Our partners from Burkina Faso Ecole Pour Micro-Projects d’Entreprise (EMPE) have been instrumental to change the worry of Maimouna Kiemda into the dream she thought she would never achieve in her life. Kiemda had always dreamt of being an advocate. She was confident since she was a child she would achieve success in life with the strategic help of her parents. Her plight in life began when she lost her father who was the pillar of the family since he met most of their needs. She was devastated during this time and she felt beaten down by life. Out of devastation she chose to study agribusiness since she could not study inforgraphics or entrepreneurship because of lack of fees. This was a challenging time for her since she was worried that her dream of being successful was endangered. She did not lose hope. The strength and determination of her mother to provide for the family encouraged Kiemda.
“ I wanted to show my mother that I am proud of her,” she says in remembrance. “ I worked extremely hard since after my father’s demise most of our family members neglected us. I though this was the only way I could achieve my objectives in life,” she says in a thoughtful manner.
“When I joined University of Ouagadougou. I worked in various part time jobs to gather money for my basic needs.” She says painfully. “I failed my final exams which broke my heart and left me depressed.” “ At some point I felt suicidal,” she says sadly.
“I was unsuccessfully in searching for anyone who would help me so I lost hope,” Kiemda explains further.
Luckily Kiemda heard about the center named ‘Reviens à la Vie’ meaning Come Back to life. This center became the home for the hopeless Kiemda. The spiritual nourishment from the center helped her find purpose and direction. She could not find a job that was leading her to the dream of being economically independent but this center shifted her focus to thinking differently.
“The training on entrepreneurship opened my eyes to other methods I could generate income in my life. I realized that the agribusiness skills I possessed would be a great opportunity,” she notes with eyes full of life. “This place brought me back to life!” She exclaims happily.
Mr. Abdou Salam Ouedraogo encourahed her and mentored her during her stay at the center. Hi words nurtured her spiritually and even as an entrepreneur. She began to look at thing using a different perspective. This jam started her life and she unstack her mind.
Mr. Abdou Salam Ouedraogo is the founder of Come Back to Life Center. He has been connected with EMPE since 2014. He served as a trainer in entrepreneurship ethics. He founded this center with a burden for depressed young people. Yearly, he refers 20 young people for entrepreneurship training with EMPE after some of the guidance at the center.
Kiemda was recommended to the training in 2016. One year later she has implemented the skills and knowledge that has made her shine amongst her mates. She has achieved more than she had imagined. This 24 year old has managed to have a renewed spirit and a new vision for her life. She envisions developing her skills; owning her land and registering her enterprise. She has been burdened by her experience to share with young people on how they can be job creators rather than job seekers so that the nation can develop holistically.
The relations of EMPE and meaningful partners within the community facilitate them to reach out to their target group. These coefficient relationships has changed the lives of many hopeless young people and changed their mindset towards life. Such journeys not only revive dignity in the lives of these young people and their families but also give hope for the future since the young people lead meaningful lives.