My husband returned from Libya but died a few weeks later because he was sick. When he died, I sought the reintegration assistance that was intended for him. The support I am receiving is very impactful to me and to my husband’s family.
During the pandemic, I sold a few sheep and, with the profit I made, decided to buy a horse to support me on the farm during the rainy season. This will help us to have a good harvest this year. Before the rainy season starts, I rent the horse to community members so they can use it to transport and deliver goods. Because of this, I can now afford to feed five goats and six sheep. I recently completed an entrepreneurship course, which inspired me to expand my business. I just applied for a loan.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are eased, I can start going to the lumos (local markets) again to negotiate for goats. I need to be ready for Tobaski, buying small goats and selling them back when they are bigger a few months from now. My late husband’s little brother Mamodou is helping me out in my daily activities. I am very happy he takes part in the business that was meant for his father.
During the dry season, we keep three goats in the bush and another three in the compound because we are not able to feed them all yet. When I have enough resources to feed them, I will open a coffee shop/corner shop in the community as a second business.
My goal is to expand the business and support the children of the community, raising awareness about the risks of irregular migration and show them that, with dedication to your work, it is possible to make ends meet. I want to encourage other women to empower themselves and start a new business activity within their communities.
Isatou received reintegration assistance through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union's Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.