Oumarou is 40 years old and lives in Boulgou, the province of Burkina Faso where most of the migrants we meet in Italy and around the world come from. He works in the cooperative “Youkouma”, which means “helping each other” and defines himself as a worker, pious and honest.

Oumarou is different from many of his compatriots who decide to go to Europe to seek their fortune. He has chosen another path and tells us: “Young people abandon their families and their country to go abroad to do the same jobs they could do here, putting their lives at risk during the journey and facing a thousand dangers and problems even once you arrive. Even here in Burkina it can be done: why do I have to go to Italy to grow tomatoes, exploited, when I can do it here, on my land, next to my family?”

Oumarou is a farmer: Youkouma, in fact, is a small cooperative of agroecological production of vegetables. They grow onions, cabbage, aubergines, tomatoes and lettuce, with agroecological techniques that do not involve the use of pesticides and chemicals: “this allows us to guarantee the health of us producers, our consumers and the soil on which we produce, to which nutrients are not removed”, says Oumarou.

Thanks to Mani Tese’s support, Youkouma received agricultural materials, installed a well with a solar pump and finally has a place to store their material: “in the village no one believed it – adds Oumarou – instead we have shown that we can do it and now we are a reference for horticultural production in the area”.

Youkouma is one of 20 companies selected by the project “Innovative social enterprises and migrants participation for social inclusion in Burkina Faso” co-financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and Maria Enrica Foundation. Discover other stories on our blog “The challenge of growing together”.

A picture of Oumarou in Youkouma’s fields


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