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Paulina's story

BBC Radio 4 Appeal

BBC Radio 4 Appeal

Our Patron, Adjoa Andoh, recently presented for Tree Aid on BBC Radio 4 Appeal. Adjoa spoke about one of our project participants, Paulina, and how working with Tree Aid has helped transform her life. 

Where can I listen?

Listen back now on the BBC Sounds website.

 

Donate to our BBC Radio 4 Appeal today. 

 

 

Meet Paulina

Paulina Mademoube lives in Tatale, Northern Ghana, a region like others across the globe which is grappling with climate change. Families like Paulina's are witnessing the severe devastation of the land which they heavily depend on to grow food and earn an income.

With no support for her education, Paulina left school early to get married, and subsequently had two children. When reflecting on her stopping her education, she says “When I think about stopping then I feel bad about it”. Paulina’s life has now changed. She earns an income working as a secretary in one of Tree Aid’s shea processing groups, training other members on how to use the shea equipment.

This is the story of how Paulina’s life has changed and the impact it has had for her, her family, and her community so far. With your support, we can continue to join forces with more women like Paulina, to support communities to grow nutritious food and incomes.

 

You can make a difference to women like Paulina by donating today!

single donation

Why women like Paulina need your support:

Before the project, Paulina supported her family by growing and selling soya bean crops, spending hours farming the land every day. Selling this produce only brings in around thirty-five pounds a year -which must suffice to send her children to school. But in the past few years, the rainy season has become less predictable. When it does arrive, the heavy rains wash away the topsoil, destroying Paulina's crops. So even the small income which she has worked so hard for washes away too.

Paulina spends a lot of her time farming and walking long distances to Tatale to grind her corn. This makes it tough for her to look after her children. In her words, she was going “through a bad time”, and didn’t know “what to do and how to earn a living”.

The power of tools and training

But then, in 2019, Paulina joined a Tree Aid project and started earning an income from trees, specifically shea trees which are a tree native to Ghana. When asked about the tools and training that Paulina received from the project to make shea butter, she exclaimed that “there was too much to mention” and began making a list with her fingers!

Thanks to Tree Aid's training, she can now produce five basins of shea butter every week – over sixty kilograms, and it’s selling for a good profit in local markets. The money generated from this project for Paulina has been transformational for her and her family’s welfare. Her children are full and happy, she is less reliant on her husband, and Paulina has savings which act as a safety net when her crops fail in times of climate crisis.

"Together we are useful"

Not only has this project helped Paulina, and her family, but has also extended to the wider community. Many women in the area are part of this project and are benefitting from the tools and training it has provided. By working within a group, Paulina, and women like her can get credit from a financial institution which was not an available option for them before. These women not only feel empowered by working in this project but also sense a positive change in how the men in their village treat them with respect. Husbands, and even chiefs are now consulting them on their opinions for decision making, promoting a sense of harmony in the village.

“Unity is strength – this is what we say. Being in the group is like a broom. If there was only one bristle it wouldn’t work. But together we are useful.”
Paulina Mademoube, Ghana

A brighter future ahead:

Paulina’s hope for the future is that she can keep improving her living conditions. Explaining that: “I know that because of this project I can support myself. I can stand alone. I have created a legacy for my children.”

Paulina expresses her heartfelt gratitude to Tree Aid supporters, saying:

“I have lots of words to express my gratitude to you. I hope god blesses you. I hope for more blessings for you in abundance, and further support is always gratefully received here.”

While Paulina’s life has changed with the help of this Tree Aid project, we still need to support many more women like her.

It costs Tree Aid £39 to provide three women with training on how to produce shea butter and earn a living from it. With your donation today, we would be able to fulfil Paulina’s request and support more people across Africa’s drylands to earn a sustainable income in this way.