The merit of being mistress of your own fate

The first day that Brígida had to milk the twelve cows her husband had bought, she was exhausted by the end. After over three hours of hard work, she couldn’t even rest: “That night I hardly slept. Not because I wasn’t tired, but because I was thinking about what I had got myself into”, she remembers now. 25 years have gone by and since then, together with her husband, she has been producing and selling fresh cow’s milk from her smallholding. A business in which they have persuaded consumers to appreciate the taste of fresh milk, so different from industrial production, and sold at a competitive price too.

Having left school before finishing primary education and with no stockbreeding experience, Brígida had to deal with the harsh reality involved in starting up a business and keeping it going. But she kept at it and applied for a DOP 95,000 (EUR 1,800) loan from Banco Adopem. Today, she and her husband have over 90 cows and, despite the difficulties, hard work and uncertainties they face on a daily basis, she faces them with a smile.

These were the reasons that led them to fight for a better life: to improve their standard of living, the money the business brings in and above all, the feeling that she is the mistress of her own destiny.