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Burkinabe women growing economic autonomy thanks to new market garden

For Félicité Banissi, a 28-year-old mother of 5, who also cares for her brother-in-law’s 3 children, feeding her family was not always easy. But not anymore.

In the past she had to walk 10km to get vegetables. Today, she is one of the 25 Burkinabe women from the Wendpanga group in Lilbouré who work in the garden developed by Crossroads International and Burkinabe partner SEMUS and financed by the Roncalli Foundation. Launched a year ago, this one-hectare garden has been divided between the women to grow vegetables and leaves like cabbage, eggplants, spinach or tomatoes but also Moringa and Baobab trees.

As part of this project, Félicité received a 150-square-meter parcel. She uses one third of the parcel to feed her family and she sells the remaining produce to increase her income.

“[Before] I was ashamed of myself when I thought about my children. But now, my children eat well, they gained weight because I come to the garden every three days to harvest fresh okra and other leaves,” explained Félicité.

Different forecasts show that Félicité could earn CFA 50,000 after only 2.5 months of farming. Félicité’s example is proof that the project is already yielding results. With this new revenue, women from the Wendpanga group will be able to develop their financial independence and pay, for example, for their children’s school or their clothes without having to ask their husbands.

“I am really thankful for this project, my health is much better than before when I was often sick just because I couldn’t properly feed my husband and kids and sometimes I had to endure the insults from my husband when I asked him for money,” added Félicité, showing that this project will also have an positive impact on the women’s self-confidence and home life.

Based on these promising results, the women of the Wendpanga group, who have already welcomed 15 new members, now want to extend the garden and improve the water pumping and watering system by implementing a new solar-powered water pumping system.