The Tinfi association was created in 2007. Its name means "stand up" in Gourmantché and we can surely say that its members are on the move.
The association is based on the ecotourism activity, from which the whole community of Tanongou benefit. They work on a redistribution principle. “We transfer a percentage of our income through the community,” explained Joel, the President of Tinfi. (main picture left)
It was in 2007 that Babio El-Kir Moudachirou, who is responsible for geographic tourism and adviser for GTZ, the program of conservation and management, came to make the population of the village of Tanongou aware of their touristic assets. “They were close to a waterfall, but only guides from others villages made tourists pay to see it. The prices were always changing and the community never benefited from it," said the adviser. With the support of the organisation EcoBenin, which also realised the potential of this village, discussions with the population started.
”At the beginning, we were a bit worried,” explained one of the inhabitants, “because we saw many NGO’s, which came to help us, but they left and nothing was done.”
Gautier Amoussou, coordinator of EcoBenin, said, ”We are not God and we want to make sure the population understands that we are not here to do the work, but only to support them. Not to support them financially but by offering methods." EcoBenin is looking for the initiative of the inhabitants, seeking those motivated to protect and develop their environment. "The aim for us is to see them becoming totally independent. It is why we advised them to organise themselves in an association,” said Jules Landjohou, following for EcoBenin the activities and changes in Tanongou. Today, 66 inhabitants of Tanongou are members of Tinfi association and have started their entreprises. In 2009, Tanongou village and its association received an award for the Best Local Economic Initiative.