Women in remote communities are being taught to by ‘maman lumieres’ to respond to signs of undernutrition in their children

A maman lumiere from Koumbagri displays nutritional food group cards for the women of the community. Photo: WFP/Mel Bailey

“Since I live in the village, I go to meet with the maman lumieres at least five times per month, sometimes more, with my questions and concerns about my baby,” says Zara Moustapha.

The maman lumieresliterally ‘light mothers’are a somewhat quirky feature of a project the World Food Programme (WFP) is running in conjunction with partners in Chad, where according to the latest figures, 40 percent of children are undernourished.


In Niger, more children are turning up to class while hunger levels are down thanks to WFP school feeding programmes

Elementary school children gather around Faridiatou, the school cook, before lunchtime in Tahoua, Niger. Photo: WFP/Mel Bailey

“Last year we had lettuce, tomatoes and zucchini,” says Matar Mondou, the former director of the School of Wacha. “We have many banana trees now and we hope to plant onions, cabbage and tomatoes this year.”


teens on campaign trucks for Senegal’s sitting president in Dakar, Senegal

A cold breeze off of the Atlantic whipped around the low rise sand brick homes occupying mid-town Dakar, as fear and anticipation sent a chill up the spine of those in the opposition party. It was the night before the constitutional council announced the final list of presidential candidates for the Dakar’s election which was to be held in just one month.

Radio reports urged citizens to stay indoors in case violence ensued and embassies warned their expatriates to avoid populated areas and group demonstrations. The city waited with bated breath to see if their candidate would make the official…


In 2018 Senegal’s health budget increased by about 4 percent to 294 million dollars. Despite the increase, health related issues, namely instances of cervical cancer, still remain high relative to other developed nations.

The World Cancer Research Fund ranks Senegal the country with the 15th highest incidence of cervical cancer in the world, just behind Rwanda. Many say this is due to the large number of impoverished people living in the nation, while others believe the centralized nature of the health care system is to blame. …


The team at Baobab Entrepreneurship are a group of social entrepreneurs in Senegal providing workshops to help early stage startups reach that next level. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes they’ve seen working with young startups and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Talking to Your Customers

When collaborating on a startup, team members will often believe they have everything figured out. They think their product, exactly how it is in their mind, is what customers want. …


Staying in business plans and theory and talk just won’t get you that far
— Camille Kramer C., designer & co-founder at Baobab

DAKAR, SENEGAL — A team of eight innovators is devoting itself to providing African entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch thriving startups in Africa. Their motto, to be successful, ‘throw out the traditional business plan.’

The co-founders of Senegal’s Baobab Entrepreneurship said it’s not that they believe a traditional business plan approach is wrong, just that it’s not suited for early stage startups in Africa. …


Meet Anne Amuzu, CEO and co-founder of Nandi Mobile, an award-winning startup from Ghana that delivers custom mobile messaging services to area businesses. Watch her share her story of success and then check out her 5 steps to creating awesome products.

Step 1: Know Your Customers

Research and define your market. Then, test your idea with your target customers to really hone the features of a new product before you start building. In the beginning the team at Nandi Mobile spoke with people we thought would be using our products. We went through a lot of interview stages, asking, with what they do right…


“To the women doing this, there’s no female brain and male brain, we are all persons not just gender. Career and professions don’t have gender. It’s about your ability, not your gender. So if there is something you can do, you don’t have to look at who is in there. They are a human being just like you.”
— Anne Amuzu, CEO Nandi Mobile

In an industry where men outnumber women 7 to 3, entrepreneur, software developer and co-founder of Nandi Mobile, Anne Amuzu’s successful journey to CEO has not been without it’s challenges.

“Most of the problems I had…


SENEGAL — In Kaolack, one Muslim community is trying to push back against the rising commercialism of one of its most important religious holidays to preserve its cultural significance for future generations.

“Tabaski is so stressful now, the men of the home have to pay for the lamb, and the new clothes for the family, and if he has multiple wives forget about it.”
— Pape Mor Ba

Tabaski is how many Muslims across West Africa celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of Islam’s two annual worldwide celebrations. …


SAINT-LOUIS, SENEGAL — “Want to talk about him? He’s a man’s man… And him, he’s one of the most progressive Facebook users in Senegal. Me, I’m just the passion behind it all,” Makhtar Ndiaye (@makhtarjr) said laughingly about the creators of the Saint-Louis bloggers network, the Senegalese blogging circle revered for giving back to the community.

The blogosphere in Senegal began simply enough, three friends from the same neighborhood with an interest in technology went their separate ways to learn about new advancements in…

Mel Bailey

Multimedia Journalist, Formerly Digital Media Specialist @VOA_News in #Dakar, @NYU Alumna mes tweets n'engage que moi https://www.linkedin.com/in/bymelhbailey/

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