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Delila's story

Delila, a woman on Tree Aid's Mali forest management project, with her three children.

Meet Delila

Delila, a 35-year-old mother of four, lives in the Ségou region of Mali. After her husband passed away, she struggled to provide for her children. Like many women in Mali, she had few opportunities to earn money and life was hard. 

Since joining a Tree Aid project, she has joined forces with women in her village to make an income from shea trees. 

Before the project

When Delila lost her husband, she had little time to grieve as she became the sole earner of the family. Delila began farming her late husband's land but this wasn't easy and her family went hungry during the dry season.

The forests which provided her with food and firewood were being cut down — known as deforestation. This meant the resources that she relied upon were becoming harder to find.

"My husband supported me a lot when he was alive. After his death, I found myself responsible for taking care of my family. Nobody helps me to look after my children."
Delila, Ségou, Mali
Delila, a woman on Tree Aid's Mali forest management project, with staff member.

Since joining the project

"Thanks to this project, women have been equipped with a shea butter processing unit. This allowed us to dramatically reduce the time we spent processing shea butter.

We women also meet up to share our experiences. It makes it easier for me to take care of my children and my family.

We have been trained in planting, natural regeneration and erosion control techniques. I have used these techniques and it is starting to have a positive effect on my field."

Delila, a woman on Tree Aid's Mali forest management project, smiling.

"Before there were fewer trees in the fields. We don’t cut the shea trees anymore. Now, shea and other fruits from trees in the bush have become valuable sources of income."

Read more about the project

Looking to the future

"I find it easier to pay for certain things. It’s also easier for me to meet some of the children’s needs.

Women are listened to more during meetings and we meet women from other areas. All this improves how we do things.

I hope that with this project we can save and have a better future. I have a lot of hope. I am able to make sure my children go to school thanks to this improvement. I hope that it continues."