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The project promotes a model of emancipation and socio-economic development in a rural community, enhancing the human and environmental resources present. In Burkina Faso the Shea tree grows spontaneously, its craftsmanship up to the production of soaps with over 70% of Shea Butter and certified essential oils, allows not only the work activity of 80 women but the activation of a highly profitable production pilot model. The production of soaps formulated for the international market requires an executive manager who has knowledge of the expectations of a European consumer. The guided return of migrant women from Italy to their village of origin allows for adequate production standards and the creation of family reunions. Burkinabé women who return to their country will not only produce cosmetic products involving 15 other local women, but thanks to the courses on development cooperation attended in Italy, they will be true emancipators of their own community. The import and marketing in Europe will be carried out directly by Burkinabé women who want to stay in the host country. Social emancipation and the skills gained by Burkinabé women who have migrated to Italy for many years, and who intend to return to their communities of origin to be protagonists of socio-economic development, create the conditions for the implementation of this project.

General objective

Increase the resilience of local communities and socio-economic development of migrated communities

Main actors

Association 'Femmes Actives de Boussouma'


Specific Objectives

Emancipation and socio-economic development, with the overcoming of the subsistence economy.

Implement a production chain made up of women who produce cosmetic products in Burkina Faso and in Italy, migrated Burkinabé women market them.

Emphasize the shea tree and traditional skills.


Direct are the 80 women of the village who work there in the Femmes Actives de Boussouma association. Indirect beneficiaries are the women's community of Burkina Faso.


A building was built, expanded in 2019, which allows the production, packaging and storage of the Shea Butter produced and of the soaps produced with 70% of Shea Butter and Coconut oil.

The first training courses began in August 2011 and, to date, over 110,000 bars of soap have been produced, of which over 100,000 have been exported to Europe. The marketing takes place in Burkina Faso and in Europe in the fair trade circuit. These activities ensure individual income in addition to agricultural income and community income reinvested in community structures.

Need Analysis

The conditions of poverty in less developed countries are a complex reality, survival is based on an informal economy and small subsistence activities. To be supported, 'social health' in these countries requires conditions of environmental, behavioral and cultural hygiene that a pure subsistence economy does not allow. Rural economies in the absence of infrastructure, means of transport, roads, produce only what can be consumed on the spot despite the potential that is often present. Economic development is sometimes possible by simply enhancing the environmental and human resources present.

The situation of women in Africa is central to the development of the Continent. For their determination to support their children despite the absence of certain sources of income, of a life partner who has often emigrated, and they are generally totally illiterate. Female resources in development cooperation are considered the lever of change, and this project wants to invest in their education, health education and professional training. Often farmers, during the long dry season, with their arid fields, have no chance of inventing an activity.

Local context

The municipality of Boussouma, 160 km from the capital Ouagadougou, has a very large area (371 sq km), 1/10 of the Aosta Valley, and its 30,400 inhabitants live in 16 different villages. Boussouma is not crossed by provincial roads, and is therefore practically an enclave; it is reached by dirt tracks, is without electrification, has few brick houses and water wells scattered throughout the area. There is a lack of schools in adequate numbers, sanitation and sanitation, motor vehicles and facilities for production and commerce. The main activities of the populations are agriculture and livestock. The literacy rate is 12.9% for women versus 24.8% for men.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in Africa: a little less than Italy, it has 13 million inhabitants; 27% live on less than a dollar a day, the literacy level is 25% and have a human development index of 0.302 (175th out of 177). Healthcare: the infant mortality rate is 107 per 1000 live births, access to health services is 29% and life expectancy is 44.2 years. 95% of the population is devoted to agriculture, but most only have hoes to work the land. Only 39% have access to have access to sources of drinking water. The school attendance rate in 2003 was 38.2% for girls and 49.6% for boys for the primary classes. Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta, is located in the Gulf of Guinea region, in the middle of the Sahel, bordered by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The climate is characterized by a dry season and a rainy season, which runs from May to September. The rainfall varies from a minimum of 600mm. in the north, up to a maximum of 1000 mm. in the rest of the country and does not allow a continuous productivity of agricultural land. It covers an area of ​​274,000 sq km with a population of about 13 million inhabitants. Burkina Faso, poorly endowed with natural resources (with the exception of gold deposits exploited in an artisanal way) has a natural environment that is highly subject to degradation and is in 175th place out of a total of 177 countries in the ranking of the human development index of the 'UNDP!

The lack of a direct connection with the sea combined with the advance of the desert from north to south together with the chronic lack of rain, are strongly conditioning factors.

The economy is mainly rural (80% of the total population) characterized by the prevalence of small family farms, with productions intended exclusively for self-sufficiency. The insufficient value of exports (cotton, gold and livestock) compared to the high costs of imports (hydrocarbons and capital goods) weigh heavily on the trade balance

Projects attachments

Expected results

Guarantee 120 working days each year for 50 women in the community. Produce and market 10 quintals of soap per year.

Sponsor Progetto


Technical Project Data







Project start




Project status


Project manager


Project Cost

€ 40,000


80 women from the village, including a returning migrant woman and the Femmes Actives de Boussoufa association. Indirect beneficiaries are the women's community of Burkina Faso.

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