A. Activities for the well-being of the rural people The activities of our consultative service go far beyond the limits mentioned above, the terms of reference of our duties, because it appeared that the activities in favour of women concern a context which is often badly defined or badly interpreted. In fact, as a woman, it is a right and even a duty for me to help other women by a global animation.
My ways of reaching the womenfolk are so numerous that I will speak here of a few only.
My office is the car in which I travel to villages in order to visit families who really fall under our objectives, especially women farmers, in order to help them find out and discuss with them problems and difficulties which confront them permanently. To make this situation clear to you, I will give you an example of our health care service. On this particular subject, I will say that in the village of Kati in Togo, I use the approach in which the inhabitants take part. This approach makes the people aware and motivated. They organized themselves into village health committees and they sank their own wells to obtain good drinking water to eliminate the sickness caused by Guinea Worm, which attacks them regularly. This sickness prevents them working in their fields for several months. This hold-up brings with it at times shortage of primary foodstuff produced by the people themselves for their subsistence.
Another example concerning food is that the people suffer from bad weather and are short-supplied with Néré, a produce used for making mustard, the principal food in the region. In this sphere, the women organized themselves and found out that they could
prepare mustard with soya, a product that they did not know until recently. As soon as they knew the techniques of cultivating this plant, and its high nutritional value, they cultivated it either on individual or collective bases.