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Bibata's story

Meet Bibata

Bibata is a 38-year-old mother of four, living in the rural village of Passimtenga in Burkina Faso. In the past, she found it difficult to grow enough food in a changing climate. 

But then she joined forces with women in her village as part of a soumbala enterprise group. Now, they work together to process the seeds of the dawadawa tree into soumbala ─ a nutrient-rich food ─ which they sell to earn an income.  

Before the project

“I didn’t go to school. I wasn’t happy about that but I had no choice ─ I think it was [because of a lack of] money and because I was a girl. I think if I had gone to school, my life wouldn’t have been like it is.

Life was difficult before because I had no work to do and I didn’t have enough money for my needs. I relied on agriculture. When there wasn’t enough rain I didn’t get enough food. The children would suffer, I would suffer.”

“In the past, people destroyed the environment but because of the project, people now plant trees and practice assisted natural regeneration to restore the forest.”
Bibata, Passimtenga village, Burkina Faso

Since joining the project

“I have been part of the project for six years. We have learnt how to plant trees and protect them. I have planted five very useful trees, including dawadawa in my field. I have learnt how to make soumbala with the enterprise group. In the group, we have peace and happiness. We work together and each member gets a good income.

Trees are very important because you get fruits or seeds to make into products to sell for income. They also give us medicine and are good for the environment. They help to improve soil fertility so we can have good fields to grow crops.”

“The biggest change has been to the environment. Through the project, our eyes are now open. I know that by caring for my environment, I can increase the number of trees and use them well to get more income.”

Looking to the future

“Now I am able to pay for education for my children and I can pay for food when the rain doesn’t come. For the future, I hope one of my children will become a forester to protect the forest. I hope the soumbala enterprise will grow and that we will diversify our activities, for example, by learning how to make soap.

I would like to send thanks to Tree Aid and its supporters. Thank you so much for all the support you have given me, it has made my life better.”

Bibata, a member of a soumbala enterprise group, standing in front of her home.

You make the difference

single donation

£38 could provide a family with three dawadawa trees. The seeds, rich in protein and carbohydrates, can be roasted and made into soumbala to be used in cooking and sold at market.

£73 could give a family everything they need to start beekeeping. Bees increase the productivity of fruit trees like dawadawa, the honey produced can be used to by people to feed their family and earn an income.

£108 could provide training to 25 people so that they can set up a new enterprise group in their community. You’d be helping them to get the most from their trees and get the best price at market.