Wear a Smile with … Elisé Balimaya Kabaya


Between harvests, cotton companies have little work for the employees in their ginning plant, which is why the majority of them are employed as seasonal workers each year. Elisé Balimaya Kabaya is one of them. Since 2014, she has been working as an electrician from the first to the last day of ginning in one of the ginning plants of SOCOMA, a Cotton made in Africa partner in Burkina Faso. Right at the very beginning when starting her job, the 27-year-old woman had an accident in which she injured her hand. SOCOMA paid all of the medical costs which is by no means given in countries such as Burkina Faso. This is not the only reason why she is happy to have this job, “With the money I earn here, I can pay for my books and school fees,” says Balimaya Kabaya. She has been studying for her general secondary school diploma for university entrance and will be taking the exams as an external candidate. “My biggest dream is to study electrical engineering and later find a really good job,” she confesses. “But I also learn a lot on the job at SOCOMA because I can see how something that I normally just read in theory in my books works in practice.” Balimaya Kabaya is one of the few women who work in the factory and the only one among the electricians. “But I have no problems with that,” she says. “Everyone respects me and takes me seriously because I am good at what I do.”

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