Why We Do What We Do: Agatha's Story
Nothing showcases how you can help a farmer, their family, and a community transform quite like the story of Agatha and her community of farmers. Agatha is a mother of nine and a farmer in Burkina Faso. There is a strong, caring energy about her that people gravitate towards, which is why she has become a leader in her community. The ability to lead her community's improvement has always been there. But with Groundswell International's support, she has been able to turn that ability into action through a Groundswell-introduced fellowship, community-farm and water-well initiative. As a part of a Groundswell International-introduced water supply initiative, she has helped lead the creation and growth of a community-run well and farm.
Agatha has had amazing success. From the community-led farm alone, she has earned roughly $425 a year for two straight years. This is a significant accomplishment, especially in a region where many households only earn around $197 a year.
She didn't stop there. Using her extra income from the community farm, and her village's new Locally-led Investment Funds, she continues to invest in herself as a farmer. With a total of three loans (of which, all have been repaid back to the investment fund) she has:
- Purchased a plow
- Paid for an entire year of school fees and a bicycle for her one of her children to travel to school
- Funded one of her children's wedding
- Buildt a new, safer house out of sturdy concrete
- Earned and saved an additional $184 that can be reinvested, in addition to what she earned from the community farm itself
Agatha and her community of farmers is a great example of how Groundswell International and the locally-led investment funds enable women to gain a voice and creates an opportunity for them to become lead players in the improvement of their family. What Agatha is doing is not the behavior of someone who is just scraping by to survive. This is someone that is truly building a better life for herself, family and community.