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Awa's story

Close up of Awa, a woman in a shea enterprise group, smiling.

Meet Awa

"My name is Awa. I am 42 years old and I have six children."

Awa has seen first-hand just how important trees are for her community. She said, "Trees have a lot of importance for us. They give us shade from the sun and we can eat the fruit.

My favourite tree is the shea tree because it provides fruit that I can eat with my children, and the nuts can be used for making shea butter so I can get an income."

Before the project

“My son’s name is Gnane. When he was very young, he was sick and had a seizure. He could not walk for years. I have to be near him and take care of him. I have to find food and drink for him, it’s very difficult.”

Awa tried to make an income from selling shea butter, but working alone and without processing equipment, it wasn’t easy. “When I worked alone, I struggled to get an income. I couldn’t pay for my children’s education."

"In the past, we were hungry. Before the project, for two years my family didn’t get enough food to eat."
Awa, Torem village, Burkina Faso
Awa and another woman in her enterprise group process shea butter.

Since joining the project

“Tree Aid showed us how to protect trees. They taught us how to care for and nurture trees from a young age, collect the shea nuts and produce the butter.

I’m very happy because I sold our shea butter in the market and made a good profit. The money will help me take care of my family until the next rainy season.

I am able to pay for my children’s education, pens, and textbooks. I’ve been able to buy a bike to get around easily."


"The activity of Tree Aid is not imposed or forced on our village. It is a partnership where everyone can say what they want, and what they need. We like working with them very much."

Looking to the future

Working with Tree Aid, Awa transformed her life through the power of shea trees. She said, "I thank Tree Aid for all the support, and what they have given to the women of Torem."

With the money that she makes from selling shea butter, she is now able to invest in her children's futures.

"I want my children to work hard at school, so they can be doctors, police officers, or teachers."