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Bernadette's story

Bernadette, a women in Mali, smiling in front of trees.

Meet Bernadette

Bernadette lives in Mali and relies on the land to grow crops to eat and sell. But growing enough crops on her land is becoming even harder due to the climate crisis and cutting down of trees — known as deforestation.

With support from a Tree Aid project, Bernadette transformed her life. "Now with the support from the project, we notice a lot of changes." 

Before the project

"Before, the environment wasn’t as degraded as we see today when we look around us. Now, big trees are scarce. People from here and elsewhere took advantage of it in a haphazard way as a source of income by making charcoal. This destroyed our environment.”

Bernadette used to sell shea butter and honey to earn an income, but without any tools or training, her products didn't always fetch enough money at the market.

"Our challenge before the project was to be able to properly protect our forest resources. Degradation was happening at such a rate. It wasn’t easy. You had to fight."
Bernadette, Ségou, Mali
Bernadette, a woman in Mali, talking to a cooperative admin of the project.

Since joining the project

"I became a member of the women’s group for shea processing. We have benefited from training in shea butter processing and equipment and training in soap making techniques. Before we sold the butter for 250-300 CFA per kilo. Today we sell it for between 500-1000 CFA.

"The training and awareness about protecting the environment are starting to show their results. We can see an increase in the number of trees around us and in the fields."

Bernadette, a member of a shea enterprise group set up through a Tree Aid project, holding shea butter and smiling.

"With the support of the project, together we fought to become who we are today. I thank the UK, Tree Aid and Sahel Eco a lot for their support."

Discover more about the project

Looking to the future

"This project allowed us to completely change our lives, and as proof, all our school-aged children are now at school. 

It’s a project that deals with the protection of the environment and fights against poverty’

I hope for a long life, and complete success for all my children at school so they can take care of themselves and our family."