Success Story: She overcame a disability to become an entrepreneur in Burkina Faso: Meet Bibata Traoré

“Previously, it was unimaginable for a woman to think that, like a man, she could raise poultry to sell for income. But today, things are changing,” says Bibata Traoré, from the village of Ouahabou in Burkina Faso. At the age of 44, this mother of five worked selling flour and ground peanuts to help her husband cover health care and education costs for their children. Now, thanks to her hard work and Tanager’s expertise, she has overcome a disability to become an entrepreneur.

Once introduced to the SELEVER project – implemented by Tanager’s experts in Burkina Faso – Bibata began attending poultry, gender, and nutrition trainings despite being hard of hearing. Bibata overcame her disability by using her husband’s phone to record sessions, which she would play back for her family in the evenings, seeking clarity from her sister who also participated in the trainings.

SELEVER was designed to help women like Bibata improve their social and economic status through poultry farming, while also improving nutrition in farming communities. The project works to provide women with everything they need to be successful poultry farmers including feed, vaccinations, and finance. The project also conducts trainings with women and men to change social norms around women’s entrepreneurship and place in the household.

For Bibata, the training was very rewarding, and she understood that raising poultry could be an income generating opportunity for her family. Beginning with one bird she purchased for 1,750 CFA (about $3 USD), Bibata began expanding her flock while following recommended vaccination regiments. With the help of her husband (which demonstrates buy-in from the men in this community, a key outcome of SELEVER), she had two coops built. For her, “poultry houses have several advantages; in addition to protecting my poultry against certain avian diseases, they allow me to control the feeding of chickens and the water they drink. They also prevent chicks from being exposed to hawks.”

Thanks to Bibata’s adoption of these recommended practices, her flock has increased from one hen to over 100 birds. To diversify her income streams, Bibata sold a portion of her flock to invest in other livestock. “After six months, I sold one of the goats. By adding a little money, I was able to buy another goat. The first goat is pregnant again” she says, with a smile she has trouble hiding. Starting with just one hen, Bibata built a thriving household enterprise that promises to increase her family’s income and has inspired her family and community.