Rakiatou works in the KOMALE association, in Boulgou. She deals with the transformation of cereals, produces biscuits and, like every Burkinabè woman, she does a thousand different activities, in an attempt to “se débrouiller”, trying to make ends meet and contribute to the well-being of the family.

The association of agroecological producers of Rakiatou was born in 2002 from an idea of ​​hers. Rakiatou had realized that women who worked individually struggled a lot and had many expenses to bear while the revenues were minimal. She then proposed to her neighbors and acquaintances to get together and create an association to divide and share efforts, expenses, but also the results!

Thus Komale was born, which literally means “let’s get involved“, “let’s get busy” and which represents the spirit with which Rakiatou still carries on her business today. The biggest shame, Rakiatou tells us, would be that someone told her she is lazy: she does not like to waste time and always wants to work, as long as she has the opportunity.

Komale began to deal with the transformation of soap, saving, drop by drop, some money to expand its business. Seeing the cultivation of sorghum, millet and corn in her area, Rakiatou in fact later understood that this was a sector that would bring her benefits. Together with some partners, she therefore bought the equipment to start this new business. Komale today also has a small chicken coop, donated by the Maison de l’Entreprise, and a vegetable garden, which the women take care of in turn.

Furthermore, in the last year, thanks to the support of the project “Innovative social enterprises and migrants participation for social inclusion in Burkina Faso” (co-financed by AICS and Maria Enrica Foundation), Rakiatou had the opportunity to receive training to become literate and initiate basic accounting. The project, however, could only finance the training of one person. Without giving up, Rakiatou, after the notions learned during the course, managed, by herself, to train all the other interested people of her association.

However, one problem still remains, especially in the pastry business (Komale also produces biscuits): the oven. There is not one in the village. You have to travel by motorbike, or if it goes badly by bike, 20 km to get to and from the city, with all the material and very heavy ingredients on your shoulders, to try to make the most of the day and bake as many biscuits as possible. Often you return home late at night, with the danger of walking the streets in the dark.

Furthermore, using a “common” oven, it is not always possible to guarantee the cleanliness and non-contamination of the biscuits, and this makes Rakiatou very angry, because she cares a lot about the fact that her product is perfect: she would even like to obtain a certification to export abroad. This is why she is also working at night, also with the support of Mani Tese’s project which will give Komale the opportunity to build its own oven, always looking for new markets and using social media to expand its business.

When asked “Why are you doing all this?”, Rakiatou replies confidently: “Very simple: I live in a village, but my family, my boys, are all in town, in Tenkodogo. My dream is to be able to buy a house there and live near them”.


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