How tree planting empowers women

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Meet Sawadogo. She is the women’s representative of Gongho, a village in northern Burkina Faso. It is her role to make sure that the women in her village have everything they need to fulfill their tasks within the community. Women are key to supplying their entire community with food, water and anything else necessary to sustaining their village. Their role within the community is indispensable.

In rural Burkina Faso social structures are clearly defined. While men take on coordinating roles - such as managing a community’s land properties and regulating said social structures - women are in charge of sourcing and maintaining the village’s supplies.

By helping us support a tree planting project in Burkina Faso, you are also helping these women earn a higher and more stable income which will eventually end up benefitting the entire community they belong to.

Pieter tried to help a local woman carry a 20kg bucket filled with forest goods that she was bringing back to her village some 20km away. Unlike her, we gave up after only a few meters.

It all starts with the collection of the seeds. After careful consideration of a community’s needs and specific environmental factors, our tree planting partners will decide with the villages (mostly the men) what trees and herbs need to be planted in that area.

The women then collect those seeds from existing, remote forests and plant them at the new sites. Thanks to your searches we can ensure that they are paid a fair wage in return.

When the trees and herbs start growing, it will also be up to the women to collect fruits, nuts, wood and any other goods that forests provide. As is already happening in Lilengo, a village located in the region of the Sahel, the community will slowly begin to improve its conditions, sending children back to school and improving everybody’s health thanks to better nutrition.

So planting trees improves not only women’s standing, but that of an entire community as it depends on their hard labour.