Published on
8 April 2024

A major political crisis in Ivory Coast that lasted from 2002 to 2011 significantly disrupted Ivorian society and left profound scars politically, economically, and socially. The consequences of this period particularly affected the education of future generations, with a significant impact on literacy, especially among women.

In response to this situation, the Missionnaires de la Consolata (Consolata Missionaries) in Ivory Coast launched the Empowerment of Women in San Pedro project, which is centered on the sale of a traditional African fabric called a pagne. The pagne is a type of printed textile that comes in various patterns and colours and is used in the making of garments for women, as well as to carry infants. The project aims to help women gain financial independence and directly involves 500 women and their families, and indirectly impacts 800 people.

The implementation of the project is led by the Missionnaires de la Consolata in Ivory Coast under the guidance of Father Daniel Yoseph Baiso, with the support of the Consolata Missionaries in Canada and the Roncalli Foundation, which provided $21,187 in funding.

The participants were encouraged to sell fabrics in a shop close to the centre of San Pedro that they renovated. In parallel, they were trained in the basics of commerce, marketing, and inventory management, including procurement and deliveries. Additionally, the project included a series of training sessions covering a wide range of topics, such as supply and demand principles, the use of the banking system, women’s rights, entrepreneurship, leadership, and building a culture of respect. These training sessions were conducted by experts in their respective fields.

An essential aspect of the project was to raise awareness among men about the status and value of women in society to help change mindsets and contribute to the better treatment of women.




In addition to the profits generated from fabric sales, the continuity of the project is ensured by the following:

  • Participants have decided to allocate 40% of revenues to a business fund that will be used to purchase new products.
  • Another 30% of profits are dedicated to the establishment of solidarity fund within the association behind the project, Les Amies de la Consolata (Friends of Consolata).
  • The remaining 30% goes back to the participants involved in the sale of the fabrics.

This balanced distribution ensures the long-term viability of the project while strengthening cohesion within the community.

Beyond helping women gain financial autonomy, this project provides learning opportunities and contributes to improving the living conditions of their families and the community as a whole. It represents a significant step towards the reconstruction and revitalization of San Pedro after a period of crisis.

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