Khadidiatou, 29, has a thriving juice making business in Sedhiou in the Casamance region of Senegal. Since her skills training on the Ampa Awagna project, she now employs seven young women and is constantly getting requests from others who want to come and work for her. Her next steps are to try and get a loan so she can buy more equipment and expand.
“Before I was working in my brother’s store selling rice and other items for him. He didn’t pay me but he supported me, paying for my clothes and anything else that I needed.
“I feel independent now – I have my own business and I make my own money. I don’t have to ask for anyone to help me. I can satisfy my needs, I am thankful for that.
“I am interested in product development, because here in Casamance there is a lot of fruit from April through to July, but then no more. So a good way to make money is to preserve the fruit.
“I now have seven women helping me. It takes one week to make a production and from this we can earn 35,000 CFA [approx. £54]
“I only have a small amount of equipment, so I can only work with two people doing hibiscus, two making the ginger juice and two making juice from the dittah fruit.
“At this time there is a lot of baobab fruit and sweet potato so if I had the right machine I could also make marmalade.
“I want my business to grow and develop. I am getting a lot of requests for people to work with me but I need more equipment to expand.”