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Stories from the Field

One Woman’s Green Thumb Changes the Lives of Many in her Burkina Faso Community

Janae C Author
By Janae Curtain on August 28, 2019

In a small city in Burkina Faso lives 55-year-old Kabore, whose garden has supplied nutritious food for multiple households in her community. With a single idea in mind to feed her family after the loss of her husband, she turned a small stock of millet into a full market garden that will be utilized for years to come.

Becoming the sole provider for nine children unexpectedly, Kabore was on a mission to provide for her family. She took the first step to claim her family’s land, but was denied due  to local religious customs. Taking matters into her own hands, she gained a small stock of millet from a family’s crop. Using her resources and creative thinking, Kabore decided to transform the stock and sell it to use funds for other items.

Although the village has no electricity or power, the main economic activities are related to livestock and agriculture. With this in mind, Kabore came up with an idea to start a small business. She transformed the millet flour into paste, which could be used as various items to be sold around the village.

In addition to starting this small business, Kabore joined a group of men and women involved in market gardening once she saw the potential in onion and maize production in the area. In 2014, as part of the Catholic Relief Services Helping Hands program, the group received a grant to start a California-style market garden. By 2015, the group’s garden was in production with two types of crops: maize during the rainy season and onions during the dry season.

Today, Kabore benefits from funding from Rise Against Hunger and Catholic Relief Services, which helps to support her market gardening site. Because of Kabore’s hard work and dedication to make a difference for her family, more than 60 additional households have improved their livelihoods and living conditions. Her method of farming and gardening is also been used by people in her town. Beneficiaries have been trained in agricultural production techniques, marketing basics, water management and peer mentoring in the Tougouri community.

“We all manage to live with dignity,” Kabore said.