Women Travel for Peace - Senegal: Women's Well Project

Linda Rivero
Posted July 21, 2011 from United States

As our ferry approached the opposite shore of Senegal’s Soungrougrou River, the air throbbed with rhythmic drumming. Waving arms and brilliant smiles beckoned to us. The stunning village women, dressed in their dazzlingly colorful boubous, ran to us singing and clapping as we disembarked.

With four women accompanying me, I had traveled to Senegal through my company, Women Travel for Peace. Our goal: to fund and help construct a sturdy, concrete well for a women’s farming collective.

Women Travel for Peace community-based tourism brings women from the industrialized world to work side-by-side with women in the developing world to support a community project improving the lives of women and children. Our projects are locally chosen. The women of this small farming collective had met months earlier and decided together that their greatest need was for a well.

Water is a precious commodity in this village, as in most of Africa. But these farming women had only a sprinkling of hand-dug wells, spotty in their performance: they cave in during the rains, becoming unusable for 3-4 months a year. We wanted to provide financing for the new concrete well, as well as some physical labor.

In rural Senegal, the women are the field laborers—and the cooks, wood-carriers, nurturers of children, and housekeepers. They’re up at dawn, off to the fields in early morning after feeding children and husband, cleaning house, and praying; and they return in the evening: 10-12 hours each day, they’re hauling water and doing back-breaking field work.

My purpose in founding Women Travel for Peace was to: 1) create unique travel experiences for women that finance and physically support a project chosen by and directly benefiting local women, and 2) nurture communication among all the women. Our goal is mutual growth: learning and sharing so two disparate worlds may connect for the deep and lasting benefit of all.

There is something magical in the inherent connection among women. We may not speak the same language, but we communicate: we cook and work together, we laugh, and how we dance and sing!

From this resonance come long lasting, measurable improvement in the lives of women and children and life-changing growth for all involved.

My Story: Standing Up

Comments 6

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  • ana hamuka
    Jul 24, 2011
    Jul 24, 2011

    What a fabulous project you've created! Creating change in so many different ways, for so many different people.

    xx Ana

  • Fatima Waziri - Azi
    Jul 24, 2011
    Jul 24, 2011

    Water indeed is a dire need in rural sub Saharan Africa. Thank you for taking this very important task of changing the world one step at a time. God bless you.

  • amymorros
    Jul 25, 2011
    Jul 25, 2011

    Thank you for sharing your experience. What a wonderful way to contribute. I am hoping to volunteer in a similar capacity in December in Tanzania.

  • LauraB
    Jul 29, 2011
    Jul 29, 2011


    Worlds meeting and women building connection. This is a movement of our time. Great to read about your organization as well as your trip to Senegal.



  • Carrie Stiles
    Aug 25, 2011
    Aug 25, 2011

    Well done. The beginning and middle of the article are very clear and well written, but what was the outcome? Was the well properly funded and installed?

  • Nezed
    Sep 08, 2011
    Sep 08, 2011

    Today, i decide not to leave my tap running into the drain endlessly. I shall think about rural Senegal when am tempted to misuse water just for the sheer joy i get by the tip-tap sound it makes as it runs down my kitchen drain.. Thanks for sharing...