Guinea-Bissau ranks at 178th place among 188 countries for ISU (Human Development Index) and national statistics show that 80.4% of population live below the poverty line.
Political instability has compromised the development of economy, which depends on the primary sector. Subsistence crops prevail, but they are unable to meet domestic needs. 70% of the country’s exports are dependent on cashew, of which Guinea-Bissau is the world’s 6° producer. The major economic activity is agriculture, which involves 85% of population; livestock farming is underdeveloped, despite its undoubted economic and food importance.
Considered a country with high productive potential for its rich natural resources, it is actually the poorest in Western Africa. The main causes are the isolation of the area, due to the almost total absence of asphalted roads, the fragility of agricultural sector, due to the lack of productive factors (seeds, fertilizers, and tools), inadequate technology, low technical skills and improper storage, which leads to almost 5% of crop losses.
The Gabù region has high levels of food insecurity, low school attendance, a subsistence farming economy and an employment rate for young people aged 15-35 around 30%. It represents a critical junction for migrations, both for the Guineans and for people coming from neighbouring countries that pass from here to reach the north. In the region there is also trafficking, including child trafficking, which are exploited in Senegal for beggary.
The project, funded by AICS and IOM, aimed to activate processes of youth employment, professional and economic reintegration for returning migrants, psychological assistance for trafficked minors and their families and raising awareness of the risks of irregular migration and child trafficking.
among young people, returning migrants, unaccompanied minors, relativewomen of migrants or mothers of teenagers
Agro-ecological horticultural production and training – It took place in 8 communitarian vegetable gardens using improved fertilizers and natural repellents, practicing the consociation between crops, crop diversification and the use of local varieties. We rehabilitated or built irrigation systems, feeding them to solar energy and thus prolonging the horticultural activity during the dry season with crops of counter season. Distribution of equipment and seeds supported the activity.
Training and poultry production – It affected seven poultry houses, of which five were strengthened, because already carried out in a previous intervention. Theoretical training was provided, followed by field training. We distributed an initial kit of 100 chicks and 100 laying hens and the necessary equipment.
Production and processing of peanuts – Construction of two units for processing and production of vegetable oil managed by local groups. We distributed a packaging kit for the oil’s sale and six kit to produce and process peanut into paste (toaster machine, decorator and pasta squeezer). Returning migrants and families of reintegrated minors actively participated in the target groups.
Creation of an info point for young people and psychosocial support for returning migrants – Psychosocial support for people returning to Guinea-Bissau through the OIM assisted return programme, encouraging them to continue their studies or look for a job. Trafficked minors received a special attention: we realized prevention and awareness-raising activities in the villages.
Six awareness pathways for women with emigrant relatives and mothers of potential migrants – Women act as an indirect factor leverage towards migration. Six meetings were held in which an expert facilitated discussion among women with a view to sharing experiences and raising awareness of the risks of irregular migration, including trafficking.
Awareness-raising campaign about migration – 6 debates were organised with traditional village authorities, theatre performances and film screenings, and an awareness campaign in two local secondary schools. The issues were the reasons of departure, the risks and the difficulties of irregular migration. Moreover, we gave a special attention to unaccompanied minors at risk of trafficking.
Conference about trafficking – It took place in Milan, in collaboration with Caritas Ambrosiana and PIME in the World Day against Human Trafficking.
I am Paola Toncich, after graduating in Development and International Cooperation and a period of training and work I left Italy for Latin America, where Bolivia welcomed me for 7 years. That was an important period for job, but also for life, during which I was able to discover the country at 360 degrees. Initially, I worked in food security and income generation projects in Bolivian […]