Against rural depopulation of the younger generation – a vegetable garden for the family

Against rural depopulation of the younger generation – a vegetable garden for the family

by Philippe Randin, head of “Nouvelle Planète”, Lausanne

In the north of Burkina Faso vegetable gardens are springing up like mushrooms. They offer many people a basis to survive and therefore have become the most important economic activity of the region. This counteracts the country’s rural exodus of the young generation and helps combatting the desertification of the country for the region is very dry, and it is rarely raining. The desert and drought constitutes a great threat.

Increasing the area

The inhabitants of the village of Ouindigui have realised the potential of vegetable gardens. The population has already been organised to women’s groups, including the NAAM association. Over 300 women work together to cultivate and plant vegetables, the success is bound to occur. Throughout the year, they can harvest onions, cabbages, potatoes, etc., which they partly sell in local markets. The rest feeds their families. Thanks to this work, they can earn about 800 francs a year for their household budget. This amount corresponds to an annual wage of a security guard or a salesperson. In view of this success, the NAAM group wants to increase the cultivated area so that further 258 women could participate.

Digging and protecting wells

The residents have already selected the suitable place. It is located in the lower part of the village, near the existing gardens. The point here is to dig wells by hand. The water is located at a depth of about 10 metres. Subsequently the wells are concreted to prevent them from breaking. The surface must also be protected so that the sheep, goats and chickens do not destroy the work they have done. This work is too expensive for the local population. That is why people contacted the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency Nouvelle Planète in the hope to receive support.
An area of 2 hectares is to be divided into parcels of 77 square metres, which each can be farmed by a woman. Every woman will give a small rent to the group. She may also use its infrastructure and participate in association activities: storage for harvest, purchase of seed, trainings etc.
This project allows improving the life of the population while protecting the fragile environment of the region. Indirectly the schooling of the children and the health of the inhabitants are encouraged and the landflows get counteracted. Nouvelle Planète and the women of Ouindigui would like to thank you for your support.     •
The cost of creating a garden for a woman and her family is 49 francs. If you like to support this project, you can specify “garden” on your deposit note.

Donation Account: CCP 18-5792-6, IBAN: CH12 0900 0000 1800 5792 6
Further information on the projects and the organisation can be found at and Nouvelle Planète, Avenue des Boveresses 24, 1010 Lausanne, Tel. +41 21 881 23 80

(Translation Current Concerns)

Nouvelle Planète

Nouvelle Planète promotes exchanges between communities, groups, professional associations and school classes from Switzerland and from the countries of the South. It offers advice, provision of expertise, networking and project support in Switzerland and/or in the South.

Missions and travels

Youth, adults, seniors, existing groups, schools, families or companies: Share life with the people of the countries of the South by participating in a development project!

Projects in the South:

Nouvelle Planète supports efficient and sustainable small projects of dynamic local groups:
–    Africa: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Uganda, Madagascar, Guinea
–    Asia: India, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam
–    America: Peruvian Amazon River region, Haiti
The projects mainly comprise the following four areas: support for children and adolescents; promotion of women and rural development; environmental protection; support for disabled and sick people.
The supported projects have the following characteristics: They aim to meet the basic needs of the disadvantaged population in poor regions. Special attention will be given to the promotion of women and ethnic minorities. They also have a positive influence on the environment.
The projects will be submitted by local partners with whom we are cooperating. Nouvelle Planète does not act in place of them. In the end a project thus belongs to the beneficiary.
The local population is involved in the implementation of the project, whether it is in the form of funding, material and/or labour.
   The projects are to become quickly independent, so that Nouvelle Planète can easily withdraw. Nouvelle Planète does not support operating costs of institutions.

Source: <link http:>

(Translation Current Concerns)

Albert Schweitzer’s influence on Nouvelle Planète

Nouvelle Planète has been widely influenced by the “Ethics of Reverence for Life“, which were developed by Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) on the shores of Ogooué river in Gabon. During the interwar period, Schweitzer searched for solutions in a world which he saw as decadent. “I am life that wills to live in the midst of life that wills to live; I must have reverence for life.“ He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.
He was more a man of action, rather than a philosopher. He put his thoughts into practice and was often misunderstood by his contemporaries. He announced the “duty to help the hungry in the world“ and has fulfilled it, by treating the poorest in the hospital in Lambaréné in Gabon. „Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it‘s the only thing,“ is another important quote of his. He believed in human beings, not things, as drivers of progress. He was a convinced optimist oriented towards the future.
Willy Randin founded Nouvelle Planète in 1986 and based it on the thinking of Albert Schweitzer, since he had inspired him during his time as a director of the Lambaréné hospital. He wished to start an organisation for development cooperation that bases its actions on the needs of the local population and accepts them as the only competent decision makers for their own development. The temporary supports of concrete initiatives are the means to give them the necessary push and help people on the ground to improve their situation themselves. Nouvelle Planète does not design the projects, but only supports existing local projects that are relevant in the specific context and belong to the beneficiary groups.
Today, Nouvelle Planète still acts according to these principles, which are inspired by Albert Schweitzer, such as: reverence for life, act with a purpose, search for simplicity, mutual trust and optimism.

Source: <link http: en notre-vision albert-schweitzer>

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