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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Rubi, a young woman from Sengal

Rubi Kande at her mother’s home in Kolda, Senegal. In 2019, I travelled to Kolda, one of the most remote areas of Senegal, to photograph the transformative impact of healthy, nutritious food on all areas of people’s lives, including education, health and income. Historically, Kolda has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the country, and child mortality is disproportionately high. To break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity, Nutrition International and other development partners launched the PINKK project - Projet intégré de nutrition dans les régions de Kolda et de Kédougou - assisting farmers in growing nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables in their own backyards, and to make these gardens a source of economic empowerment, particularly for women. Rubi is on a scholarship at university in Dakar, and her mother, a widow, is able to fund her supplies as well as the school enrolment fees of her six other children, thanks to the agribusiness support the family has received. “We will never be able to repay our mother for all she has done for us,” says Rubi. “She has supported our studies, she has kept the house, and satisfied all our needs. That’s why we have to succeed and get good jobs, to make her happy.” The family now regularly shares nutritious meals at home, and the surplus from their plot of land generates enough profit to enable them to invest independently in their future.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Natalia Mroz