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International Women's Day: Celebrating the Empowerment of Women through our Projects

International Women's Day: Celebrating the Empowerment of Women through our Projects
05 March 2024

This Friday marks #internationalwomensday, and we want to share with you some of the ways our projects are involving and empowering women across the globe.

Pictured (L-R) Fatoumata Ouattara and Rokia Ouattara, participants of our Bees for Business project, and Ida Poda, participant of our Soilless Vegetable Farming project.

In Burkina Faso, we supported 200 women to develop their own soilless farming enterprise by establishing two large greenhouses equipped with a sustainable irrigation system and water source. GAFREH, a local organisation supporting over 6,000 women to become economically empowered, estimates that up-to 150 households have benefitted from this water source.

Funding from the Evan Cornish Foundation allowed us to extend our support to an additional 30 women, enabling them to establish soilless vegetable gardens at their homes. Since the training, some women have taken the initiative to establish locally made greenhouses to provide additional protection to their crops. In these expanded vegetable gardens, they are cultivating a diverse range of vegetables, including tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines.

Irene Ouedraogo, participant of the extended project (pictured below), said:

“I never heard of soilless farming and did not know I could grow vegetables at home using this technique...this motivated me to start mine and the vegetables are growing well. I was so excited that I started another garden on a small space I got from my neighbour.”

Meanwhile, Zeynab Ouedrago, Project Officer at women-led GAFREH commented:

"The project has given visibility to GAFREH both locally and nationally. The Central Government, through the Minister of Social Action, has requested GAFREH to help train internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups to go into soilless farming."

Elsewhere in Burkina Faso, we maintained our partnership with PNCE-B to continue supporting members of two womens' groups in the rural communities of Dakoro and Sideradougou to become established beekeepers with our Bees for Business project.

Abibata is one of 50 women participating in the project (some of whom are pictured below). Before becoming involved, Abibata relied on seasonal fruit picking to provide for herself and her four children, an activity which only provided an income for three months of the year and left her struggling to meet the basic needs of her family.

She told us, “If I or my children become sick, we rely on herbal medicine for treatment. We have no access to electricity and rely on torch light at night powered by a solar panel. My children study at night using this torch.”

Since joining our Bees for Business project, Abibata has discovered new skills including how to safely harvest honey and wax without impairing its quality, how to attract bees into her hives and hive maintenance.

Whilst our projects might #inspireinclusion, it is the women involved in those projects that inspire us as mothers, farmers and entrepreneurs all at once. We uphold a steadfast commitment to advancing gender equality and creating opportunities for these women in communities around the world. 

Click here to find out more about the projects we ran in 2023 to empower women and young people.

Click here to support the work of Shared Interest Foundation. 

Thank you.


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