Women’s livelihoods and changing social attitudes

Tiwega 1, a camp for displaced people in Kaya, in the Centre-Nord region of Burkina Faso, hosting over 2000 people who fled insecurity in northern cities of Dablo and Foubè, close to the border with the Sahel region.

Burkina Faso | 2023 | CBPF

Burkina Faso, Kaya. Kadi (not photographed) a mother of three, left her village when armed men killed some of her family. She came to Kaya with no belongings and no money.

Kaya, north-east of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, has experienced huge numbers of internally displaced people arriving since 2019.

With support from the Regional Humanitarian Fund for West and Central Africa, the local Association Bon Samaritain provides displaced women with a livelihoods support kit – with cash, cooking gas and other supplies.

“I received cash and gas to cook with. I bought utensils and supplies, and used it to sell fried fish. People started appreciating my food, and I built up a clientele! Since I began this business, I feel much better and useful to my family again,” Kadi explained.

Kadi survived not only war, but also violence from the father of her children. “He told me that he wished he had married a real woman who could give him sons…”

In Kaya, where she found refuge, conditions were difficult at first. Kadi was subjected to physical abuse when she went out looking for work to feed her children. When her husband left, Kadi began attending awareness and support activities organized by ABSEJ and funded by the Regional Humanitarian Fund.

“It helped me overcome the depression that was looming over me, and with the support I received for my business, it’s as though I have a new life,” she shared.

Funding has also supported the establishment of ‘vigilance groups’ of men who aim to prevent gender-based violence within the community.

As Souleymane, one member of the group explains, the impact is noticeable and they are able to influence men among the community leadership to end violence and change attitudes. One leader, he said, was against giving cash to women. Souleymane and others argued that it is the women who prioritize cash for the needs of children and family. The chief agreed in the end that cash assistance for women was essential.

For more information on the Regional Pooled Fund for West and Central Africa

OCHA POOLED FUNDS DATA HUB: https://cbpf.data.unocha.org/