Achta: “We are the ones who are now willing to work instead of men to feed the family, to feed the children.”
Achta lost her first husband four years ago. A mother of six children, she supported her family alone for two and a half years before marrying her late husband’s brother.
Achta owns a micro-business processing agricultural products. She produces spaghetti with wheat flour and doughnuts that she sells at the weekly Tuesday market. She also sells her products at home.
She set up this business to provide for her family following the death of her husband. She started by buying flour on credit to make doughnuts and selling them at the market. She then repaid the loans and the rest of the money was used to feed her family.
But since she has benefited from the REST/Trust Fund resilience project, implemented by Action Against Hunger, she no longer needs to buy on credit. The NGO has provided her with material support, including wheat flour, peanuts, sacks of rice, cans of oil, a noodle machine, a peanut paste machine and frying pans.
She is now autonomous. She buys her own supplies and manages her income herself. “My children have enough to eat, they don’t lack anything for the moment,” she says. She has also enrolled her children in Koranic and French schools.
Her parents asked her to come home after her husband’s death, but Achta didn’t see things the same way they did. Her mother, she says, stayed at home while her husband went to the fields to plough, harvest and feed the family. “We go to work, we look for money, we do activities. We are the ones who are now willing to work instead of men to feed the family, to feed the children. If my husband brings something,” she says, “we consume together, but if he doesn’t, it doesn’t change anything.”
Achta also has plans for the future. “I want to set up a flour mill in the village, because there are not enough mills to grind flour. I have seen the needs of the population in terms of flour, I am thinking about it, if I can afford it.”