Burkina Faso: Refugee artisan project

“When I left Mali, the only personal belongings I brought with me were my practical knowledge and my hands. I want to ensure I can pay for my children to continue to go to school until they can get decent jobs."

Bintou Mohamed, refugee artisan in Goudebou camp, Burkina Faso

The project has enabled the refugee artisans to improve their skills in product design and production techniques through a workshop with select French designers. Through training opportunities, they have also improved their literacy, numeracy, entrepreneurial and organization skills, and are now better placed to carry out their role in the value chain and craft products accepted by international markets.

The artisans have substantially increased their earned income as a result of professional marketing and sales efforts. International orders for mid- to high-end luxury markets in the United States, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and Japan have successfully been filled. Professional marketing materials, direct buyer contacts and participation in trade shows will continue to facilitate these market connections.

Local markets are being tapped into by the refugee artisans themselves, who have been supported to open a stand in the main crafts centre in Burkina Faso’s capital city Ouagadougou, and have received coaching on quality control, pricing and managing local sales