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Earning their own money from local cereal crops 

Yama makes use of her small shop to feed her children.

Earning their own money from local cereal crops 

The Senegalese-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CSAEM) has been providing an inclusive training course for women with and without disabilities. Processing cereal crops gives the women the opportunity to improve their incomes.

Women from the Diourbel Region in western Senegal took part in a training course that taught them how to process local cereal crops, such as millet, rice, maize and dried beans. Selling couscous, bread and cakes has given them the prospect of a higher income. The ten-day training course was organised by the Senegalese-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CSAEM) and took place in the national rehabilitation centre for people with disabilities in the town of Bambey. The building offers full wheelchair access. This meant that the 25 participants could also include women with physical disabilities.

Sokhna is using the training course to extend her self-employment.

Trainer Daba could easily identify with the participants: she was referred by the CSAEM to take part in a training course in 2018. The course was held at the Senegalese Institute of Food Technology (ITA). Back then, she learned how food is processed and products are marketed. It gave her a start in self-employment. Daba has now founded her own company. She processes cereals, fruit and vegetables and passes on her knowledge via training courses. Daba encourages women to become self-employed and sell their own products.

Securing a stable income

The national rehabilitation centre in Bambey, where the training course took place, is adapted to the special needs and limitations of people with physical disabilities. Sokhna was one of the participants. She needs to use a walking stick and can’t walk for long distances. She was unable to attend school. “The buildings and means of transport in my school days weren’t accessible to people with disabilities”, she recalls.

Nogoye is using cereal processing to extend her career prospects.

But instead of being discouraged, the 37-year-old is determined to be self-employed and earn her own money. She already runs a small stall from her home selling confectionery, sugar and coffee. So far, her customers are mainly people from the neighbourhood or family members. But Sokhna wants to expand her product range to attract more customers. The training course has inspired her to sell new cereal-based products. “Then I’ll hopefully be able to sell more and secure a stable income”, she says.

A new career opportunity

Nogoye is also hoping for a decent income. The 26-year-old has a bachelor's degree in healthcare. But her movement is restricted due to a physical disability. She believes that’s why no company has employed her. An association initially arranged for her to train as a dressmaker. After that she bought an inexpensive sewing machine and began her work. She wants to use the training in cereal processing to launch a new career opportunity and be successful as an entrepreneur.

Yama also took part in the training course. She can only get around with the help of a crutch. “I seldom think about my disability, because I don't want to dwell on some people’s negative views”, says the 37-year-old. She relates that she often experiences situations in which people disrespectfully refer to her physical disability. But she ignores such remarks. Yama tries to focus on the future. Like Nogoye, she’s a trained dressmaker. She also sells spices and seasoning products at the weekly market to earn extra money.

She was an enthusiastic participant in the cereal processing training course. “The training course has enabled me to sell even more products at the market”, says Yama. She needs the money, because her income is all she has to provide for her three children. She hopes that her business will be more profitable in the future. She also discovered many recipe ideas during the training course – for porridge, bread and cakes. “I also use what I learned to cook meals at home for the children. They love it.”

Trainer Daba encourages women to become self-employed.

A demand for marketing training courses

The participants also made important contacts and have networked with one another. Some of the women joined forces to form an association after their training. They meet regularly to swap experiences. They want to attend further training courses in marketing and business to help them be successful as entrepreneurs.


As of: 02/2023


This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

The training course has enabled me to sell even more products at the market.

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