Hello, my name is Agi Fatou. I’m the very first Anchor Woman of Buzz Women in The Gambia and I’d like to share my story of influence, knowledge and determination.
Bafuloto community Market has been left unfunctional for over 5 years, due to its underdeveloped facilities like toilets, storage and stalls. The last straw on the camelback was when a woman unfortunately fell and died on her way from the market. Villagers especially women based on traditional beliefs grew suspicious as if the place
was haunted, so they started opting for markets in the nearby villages. This was causing major disruptions for everyone, especially for local women and youths who depend on the market for their daily needs.
It was a burning issue and I felt I had to do something about it. I knew the locals had very strong beliefs so I decided to engage the current, the former and the founding VDC’s (Village Development Committee) under whose mandate the market was established. I also met with our religious leaders and village ward heads. They told me the market could be revived if I could bring the women who are selling their vegetables at home to the market. Fortunately, I was able to convince 20 women to gather for a meeting.
It felt as if the whole village was waiting for someone to believe in and who believed in them. All parties converged to have a discussion about the way forward and now the market is back to business!
This was further made possible because of individual contributions from the community and setting up a saving scheme together, so we could build toilets and storage facilities for women. The human resource for the construction is the youths of Bafuloto and this has created employment opportunities for them.
I’m beyond proud I took the first step and I believe that everything is possible if we all work together!