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Petra's story

Petra, a member of a shea butter enterprise group in her village, smiling.

Meet Petra

Petra is a 46-year old mother from Torem village in Burkina Faso. After her husband died suddenly, Petra struggled to provide for her family.

In 2012, she joined a Tree Aid project and started working together with women in her village to process and sell shea butter. With help from the project, Petra tells us how she transformed her life. 

Before the project

When Petra's husband suddenly passed away, she was left to provide for her family all on her own.

"For two years I grew crops with my children to get enough food and to sell a little to buy things we needed.

During that time, I wasn’t able to get enough food for my children. It was the worst time of my life."

"I started to compare my life and the life of the women in my village who were part of the Tree Aid project. I noticed that these women had a good life and that’s why I wanted to join the group. I wanted a better life and I knew the project would help me change things."
Petra, Torem village, Burkina Faso
Women in a shea enterprise group smiling and laughing.

Since joining the project

"I have been part of the Tree Aid project since 2012. I got training in shea butter production, soap making, tree planting, and forest regeneration. Now, I produce shea butter and soap and also make a profit from what I sell.

In the project group, we work together. We can do more if we work together. I am very happy to have the group — it has changed my life. I never thought I would be happy after my husband died.”

A tree in Torem village, Burkina Faso.

"Before, I thought that just the trees with fruits were important, but now I know all trees are important. Some give fruits, some provide wood, some help soil fertility, some help retain water. If you have many trees in your village they give you good luck." Petra, Torem village, Burkina Faso

Looking to the future

“Since I got involved in the project I have been happy and relieved. I can get more money to resolve my problems. My children aren’t hungry now. Now, I am very proud that I am able to send my children to school and I know that they won’t have to struggle in the future like I had to.

After the training in tree planting and regeneration, we are seeing the number of trees increase – this makes me feel proud. The project has shown us that we must look after all the trees to improve our environment.”