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Windows of opportunity: Caisses de Résilience for the women and men of the Sahel

“It is up to us, the women, to find money to feed the family at this time of the year,” explains Sanihan, who lives in the village of Baramadougou, in Mali, with thirteen other members of her family.


“We sometimes go as far as 20 km from here, on the banks of the Bani River, to find plants we use to make incense, and sell it to the market.”

Each year, the lean season is a major challenge for Sanihan. But this year, she enrolled in FAO's Caisses de Résilience programme, which aims to improve the food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in Burkina Faso and Mali by strengthening the resilience of their livelihoods.

The support from FAO included the provision of seeds coupled with cash transfers. According to Sanihan, this assistance brought huge changes for her family.  “Today I no longer worry about the end of the lean season, or about what will happen next year,” she explains. “We are engaging in new activities, which will make us stronger in trying times.”

For example, she has enrolled in a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), and has also joined one of the Agro-Pastoral Field Schools (APFS) that have been set up through FAO, where she will receive training in good agricultural and pastoral practices in the face of climate change.

“With the 50 000 FCFA received, I bought millet and I will also buy goats,” she notes proudly. “And I know that if we manage properly the aid we receive, we can do better in the future.”

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