Okanagan-based program helping women in Burkina Faso, Nepal and Honduras

Aiding others a world away

A small Canadian organization with its roots in the Okanagan is helping female farmers in Burkina Faso.

And Lydia Tapsoba will be in at the Vernon library on Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about the project.

Tapsoba, a gender specialist for Burkina Faso non-governmental organization Association d’Appui à la Promotion du Développement durable des Communautés défavorisés (APDC), will present information about an innovative project done by APDC.

The talk is free and open to the public.

World Neighbours Canada (WNC) started in Oliver 25 years ago and supports remote communities in Burkina Faso, Nepal and Honduras.

Gabriel Newman, Vernon resident and WNC board vice-president, says the organization can leverage donations to receive grants that benefit communities.

A recent grant has made it possible for one employee from the Burkina Faso partner, APDC, to come to Canada to share information about their work.

APDC is a small rural development organization in eastern Burkina Faso that WNC has supported in a variety of ways since 2009.

Tapsoba will be presenting information and results of a 15-month experimental project APDC undertook in 2021-22.

The project was funded by a grant WNC obtained from the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT). FIT is a program funded by Global Affairs Canada.

After project completion, FIT provided additional funding to allow WNC to share the results of the project with Canadians, and also with other villages in Burkina Faso.

Tapsoba has worked with APDC since 2007, as their gender consultant.

For the FIT project, she supported APDC and provided the staff with information to lead gender-training workshops for the beneficiary women and their families. She led focus groups and designed surveys during the project to help better understand the gender equality situation in the area.

Tapsoba lives in the capital, Ouagadougou, but has visited the project area many times and has first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by rural women in the area and throughout Burkina Faso.

Following discussions with women in the rural eastern region of Burkina Faso, APDC implemented activities with 110 women to allow each woman to set up and manage a household sheep-fattening enterprise.

APDC provided training in basic bookkeeping, techniques in the care of the animals, how to choose an animal at the local livestock market, and entrepreneurial training – the traits of a successful business person. A key element of the project was engaging family members, and their embrace of the project was one of the highlights.

Following a short video, Tapsoba will participate in a facilitated discussion about the challenges and potential of economic empowerment of women farmers in a region affected by an increasingly unpredictable climate and frequent attacks by terrorists.

For more information visit the World Neighbours Canada website.

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