Born in Tambacounda in 1971, Oumy was one of the few girls of her generation to attend secondary schooling in the region. Widowed for 17 years, she took care of the education and subsistence of her children – which made her want to support other women in difficulty like her.
In 2005, Oumy became President of the CESIRI group, which aims to empower women through the processing of forest products, fruits and vegetables – all the while improving nutrition in the region. Today, CESIRI is a network of women including 47 organisations and 1,310 members active in the processing of local agricultural products such as couscous, thiakry, corn, arraw, papaya jam, concentrated syrup of bissap, ginger and fonio.
The network also carries out community health activities, including awareness raising against neo-natal mortality, family planning and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. CESIRI also provides literacy classes for its members and anyone wishing to benefit from their services.
After years of hard work, Oumy is now working with the women in the network to make clean energy available people in Tambacounda, through the sale of solar lamps and improved cookstoves.
I joined the group to bring change, focussing first on malnutrition in the community and then on health and education. Now I want to do something about the energy shortages that we face and change the quality of life for people throughout the region.
– Oumy Ngom
Hard working, she now hopes to build a fully equipped solar processing unit to avoid regular cuts that occur through the national electricity grid. Solar energy offers a reliable and cost-effective option for companies whose productivity is affected by frequent power outages.