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Crop failure was the beginning of new growth for one village

POSTED May 11, 2017

Crop failure was the beginning of new growth for one village

Women find fresh opportunities to make money and improve their families’ nutrition in Burkina Faso

By Patrice Zongo, communications manager, Burkina Faso

Women working field

In spite of the heat and dry, cracked soil, Evelyne steps brightly between rows of healthy, green vegetables and looks up at me with a smile. In her hands, she carries two buckets of green peppers she’s harvested for sale.

Nearby, other women tend their gardens. They chatter happily amongst each other while they work.

A year ago, life was very different for the 30 mothers who each now tend four market gardens in Burkina Faso. Then, the repeated destruction of their village dam by heavy rains left the women struggling to earn an income during the eight-month dry season when their crops regularly failed.

“We usually have fresh okra sauce at home, and I like it very much.” — André, 13

Today, they have plenty of water thanks to donor support for a new well powered by solar energy, which enables them to grow cabbage, eggplant, peanuts, beans and more.

“Last year, I grew tomatoes and peppers,” shares Evelyne. “I used the money for family needs, including buying clothes for my children (André, 13, Odile, 9, Hervé, 6, and Alain, 2). When they were sick, I used the money to take them to the village health centre and buy medicines. What crops I didn’t sell, I kept for my family to eat.”

The difference donors have made can be seen in the smile of Evelyne’s son, André, and the more than 85 other children from families helped by this life-changing project. And, that puts a smile on my face as I say goodbye for another day.

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