Cultivating independence in Benin

Nadette is saving for her own plot of land thanks to an agricultural training program offered by Cuso International in Porto Nuevo, Benin. She enrolled in the Songhai farming project and spent a year and a half learning the skills she needed to grow and sell her crops.

“After my training, I decided not to work for anyone. I want to be independent,” says Nadette, who grows and sells a variety of vegetables to support her family.

Currently farming on a rented plot, Nadette is putting money away every month to purchase her own land. Her work ethic is also inspiring for other young women, as it’s uncommon to see women working and tending to their own gardens.

Véronique and Nadette.

She wants to see more young women take up farming and when she’s not tending to her own plot, Nadette is teaching other women the tools of the trade.

Véronique is one of those young women. She signed up for the Songhai program as a way to support her parents and 15 siblings. Her dream is to also own a plot of land where she can grow and cultivate her crops. Learning from other women farmers and seeing their success motivates her every time she steps into the field.

“It’s a big dream to have my own money. As a woman that’s very important,” says Véronique. “I’m very happy to say this is my job because everybody should have a purpose and it’s very important to have your own money. That’s empowerment.”

You can help more young women like Nadette and Véronique access the skills and training they need to thrive by making a donation today.