The Tandana Foundation works in Ecuador and Mali to support local community initiatives related to education, health, food security, water resources, environmental conservation, and income generation.
Tandana has a “first-person orientation,” which means their approach is based on respect and responsibility. The members of their community partners define their own priorities, which builds confidence and creates an environment of collaboration. Tandana is committed to following through on their own promises and nurturing friendships, and expects the same from their community partners, which creates successful, sustainable projects.
Because Tandana’s projects are community directed, they are of all different kinds. Some examples are a student mother project that supports girls from rural villages going to school in a large town, a multi-village association to protect their environment from deforestation and desertification, and water well restoration or digging
With CIG grant funding from FBB, Tandana will enroll 600 Malian women from 20 villages in literacy and numeracy classes. Among these women, groups will be selected for leadership workshops. Women in the leadership workshops will then develop plans for income-generating enterprises, the best of which will be selected for implementation. The program was developed based on successes and challenges from past programming, as Tandana has been working in the Mali’s Bandiagara District for the past 11 years.
Tandana’s strategies align clearly with FBB’s in many ways. Among them are the emphasis on planning initiatives based on community-identified needs rather than implementing projects based on preconceived assumptions; teaching literacy classes in the native Tommo So language rather than a western language such as French or English; the emphasis on building long-term independence for the women.