It began with the delegation 2011/12. We met the women’s co-operative at a village festival that was held to mark the inauguration of the library and to acknowledge the approval of the first grant from the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Co-operation and Development) of 42985 € towards the secondary school building project. During this festival, Claudia and I danced with the women of the co-operative for vegetable growing.
The First Discussion Group Candia Doumbouya organized the meeting for us with the women’s co-operative for vegetable growing. She was also extremely helpful acting as our interpreter from Malinké to French. Initially, it was our goal to talk to the women about the thorny topic of female circumcision. But then we learned that the new president, Alpha Condé, had initiated a high-profile awareness campaign against female circumcision. In 2010, Alpha Condé became the first democratically elected president after 60 years of military dictatorship. And so the topic of female circumcision seemed less urgent.
The women did however tell us about the problems they faced as a result of poverty. Poverty was the reason why not all of their children could be sent to school, although mothers are – in the African family tradition – responsible for this.
Founding the Women’s Milling Co-operative Without making any concrete promises, we told the women that our association would do what it could to improve their situation. During the meeting, Claudia took some beautiful photos of the women, which were to feature in our first Fodécariah calendar. From the sale of the calendars in 2013, we raised 3000 €, which we gave to the women as seed capital. Using this money, Candia Doumboua first founded a new women’s co-operative – the mills co-operative. Two women from each district in the village joined the initiative, as well as the three women circumcisers.
A mill house is under construction The women used the money to build a mill house and bought their first mill and an electricity generator.
The mill house is ready During our visit in January 2014 we were able to visit the mill house.
The first mill is in use
Delegation January 2017 The women’s co-operative reports on the developments of the last two years.
The women’s co-operative gives us two chickens.
The president – an impressive business woman!
Candia Doumbouya (left) founded the co-operative in 2013
Walking to the mill house
With great pride, we’re shown all four machines.
All that is missing is a millstone and the goods to grind.
Then, all 67 women will be able to benefit from the proceeds.