Inès Basnéwendé Sawadogo, assistant project manager in Burkina Faso and committed to the emancipation of women in her country, tells us about her role within the association and her journey.
Ines, what path led you to Planète Enfants & Développement?
I was born 26 years ago in Arbollé in the northern region of Burkina Faso! After studying Human Resources Management and obtaining a Bachelor's degree, I started my career in 2017 in the field of child protection with the NGO Educo. I then became involved with the Association Féminine pour le Développement du Burkina (AFEDEB) in 2019. It was then that I met Planète Enfants & Développement, which I joined in 2020 to work on the project to train women to be maternal assistants in Ouahigouya, in the north of the country.
In concrete terms, what does your work with these women consist of?
In charge of the development of our project in Ouahigouya, I am in the field every day. I go to the nurseries created by the childcare workers we have trained, or to their homes, to follow the evolution of their activities and to give them practical advice. It is also an opportunity to discuss with them their project, their difficulties, their needs for support, on a theme related to their job.... I also organize collective information and exchange meetings with the trained women.
I also accompany young women in their professional integration within existing day care centers. For example, I identify structures that are recruiting and I contact their managers to present PE&D, the project and inform them of the availability of qualified childcare assistants.
In addition, I supervise the animators of a partner association that promotes the profession of childminder.
I also work to involve local actors in the implementation of the project (mayors, regional or provincial director in charge of social affairs etc.) and to find other opportunities for the women involved.
What are your challenges and what drives you?
The situation in northern Burkina Faso is very complicated. Armed attacks have caused many villagers to flee to the town of Ouahigouya, where the unemployment rate for women was already high. The families of some of the women we accompany have become hosts for displaced families in the country. Other women, especially those from the commune of Tangaye, cannot practice their trade in their village because of the threat of violence.
The living conditions of the population are deteriorating day by day in this city. It is obvious that in this context, women and children, whether they are internally displaced or hosts, have become even more vulnerable.
The development of young children and the emancipation of women are subjects that fascinate me. So, to go to a crèche created by a woman I accompany, to find children in security, very blooming and childminders happy to exercise this activity which will undoubtedly change their living conditions, give me pride and the desire to continue the fight.
> Learn more about the training and support project for childcare assistants in Burkina Faso