Acting where it is most wanted.
At Project Mako long term sustainable development is key. Our innovative working method focuses on identifying, guiding and scaling community initiatives, whilst creating global awareness and facilitating international exchange of expertise around the addressed issues. Further, we realized that advancing in one sector is often not enough, but that we need to develop multiple sectors to maximize progress. Therefore, we focus on intersectoral development.
Our working method. An innovative approach to development.
Members of our team are part of various civic groups (women’s groups, student council, religious groups, etc.), they know what occupies the community. With these insights and leverage into the different groups, we can effectively identify the most pressing challenges and determine the most promising initiative through a root-cause analysis.
Once a challenge is identified we facilitate the dialogue around the issue within the community, we provide the space for community members to come together and start the conversation. This allows for the community to develop solutions independently. At the same time, we seek out potential partnerships with universities that might be interested in adopting the project.
Good ideas need time to develop and grow. We continue to support identified stakeholders in further developing their ideas and initiating the first part of the impact analysis – the initial data collection. We now start facilitating the direct communication with the university we record video messages from the community and present the idea personally with the professor in the first class of the semester.
Students are then given different assignments that concretely tie back to the project. Their expert advice, financial and material support and awareness building for the project are the crucial catalysts for our projects. The ideas are then taken back to the community and adapted with local stakeholders. As the project is realized, we invite the whole community to volunteer. Our projects are always partially funded by the community.
From the beginning to the end, our projects are run by the community for the community, once the project is past the incubation phase: we continue monitoring the impact and providing input, the community carries the complete responsibility and risks for the projects from this point onward; this is key in creating long-term sustainable and independent development as well as building the next generation of leaders in the community.
PROJECT CYBER CAFÉ. IMPROVING EDUCATION.
Improving education in the community in Senegal, through the access to lighted workplaces, internet and a library for students, teachers and other members of community. This study hub is also an access point for schools and individuals in the developed world to connect through a moderated, digital pen pal program with the villagers. In addition, local businesses are advised in promoting their services via the internet (e.g. tourism).Other workshops will also provide training opportunities. The improvement of education as well as better connecting Mako to the world is since 2015 the aim of this project.
PROJECT SUDDO NEUVE. RETHINKING HABITAT
Imported building materials are gaining popularity in Mako; besides a significantly higher cost, the materials are less suitable for the hot climate and less sustainable. However, the traditional mud-huts do not conform with daily demands anymore. For this venture Project Mako has teamed up with an architecture course at the Alanus Hochschule for Arts and Social Sciences in Germany. Together with the village community the students are working on optimising construction using traditional and modern materials to create sustainable, affordable and durable housing for the community.
PROJECT JARDIN SARRÉ. PLANTING THE FUTURE
Nutrition plays a key role in building a healthier and more productive society. Vegetables can add essential vitamins, minerals and proteins to our diets. Effective gardening can provide whole families with healthy vegetables to diversify their rice-based diet and even help create an income from selling the fresh produce. A lack of investment for proper fences to protect garden beds from animals and an efficient watering system inhibits the potential impact effective gardening could have on the community. In corporation with a local women’s group we are planning the construction of a community garden with a water pump and different basins to facilitate irrigation.