Ismaïla*, the mason of Mainé Soroa
ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND POPULATION RESILIENCE
Socio-economic integration program through High Intensity Labor Force (HIMO) workcamps and professional training, Mainé Soroa commune, Diffa region, Niger.
Ismaïla is 35 years old. A beneficiary of the socio-economic integration activities of the RESILAC project, he tells us He tells us about his involvement in the project:
"My name is Ismaïla, I am 35 years old and I am a beneficiary of the RESILAC project in a village in the commune of Mainé Soroa, in the Diffa region of Niger.
Since 2016, I was working in Mainé Soroa as an apprentice mason for a boss who owned a company that built classrooms and buildings. I liked this activity but it did not allow me to earn a decent living. I also had to work at odd jobs when I could to earn a little extra money. However, even with this additional income, I could not provide for my family.
So when the RESILAC project came to my village, I tried my luck and was selected among the 100 young people of my village to participate in the High Intensity Labor Work (HIMO).
For four months, we worked on the dune fixing site to protect our basin from silting up for a salary of 50,000 FCFA per month. With this money, I was able to cover my daily expenses before buying the first tools for my masonry activity.
After the four months of the HIMO project, RESILAC offered us professional training adapted to our needs and those of the market. Sixty young people were selected to participate in various training courses, each in the field of their choice, for six months. I was trained in masonry. We had all learned the trade on the job, so these six months allowed us to improve and learn professional techniques to be more productive and provide quality work.
At the end of the training, the project provided each participant with an installation kit to start their business. My kit [containing all the elements a mason needs] allowed me to expand my small toolbox and start doing small jobs in my village. That's when I became more and more known in the area.
Two months after I started my activity as a freelance mason, many surrounding villages started to call on me for daily services or larger contracts.
I am proud to be recognized as a professional in my field! The project has even called upon my services to secure solar submersible pumps for community market gardening sites.
Today, I employ four apprentices who earn their living thanks to me, I am economically independent and even manage to help my relatives in times of need!"
*The first name have been changed