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Abba's story

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Abba Achana smiling at the camera with her children playing in the background, © 2021 Tree Aid.

Meet Abba

This is Abba, she lives in Navio, in the Upper East region of Ghana with her four children. She’s determined for her children to have the opportunities that she didn’t. When she was younger she had to drop out of school early – her parents just couldn’t afford for her to carry on with her education.

Abba is also passionate about women's empowerment. She told us "It is really women who struggle a lot to take care of our children. Every burden about the household is put on the women and that is why the project focused on women."

Before the project

Like many women across the Sahel, Abba’s main sources of food and income comes from the land, from farming and selling tree products. She told us of the challenges she faces, “Farming is difficult. When we don’t get good yields we have to eat everything and that means we don’t have anything to sell to support our farming activities.” 

Abba is reliant on a good harvest to get her family through the long dry season but the climate crisis is affecting her ability to grow enough food to get by. 

"Now that we are losing a lot of our tree cover, it is affecting us because the trees provide us with food and wood. We don’t have enough trees to provide us with these things and that is really affecting a lot of our activities."
Abba, Navio, Ghana
Abba Achana pouring out a bowl of shea nuts in her compound, ready to sort and dry them to make shea butter, © 2021 Tree Aid.

Since joining the project

As part of Tree Aid's Grow Hope project in Ghana, Abba has joined an enterprise group in her community. The group works together to turn tree products like seeds, fruit and nuts into products to sell at market.

Abba explained to us the difference that being a group member has made to her business, “Before the project, I really found it difficult to sell my shea butter. We used to produce very small quantities and it was difficult to get good margins. But now we produce more and the margins are good.”

Abba Achana standing and smiling with her two children in a field, © 2021 Tree Aid.

"Now that I have extra income, I am now able to take good care of my children. I no longer struggle to take care of them." Abba, Navio, Ghana

Looking to the future

Women taking part in Tree Aid’s Grow Hope project told us they gained financial control for the first time in their lives, helping them to be able to invest in their children's future. Abba said she now hopes to "build good accommodation for my children and continue to support my family to achieve good prospects in life."

When you empower a woman, you empower a family and a new generation. When a woman is supported to grow her own food and income, she can gain financial stability. This means more children sent to school and better opportunities for the future of families.