Chantal Bernatchez is devoted to strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in underprivileged African countries to help fight poverty. Chantal wants to inspire as many people as possible about the importance of believing in their potential and ability to make a real difference in meeting the needs of disadvantaged African communities. An industrial engineer, she uses her ties to connect other engineers in Montreal to develop social and sustainability programs including creating access to water and food, malaria prevention, and developing their agricultural system to help build women’s economic power. Chantal believes that when people support Vergers d’Afrique they are supporting an entire village. “He never gave you a dream without the power to make it a reality!”
Since 2001, Chantal has assisted women from Burkina Faso in creating revenue producing activities, fighting against climate change and in receiving a fair-organic certification on the production of shea trees, sesame and rice. In 2006, she won the World Bank prize for the best women’s innovation with Karidelice (a jam made from shea) and used the prize money to build a food factory to further assist the local women. “I will never forget the smiling faces of these children and their mother’s determination to overcome poverty.”
Association Vergers d'Afrique
Vergers d’Afrique aims to improve the quality of life of people living in Burkina Faso through the building and caring of orchards and community gardens as a way to prevent the advance of the desert and to secure the food supply of families by providing water access and development technologies. Their vision is to engage in the sustainable development of these areas by contributing to the creation of orchards and community gardens.
Vergers d’Afrique has assisted nearly 5,000 women from Burkina Faso to create revenue producing activities to help fight poverty and climate change. It supports women rice steamers in Burkina Faso in the valorization of rice produced locally to increase their economic powers, and has lightened their tasks by the construction of five parboiling centers and five daycare centers in the workplace.