Here on the East Coast of America, at the office and hub of JUST SHEA and One Village Planet-Womenâ€™s Development Initiative, we have just dipped our toes into spring and daylight savings time is bathing us in much needed light. While across the sea, founder Danielle Warren is living in Ghana for the rest of this year (2014). This is where our villages are and there is no lack of light or warmth there!
Of course we still need your help, support and ardor, but we have some nice forward motion to report as well for this spring:
Women in the north of Ghana are lining up to join the just shea program (175 of them!) and we want to enroll as many as we can and get them safety gear. However it does cost 250 dollars for each set of protective gear, training, interest free loans and resource sharing like the collective storage silo.
If you learned enough, and want to stop reading here and skip to the end to help purchase more gear and enroll more deserving women and their cute kids, just do it. Leap to the donate now button.
But if you want to know why our JUST SHEA program is successful read onâ€¦
The JUST SHEA program empowers women who are members to use the resources they have available to them in order to lift themselves and their children out of poverty. We provide, ACCESS, VISIBILITY, ECONOMIC and SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR WOMEN THE WORLD ROUND.
Shea is a 3.5 billion dollar industry, and itâ€™s growing too. It is the primary job of the 16 million women across sub-Saharan Africa who harvest it from the forest floor. Without them, the trade would not exist. And without protective gear there are no safe harvests. And without silos to store their harvest and access to finance, the women earn a pittance, meaning no FAIR TRADE.
JOIN US in supporting fairly traded, safely harvested shea nuts and butter.
Here are some highlights of what we have on the horizon:
Danielle and our on-the-ground Ghana wizard Fati are going to the Global Shea Alliance conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to speak about best business practices for collective shea nut warehousing in the end of March. Wicki is staying in NYC to plan the big Charity Buzz Auction coming soon featuring the wonderful Alysia Reiner from Orange is the New Black, as well sales and outreach projects.
Upon return to Ghana, Danielle and Fati will be starting socio-economic and health data surveys and quality control trainings with 100 of the newest members women who want to join the program from neighboring villages of Diari and Zosali.
Additionally, we have another 75 women from nearby Savelugu who already received training and were surveyed when Danielle was in Ghana during November. These women are anxious to get their safety gear and start depositing their sheanuts in the warehouse. This will allow them to avail themselves of interest-free loans using the shea they store as collateral. Then they can invest in educating their children and planting other cash crops.
Now itâ€™s your turn.
Support a woman to join the program: $250 covers all the expenses of surveying, training, safety gear, and loans.
Consider making an ongoing monthly contribution to the loan fund. Even ten dollars a month can make a huge difference.
So JOIN US.
Wicki, Danielle, Fati, Lucy and the Just Shea Women.