Ané is a mother of three, living in the Ségou region of Mali. Although Ané has access to trees to provide her food and income, gender inequality prevented her from owning and cultivating her own land. It also meant that she did not have access to safe healthcare, education or a means of supporting her family.
Image: Ané who is part of the She Grows project, holding her child outside her home
On top of these daily stresses, intense deforestation of the region where Ané lives has heightened the effects of the climate crisis, putting Ané and women like her at the mercy of both poor soil quality and drought; an impossible combination for growing a reliable source of food to feed her family.
Recent research has shown that deforestation has an extremely detrimental impact on local levels of rainfall. The study, which looked into how far the Amazon was from being able to generate its own rainfall found that the more forests are cleared, the less local farmers will be able to depend on rain for their crops – a situation that women like Ané know only too well.
Through Tree Aid's She Grows project, Ané has transformed her life and the lives of other women in her community. She received the training and tools she needed to work with her community; to plant new trees, regrow the forest, and create an income - by selling shea butter and shea soap. Thanks to the project, Ané is now able to provide for her children and pay for their education, which she never had the opportunity to access herself.
Image right: Ané showing her child how to grind shea nuts to make shea butter, which she learnt as a member of the She Grows project
Ané’s story is a powerful example of the impact that women can have when they are given the resources and support they need to succeed. By championing the potential of women like Ané, Tree Aid is not only tackling the effects of the climate crisis, but improving the lives of women in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
For Ané, meeting and working with other women in her community has been an important aspect to the project, and has helped her to feel empowered.
Image left: a woman from the She Grows project in Mali, demonstrating sustainable growing techniques with her women's cooperative.