Fashion Forward - Women in Niger break through with unique sewing cooperatives and improved farm marketing to support climate resilient lives [PHOTO STORY]

Jun 15, 2017

Halima Ousseïni is a 16 years old girl, living in the village of Tanout, Niger

Halima Ousseïni is just 16 years old. The world should be hers. Yet, living in the village of Tanout, Niger, where climate change impacts, political instability, gender inequality and poverty are commonplace, life is not easy for Halima.

Halima had to drop out of school after two years of secondary school. By the time she turned 16, her future was caving in. In a country where three out of four girls is married before the age of 18 - many girls in Halima’s village were already pregnant, and like many people affected by climate change and the brute force of poverty and inequality, Halima was out of options.

But then Halima learned about a new sewing cooperative in her village – a place where single women, women with disabilities, and other girls could find a second chance

The sewing cooperative was established as one of 18 “micro-projects” within the UNDP-supported Building Climate-Resilience and Adaptive Capacity in the Agricultural Sector of Niger project, financed with a US$3.5 million grant from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund and US$2.5 million in scaling-up funding from the Government of Canada through the Climate Change Adaptation Facility.

“I was excluded from school and was doing nothing when I learned through a friend that the project had opened a sewing center to allow women and girls to learn sewing,” says Halima. “I was interested and so I enrolled in the center. Since I have been here, I have learned a lot. To sew clothes for myself, for my parents and even for clients.”

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