SEMUS (Solidarity and Mutual Aid in the Sahel – Solidarité et Entraide Mutuelle au Sahel, in French) encourages farmers to join cooperatives to optimise their yields.
A market gardeners’ cooperative made up of 120 members, including 37 women, has been running in Ouonon since 2010. The group is also actively involved in the fight against AIDS, carries out prevention work, encourages voluntary screening and covers the healthcare costs of the sick.
Since 2000, SEMUS has also been supporting orphans and vulnerable children. In one year, the group sponsored or provided schooling for more than 400 children and 70 were given respite care. Milk, flour and medicine are distributed for orphans and malnourished and abandoned children.
These initiatives receive financial support from the second-hand shop, which is supplied with goods sent by container from Europe, the accommodation centre and small-scale dairy which also provides employment for people in the region.