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Empowering women

March 5, 2013

The plastic bag recycling center in Burkina Faso was founded by the women’s initiative GAFREH in 2003. Global Ideas sat down with some of the women working there and they told us how the center had changed their lives.

Women wash plastic at a recycling center in Burkina Faso
The women wash the plastic thoroughly before it's processedImage: GAFREH

"I only have one son, and traditionally he would take care of he. But he lost his job as a driver and he’s at home. I came to the center a month ago and I’ve been able to provide for both of us ever since.“

"My husband is no longer with us, so I have to play the role of mother and father for my children. If it weren’t for the center, I wouldn’t have any hope for us because I didn’t work before my husband died. Now I’m able to get us through.“

"Because of the war raging in the Ivory Coast in 2001, my husband told me that I should move back to Burkina Faso with my eight children. When we arrived here, we had nothing and my children couldn’t continue going to school. I came to the center in 2003, and the women from GAFREH were very attentive to me and the problems I was facing. They took us under their wing. I worked and my oldest daughter became a sales person in the center. The GAFREH women made sure my youngest daughter could go to school. Now she’s in the sixth grade and she’s always topped her class. First my husband stayed on in Ivory Coast because we didn’t have enough money. But then I managed to pay for his return and now we all live respectable lives together.“

"The center makes it possible for us to get by, to have a career, to exchange ideas and to have a social life.“

Author: Laura Hennemann /ss
Editor: Sonia Phalnikar