by Francesca Caravita and Giovanni Sartor, Mani Tese
In October, after the first quarter of preparation of the various activities, the new project “Innovative social enterprises and migrants participation for social inclusion in Burkina Faso” was presented both in Italy and in Burkina Faso.
The project, co-financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and Maria Enrica Foundation, intends to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the rural population in Burkina Faso by promoting the development of productive, entrepreneurial and innovative activities, enhancing local agricultural and agroecological productions and promoting the involvement of women, young people and migrants in Italy.
The presentation in Italy
In Milan, at Mani Tese’s headquarter and thanks to the facilitation of CeSPI, project partner, 26 representatives from 19 different associations of the Burkina Faso diaspora in Italy met and received a presentation of the project in its general lines and how their involvement is expected. In particular, a draft of the call for the accompaniment of collective organizations in Burkina Faso was presented, which provides for the participation of the Associations of the Burkina Faso diaspora in Italy as partners.
The launch in Burkina Faso
In Burkina Faso, on the other hand, two project launch workshops were organized in the provinces of Boulgou (the main area of origin of Burkinabè migrants in Italy) and Boulkiemde. These are the two territories, together with the capital Ouagadougou, where the intervention will be carried out.
The first atelier, held in Koudougou, capital of Boulkiemdé and the Central-West region, saw the participation of some project partners, including Mani Tese, FENAFERB, FIAB and ACRA, the local authorities, representing the mayor and the other commissioner from the Center-West region, and some potential recipients of the project: women and young people engaged in a local rural activity.
The day was introduced by a welcome speech by local political authorities, who welcomed bilateral cooperation between Italy and Burkina Faso, as well as the commitment of international and local NGOs that deal with agricultural and rural development.
Then, Wendy Lenarduzzi, Mani Tese’s Country Representative and project coordinator, illustrated the phases of the project launched in July of this year. Among the upcoming activities, which will take place in November and December, she recalled the launch of the call for participation in the credit and entrepreneurship accompaniment project dedicated to collective organizations involved in the agri-food sector.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the debate among the participants for an exchange of opinions and advice and to deepen some aspects of the project (selection criteria for the call, the functioning of credit and the activities planned for the winners). The day ended with a buffet based on typical Burkinabé products.
The second atelier, which occurred at the Hotel De Ville in Tenkodogo, capital of the province of Boulgou and of the Central-Eastern region, took place with the participation of the High Commissioner, the representative of the mayor, some military and paramilitary officials, the official of the Region and the Representations of traditional and religious authorities.
In addition to the Mani Tese team, representatives of local NGOs also took part in the meeting.
The Provinciae del Boulgou is defined as the “capital” of the Burkinabe diaspora, from where many people migrate to Europe and, in particular, Italy. For this reason, the activities of the project reserved for migrants and the diaspora were the ones that were most talked about during the debate. In fact, a certain interest has been noticed in the public in the lot that provides for the involvement of the diaspora associations in Italy, as well as in the social integration activities between the subjects present both in Italy and in Burkina Faso.
The representative of the local Office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has ensured full cooperation and harmony between the projects already started on the spot by the United Nations and IOM in particular and the new project co-financed by AICS.
The day ended with an encouraging speech by the High Commissioner who ensured that the Burkinabé authorities were fully available for the project and thanked them for the intense cooperation between Italy and Burkina Faso.