Forty km north of Abidjan, Azaguié is a seemingly quiet town. But here, like everywhere else in Côte d’Ivoire, no one has forgotten the civil war that tore the country apart in 2011, causing more than 3,000 deaths and thousands of displaced people. After the conflict, which tore apart communities in Côte d’Ivoire that had previously lived in harmony, community development became a key issue in the country’s reconstruction.
For Madjara Coulibaly, this is obvious: “Community is everything. When you live in a community, you have to help each other,” says the young woman in her twenties, who lives in Azaguié with her son, mother and siblings.
“My father died,” she explains modestly. As a result, Madjara had to take on the role of head of the family as soon as she graduated from high school.
But thanks to the African Development Fund (ADF) Program to Support Social Inclusion and Strengthen Cohesion (PARICS), Madjara was able to take a poultry farming course. The ADF financed this $46 million program, which targeted ex-combatants and young Ivorians affected by the conflict, to support the country-wide reconciliation process.
Like Madjara, many young Ivorians have received vocational training in agriculture, transportation, and green economy (clean energy and waste recovery) through the PARICS program.
Today, Majara Coulibaly has her own chicken farm, which she takes care of in a wire mesh pen in the yard of her family’s small compound. “Thanks to this activity, I am able to support myself and my family,” she says. My mother is happy with me. As we say in our house, she gives me blessings so that I can improve my situation” she says with a laugh, so proud that her mother is proud of her.
It is also this small poultry farm “that allowed me to heal myself when I had a C-section during my delivery,” says Madjara, an expense she wouldn’t not have been able to afford without her small business.
Just engaged, Madjara has regained faith in life. Now, the war is only a bad memory and she sees the future with hope: “I want my son to go far, to continue his studies and to become a great man in society.