Aby Ndiaye lives in Badar Gueye, Senegal together with her five children and husband, and is an active member of The Hunger Project’s Diokoul Epicenter. After completing middle school, she attended literacy classes for two more years before becoming the main point of contact for all monitoring and evaluation activities in the village committee. Today, she is a champion of her community’s development. Her strength and perseverance have seen her take on many leadership roles, including becoming the Vice President of the Diokoul Epicenter Committee during the epicenter restructuring process in 2013.
Aby believes development happens when girls, youth and women are engaged and empowered to take ownership of their own change. A woman of action, Aby has become a key driver of awareness-generating activities and an advocate for the challenges faced by women in her community.
As a community leader, Aby pioneered principles of microfinance in her epicenter. By adopting a “savings before credit” approach, in just one year, Aby was able to raise more than 200,000 CFRA Francs to begin a special savings fund for her village. The fund is a village savings and credit account that supports 42 village women, offering loans for anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 CFA Francs per person. These loans are used to grow the community’s income-generating activities, such as embroidery and petty trading.
Aby knows that empowered women benefit their entire society. She too generates income through petty trade activities. By buying vegetables from farmers and selling them in her village markets, she is able to provide clothing and schooling for her five children. Her impact is acknowledged by the wider community; the Epicenter Committee President describes Aby as a “dynamic person, committed to the development of her village and the epicenter.”