed with the local residents to ensure he was able to receive payment for his work and stay teaching in rural Yarou-Plateau. Continue reading “Joining together to keep a special teacher in rural Mali”

Becoming family in Ecuador

I quickly grew attached to my host family while living in Ecuador as a volunteer for the Tandana Foundation. My host sister, who is eight years old, was a very easy first connection to make. She loves to play games and is extremely bright, and within a few hours of my arrival we were already “muy amigas.” Continue reading “Becoming family in Ecuador”

Teaching literacy to empower women in Mali

Tembel Bamia, President of the women of Assa

Being able to read words and understand numbers help women in Mali shop at the market independently and succeed in their work. The Tandana Foundation has partnered with members of 30 villages to establish literacy and numeracy classes that teach women to read, recognize numbers and count, improving their abilities to support their families. Below are comments from two women whose lives have changed through their participation in these classes. Continue reading “Teaching literacy to empower women in Mali”

Paving a safer pathway outside Muenala’s community center

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In the remote areas of Ecuador, approximately 35 kilometers from the center of San Jose Parish in Quichinche, a small community called Muenala is located. There are more than 30 families living here and we also have a community council. My name is Martha Lanchimba and I am the president of the community. Continue reading “Paving a safer pathway outside Muenala’s community center”

Inside successful community environmental protection in Wadouba, Mali

To address the challenges of deforestation and desertification, 15 villages in the Wadouba Township of Mali have come together to discuss and make decisions about protecting the environment. The Tandana Foundation supports the locally-run Olouguelemo environmental protection association. The following are thoughts from two association members on how their work has benefited the community.
Continue reading “Inside successful community environmental protection in Wadouba, Mali”

Supporting innovative education at Saminay school

Saminay is a high school that is located approximately 15 miles from Otavalo, in the community of Inguincho. The surrounding mountains allow a beautiful and unique view, which provides the surrounding area with peace and tranquility in the midst of nature. Continue reading “Supporting innovative education at Saminay school”

Villagers praise new well in Ologuiné, Mali

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Hama Guindo, ancien secrétaire général de la jeunesse de Ologuiné: aujourd’hui, si vous me demandez de parler mon impression de ce puits, je ne vais pas finir maintenant. Avant la population d’Ologuiné vivais d’eau de rivières ou dans les marres qui se trouvent dans le jardin de maraichage, les animaux du village de Ologuiné, Orsongho, Kani Gogouna et Gagnaga tous venaient boire dans ses rivières et aussi c’est un lieu où les femmes font leur lessive. Continue reading “Villagers praise new well in Ologuiné, Mali”

Meet Mario: A Scholarship Student Excelling in His Studies

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Mario con su madre y hermana

Por Mario Esteban Perugachi Perugachi

Soy Mario Esteban Perugachi Perugachi, tengo 29 años. Mi familia está conformada por mi esposa, mi hija y yo. Actualmente vivimos en la ciudad de Quito por motivos de trabajo, pero nosotros pertenecemos a la comunidad de Agualongo, lo que queda aproximadamente a 5 kilómetros de la ciudad de Otavalo. Para la mantención de mi hogar y mis estudios, trabajo haciendo mantenimiento de jardín. Aunque requiere mucho esfuerza y por el momento soy el único en la familia que sigue los estudios, estoy orgullosamente estudiando con el apoyo de Tandana y la motivación de la familia. Continue reading “Meet Mario: A Scholarship Student Excelling in His Studies”

Inauguration of the Multipurpose Building in Guachinguero

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the multipurpose building in Guachinguero

Compilado por Margarita Fuerez

La parroquia rural San José de Quichinche es la más grande del cantón Otavalo, tanto por el número de comunidades que tiene como por ser la Parroquia con más extensión de territorio por lo cual las comunidades se encuentran muy dispersas. Continue reading “Inauguration of the Multipurpose Building in Guachinguero”

A Doctor Learns From Her Patients on a Health Care Volunteer Vacation

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Kristin types notes in her patients’ medical records

By Kristin Linzmeyer

As a medical subspecialist here in the U.S., I was not convinced I would have anything to offer patients arriving at the clinics in the communities outside of Otavalo. I felt a little like an imposter at first, wanting to help but not really understanding what it is that they needed. I ended up learning more from my patients than they learned from me. Continue reading “A Doctor Learns From Her Patients on a Health Care Volunteer Vacation”

The Tangali Dairy Association – A Dream Come True

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Avelino Antamba, president of the Dairy Association of Tangalí

Por Avelino Antamba

En la parroquia de Quichinche, aproximadamente a 12.5 kilómetros desde la ciudad de Otavalo, se ubica una comunidad llamada Tangalí. Actualmente somos 144 familias, nuestro territorio es extenso y, por esta razón, las casas se encuentran muy dispersas. Continue reading “The Tangali Dairy Association – A Dream Come True”