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Yacouba Ouedraogo


Current Residence: Pâ, Burkina Faso
Home Town: Pâ, Burkina Faso

Objective: Be trained as a solar energy professional and obtain employment in that field.

Current Status: Started internship with a local solar energy company in August of 2016.

About: Yacouba joined TSO in July 2016 at the age of twenty-four. He comes from a family where he is one of fifteen children. As farmers, his parents have difficulty providing financially for such a large family, so in 2014, when Yacouba was unsuccessful in obtaining his high school diploma, he had no choice but to leave school.

Needing to help his large family in their difficult economic situation, and with few employment options, Yacouba began work as an artisanal gold miner. “An artisanal miner or small-scale miner is, in effect, a subsistence miner. They are not officially employed by a mining company, but rather work independently, mining or panning for gold using their own resources.” (Wikipedia, Artisanal mining," accessed July 13, 2016)

Artisanal gold mining is dangerous, exposing workers to contagious diseases and the risk of landslides. Yacouba’s efforts very often resulted in fruitless searches and, subsequently, a meager income. Since gold mining was risky and provided no substantial gain, Yacouba returned to help his father cultivate his fields.

Happily, Yacouba has joined the Oak internship program where he will be trained as a professional solar energy technician – a considerably less risky and more sustainable path for his future.

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Success Stories

Many of our Oaks have come a long way since we met them. We would like to celebrate their successes in feature articles. Read about our next featured Oak, Gertrude Nanyonga.

Gertrude at work cropped


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