Youth training in livelihood capacities for crisis-affected communities
By Noëlie Sawadogo, Country Communication & Advocacy Specialist
In the Boucle du Mouhoun, one of the regions under pressure from armed opposition groups, many villages have been emptied of their residents, some of whom have taken refuge in Dedougou, the region's capital.
Assetou left his home village, following an ultimatum from the armed men. "They arrived one evening and gave us only three days to leave or we would all be killed," says the young woman. Like many others, Assetou and her family left the village hurriedly and found a place to stay in Dedougou.
She tried to continue her studies in Dedougou but the difficult conditions forced her to drop out. "Having food is difficult, having water is a daily concern for us. The three-day ultimatum did not allow us to take everything we needed. All our food is still there. The living conditions are so difficult that I had to stop my studies ”.
Being registered on the list of displaced persons with the social action services, Assetou was selected for youth training as part of the Integrated Food Security and Livelihoods Support for Vulnerable and Conflict-Affected Populations project, implemented by World Vision. The project covers the communes of Dédougou and Nouna and has enabled young people from vulnerable households to receive training in various trades such as saponification, poultry farming, market gardening, wire mesh making, solar energy and weaving.
"I chose to learn traditional loincloth weaving. This is what suits me best. Having an activity now allows me to occupy my mind, to forget the stress and some daily worries. I will also have an income to meet my son's needs," explains Assetou.
Mariam is a mother of two children and lived with her family in a village in the commune of Douroula. She arrived in Dedougou four months ago (Interview conducted in November 2022) after a night raid by armed men in her village. "It happened on the day before Tabaski celebration. They arrived and from house to house, they burned our granaries, our clothes and our houses and they told us to leave. We left our houses at around 10pm to walk to Douroula”.
After weeks of relying on goodwill to survive with her children, Mariam was chosen, along with 59 other women, to participate in a training course on soap making in order to have an activity and a source of income. "The training is over and I have received an installation kit. I am really grateful to World Vision for working to lift us out of poverty. If everything goes well, I will not need assistance to take care of my children, and I will even be able to continue this activity in my village if we manage to return there," says Mariam.
The theoretical and practical training sessions in the various trades lasted about six weeks, and 153 young people, 77% of whom were women, received their training certificates and equipment to facilitate their installation and enable them to quickly access a decent income.
In addition to the young people trained, the project has enabled 500 households, or an average of 3,500 people, from IDPs and host communities to benefit from food assistance through vouchers on three occasions. Sixty women also received small ruminants (3 sheep per family) after training in sheep breeding techniques.
All these activities, carried out within the framework of the integrated food assistance and livelihoods project for conflict-affected populations, were made possible by funding from Aktion Deutschland Hilf (ADH).