L'OCCITANE and its Foundation support actions in Burkina Faso that promote the socio-economic development of girls and women. In 2020, they have exceeded their goal of supporting 33,000 women. To further expand their actions, L'OCCITANE and its Foundation have set a new ambitious goal: to support 60,000 women in Burkina Faso by 2025.
According to the United Nations, 783 million people live below the international poverty line of $1.9 a day, and the overwhelming majority of these people are in two regions: South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. This segment of the population struggles to meet its basic needs, namely health, education, water and sanitation. Moreover, women and people living in rural areas are much more affected by this extreme poverty: 122 women aged 25-34 for every 100 men in the same category and the poverty rate in rural areas is three times higher than in urban areas.
Offering adequate means to girls and women in developing countries: access to and autonomous management of financial resources, new knowledge, adapted technologies, natural resources, could help them develop their own potential and thus contribute to sustainable poverty reduction.
Since the 1980s, L'OCCITANE has worked closely with women who produce shea butter in Burkina Faso. From a dozen women from whom L'OCCITANE used to source artisanal shea butter, the brand now has more than 10,000 women using mechanized and easy-to-handle equipment.
Over the years, a sustainable and equitable partnership has been built with these women producers through the supply of fair trade shea butter and the RESIST program, which provides them with access to shea trees, training and diversification of their income-generating activities. This collaboration enabled L'OCCITANE to be recognized in 2013 as an exemplary company in the country by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program).
In addition to this equitable sourcing by the company, the Foundation has been supporting NGO projects in favor of women's independence in Burkina Faso since its creation. The projects and programs it supports focus on girls' education, job training and entrepreneurship with a high social and environmental impact for women: for example, the L'OCCITANE pour Elles program developed by the social incubator La Fabrique and the Initiative France network of funders, facilitates the creation and development of businesses run by women
In 2021, in order to meet the primary needs of girls and women subject to internal displacement due to the deteriorating security situation in the country, the Foundation has integrated the financing of emergency actions into its strategy.
Since 2023, L'OCCITANE subsidiaries have also been encouraged to support training, entrepreneurship and education projects run by international NGOs, affirming the brand's global commitment to women's independence.
The 2020-2021 calls for projects are now closed. To learn more about the projects selected and supported this year, visit the Foundation's website and social networks.