APIL (Association Pour les Initiatives Locales/Association for Local Initiatives) works with rural farmers, who are some of the people most likely to live in poverty in Burkina Faso. With limited resources, long dry seasons, and fluctuating profits, many farmers struggle to make a regular living. APIL supports farmers to improve their techniques so that they can improve their products and increase their sales and profit margins.

APIL was co-founded in 1998 by Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, who five years later became coordinator of the organisation. He explains: "We don't impose our knowledge on the farmers, because they know what they're doing. The only thing that they may be lacking is the funds or the organisational skills to reach their full potential. So by identifying what they need to improve, we can improve their situation."

But to bring about lasting change, APIL needed access to more funding. In 2016, our volunteers worked with APIL staff to secure funding for specific projects that will have a long term impact on the farming community.

Mr Ouedraogo explains:

"We're a local NGO, so we never have enough funding. What we have done is lay the groundwork. So now, with the support from International Service, we can write proposals that show the work we do. When we can show our impact, we can get the funds we need to improve people's lives and positively impact our environment."

Thanks to support from our volunteers, APIL will spend the next 5 years working with 400 women and 600 men to improve the quality of their livestock and harvests so that they can earn a fair income from their work. And together with APIL, we are training 1,880 farmers on sustainable farming techniques to make sure this fair income is one that lasts.