In the latest issue of the periodical "From the roots", edited by the Valter Baldaccini Foundation, we explored a special initiative: a new social-work inclusion project in Burkina Faso. With the collaboration of Sister Philomène Kiendrebeogo of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, our partner also in the educational project of distance educational support, we have started an important enterprise: the construction of a chicken coop managed entirely by a team of women.
We interviewed Sr. Philomène to get an update on the progress of the project and to understand the current situation in Burkina Faso.
What is the current political situation in Burkina Faso?
Our country is experiencing a very difficult situation due to terrorism which causes deaths, injuries, and the displacement of villages. There are many refugees who need everything, and we try, as far as we can, to help. Burkina Faso has been fighting terrorism for a long time with great commitment. We have a young president (Captain Ibrahim Traorè, appointed in October 2022 after a coup d'etat) who is working for the good of the population and is supported by all the youth. Also, there is a very complicated relationship with France. It's very hard, but we have faith that over time things will change.
What are the difficulties you face every day?
The main problem is insecurity: we can no longer move as we want, people are forced to flee, many people are killed. Many have nothing to eat, many sleep on the street. It's a very difficult situation. We try to impress upon our contacts the importance of helping us reach out to these people who live in poverty. For example, a few days ago an Italian benefactor gave us €1,000 and we bought corn and rice for the many people who fled their villages and who knock on our door looking for food.
How is the construction of the chicken coop going? How is the business structured?
Very well! After the construction of the structure and the purchase of the material we got the first chicks. We raised them for three months and then we started selling them. The result is that we help the women in their various family needs: we bought corn and medicines for one of them who has some health problems. We distributed a part to support our community and another to buy other chicks to raise. This allows us to continue this important activity that helps us so much. A group of women who live in extreme poverty work in the chicken coop. Every day they come to our community and together we do the cleaning, we wash the food and water containers and, in the morning and in the evening, we feed the chicks.
How important is having a chicken coop to you?
For us it is very important! The chicken coop is an activity that helps us to grow slowly, to develop food and economic self-sufficiency, by meeting the women we help and our community. Together with the women, we sincerely thank the Valter Baldaccini Foundation for the help it is giving us to improve the lives of many women. We hope we can always count on your generosity and availability, to continue carrying out other small projects for needy women.