Monday’s Story: Life-changing cooperatives in Sierra Leone
Feb 26, 2018
Monday Kargbo is one of the women supported by our project in northern Sierra Leone, which is providing sustainable agricultural livelihood and income enhancement for 2,500 women farmers.
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Through our project, female-led farming cooperatives have been established in 50 villages so women can share knowledge, support each other and save money. The project is also helping communities to address issues such as gender-based violence and is raising awareness of women’s rights.
Bombali in northern Sierra Leone is a rural region that is still recovering from civil war and the Ebola epidemic, which caused widespread poverty as well as many deaths. Life here is particularly hard for women, who have less status than men. They have little access to education and often experience gender-based violence. With our local partner MEWODA, we’re helping women and their wider community to start overcoming these challenges.
Monday, who is chair of the Sawulia cooperative, said:
“It is very good to sell the ginger, groundnuts and rice. Our husbands used to sideline us but they understand it is good to work together now. I can stand up and talk for myself now. I can pay for my children’s food and their school.
I had no experience of cooperatives before, and the presence of the cooperative has enlightened us. Before, we were only working as individuals, and the husbands took full control. The change started when MEWODA [Feed the Minds’ local partner] came and called both the women and men and explained the idea [of cooperatives].”
Read more about this project here.