12. Jeanne’s couscous

Jeanne, together with her companions, produces couscous and other food products highly appreciated by customers. Their dream is to be known throughout the country.

Jeanne is in charge of the Zemestaaba cooperative and we have already met her in one of the stories of our 5×1000 campaign. Jeanne is a woman, mother of a family and enterprising, as she defines herself. In 2005 she created the Zemestaaba cooperative (which means “working together, understanding at work”), which previously existed but in the form of an informal group.

The idea was to give work to women who, after the rainy season, found themselves without employment and therefore unable to provide for their own expenses. The dream, says Jeanne, is to become a reality recognized and appreciated throughout the province and in Burkina Faso and slowly Zemestaaba is succeeding.

Thanks to the training received by Mani Tese and the constant accompaniment, Jeanne was in fact able to obtain other loans and to expand her business, which wants to represent a possibility of constant income for all the women who are part of it.

“The formations opened our eyes and made us take the right attitude to be a company. For example, we worked out our business plan with the help of Mani Tese and the FIAB” says Jeanne “The constant accompaniment, then, allowed us to straighten the game on many things in our facilities and thanks to constant monitoring we have produced many important documents that were explained to us during the trainings. Also a little while ago the coordinator asked me for the “management notebook” to see what activities we have done this month and all this allows us to improve our management and organization”.

Zemestaaba transforms corn into couscous, biscuits, flour and many other products highly appreciated by its customers: the best-selling product is precisely the corn couscous, followed by that of rice, the soumbala in cubes and the corn and rice biscuits. Jeanne, in particular, is responsible for coordinating the various teams that make up Zemestaaba: she is the one who organizes work shifts, schedules deadlines and checks that all the hygiene aspects related to work are respected.

Her personal dream is that of being able to live only from her work, from the transformation of local products, in which she has been investing for a lifetime.

The women of the Zemestaaba cooperative

Cous cous Jeanne_mani tese 2020 (4)
One of the Zeemstaba members bakes the corn biscuits

The oven and the mixer that the cooperative bought thanks to the project

Cous cous Jeanne_mani tese 2020 (2)
The main products of the Zemestaaba cooperative are couscous, biscuits and flour