Photo credit : AEA

To enable women to become autonomous and take decisions within their households, Action Education promotes their emancipation by offering them technical training and psycho-social support. More than 400 women will be trained in Burkina Faso within the framework of the Forself project, which is now being carried out with the support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. 

“With Action Education’s FORSELF project, I have followed several training courses: hairdressing, beauty care, customer reception. The project has been a great support because thanks to the support I received, I have opened my own hairdressing salon, where I also sell perfumes, earrings and clothes. I hope that in a short time my hairdressing salon will be well known”, explains Ivonne, one of the very first women to have benefited from “Forself” in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso. This socio-professional integration and training project developed by Action Education aims at training 400 illiterate women who wish to develop an existing small business. It offers various training courses including literacy, marketing and female entrepreneurship and provides skills and know-how in just a few months. 

Facilitating women’s access to the labour market

At Action Education, we are indeed convinced that women’s economic empowerment is essential, that it gives them the means to act and take part in tomorrow’s society. However, facilitating women’s access to the job market is not an easy task: because of their experiences, they often lack self-confidence and create psychological or physical barriers that limit their aspirations. In addition to technical training, the young women receive support from our teams as well as personal coaching to give them confidence and the desire to act. The project also works on the acceptance by communities of the development of women’s work. 

Developing entrepreneurship and being independent

“I never went to school and I got married at a very young age. I had four children but I didn’t want to spend my life doing domestic chores or being dependent on my husband,” says Adele. “Through the Forself programme, I was trained in a dry cleaner’s and learned a lot of technical things as well as marketing and leadership. I received a tablet and a grant of 436,000 CFA francs from the town hall, which enabled me to buy a solar cooker, an electric iron, basins, buckets, a cupboard for storing clothes and a bench. Today I earn a good living and I have recruited and trained three other people. I am very proud of this,” adds Adele. “The Forself project has helped me to learn to read and write. And then, thanks to the network and the funding provided by the project, my weaving business grew. I recruited and trained three of my cousins and built a shed at home to house the looms, so we can work even when it rains,” explains Adabna Zio. “I work with three cousins and four women in Ouagadougou. I was even able to install two looms in my village that two former employees use. I receive the orders, I supply the raw materials and I distribute the work. I can now contribute to the family expenses, such as paying for the schooling of our three children, etc. In total, more than 30 women have seen their lives changed during the first two years of the project. On 21st December 2021, Action Education, with the support of the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF), officially launched the second phase of the project which will train 30 other women in the city of Ouagadougou. 

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