BURKINA FASO Kadisha Maiga

Kadisha Maiga

Kadisha Maiga, and the women of the Fada N’Gourma women’s group, always had a lot of promise. They just needed a little help realizing it.

For years, they worked in tandem with the men of the community to earn income by selling milk from the cattle the men raised. But it wasn’t an efficient system. The market where the women could sell their milk was far away and they didn’t have reliable transportation. Often their milk spoiled and they didn’t earn much money, or respect from the men in the community for their efforts.

When Lutheran World Relief began working with Fada N’Gourma in 2006, they had already begun a new venture — instead of selling milk, they began making yogurt. This was a much more successful venture for the women and they’d begun to make progress in their business relationship with the men.

To help the women take their success a step forward, LWR provided a grant for the women to build a larger processing facility, allowing them to produce more yogurt. Perhaps even more valuable, however, is the training LWR gave the women on how to effectively run their organization.

When the LWR project began, the women were producing about 30-45 liters of yogurt a day. Now they produce 200 and have gained national recognition for its quality. Even the president of Burkina Faso eats it — and gives them high regards! And with their improved business acumen, the women also established a relationship with a microfinance institution that gave them a loan. This allowed them to buy more milk to process, and in turn, sell more yogurt.

For Kadisha, that means the ability to earn income, the respect of her community and a chance to be a role model to women in her community and country. It also means the promise of an education for her son (pictured), financial independence and a stronger future.

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