Rouamba Odile is a fighter.  She was born in the 1960’s in Burkina Faso, but she’s not sure exactly when.  She never went to school and she isn’t able to read/write. Her father tried to arrange her marriage at the age of 17, but she ran away to her sisters house in a nearby city.  Her father tried to take her back, but instead she ran away again with her current husband to the Ivory Coast. She had 8 kids, although she lost 1 adult child.

Twenty years later, she was able to reconcile with her family, and she returned with her family to Burkina Faso.  She gained a reputation for being a peacemaker and describes herself as the village grandmother, but she never had an opportunity to really lead, always playing the second fiddle to her husband.  Althought when it came time for her community of Komsnedego to select a female village leader for The Sonder Project Community Farm, Rouamba was chosen for her ability to work with others.

Thanks to the Community Farm, Rouamba said her family will no longer face food insecurity, and they will now have a year-round opportunity to generate income.  She also believes the Farm may help draw back two of her children who still reside in the Ivory Coast. She never thought the community would have such an opportunity, it’s a dream come true.

photography: Tara Rice