Shea season is just wrapping up in Gushie and the Just Shea Women are hard at work drying their shea nuts in the sun before they bring them to the quality control site for approval, bagging, and loading into the silo we worked together, so many of us, to build.
We spoke to Fatimah, our incredible Program Director in Ghana, yesterday and here is the exciting summer roundup:
We now have 54 women in the Gushie Just Shea Collective
Weâ€™ve provided quality control training for 107 women in Gushie and the surrounding areas
22 women have so far loaded 72 bags of their shea nuts to the Just Shea silo and, at the moment, Adisah Alidu is in first place for the Collection Competitionâ€¦She collected 8 bags!
Not one of the 54 women who used our safety gear was bitten this harvest season
19 women in the collective have taken us up on the interest-free loans we offer to members to buy crops for planting and to pay for their childrenâ€™s school fees
The Just Shea silo model has been endorsed by the Global Shea Alliance as best practice for equitable and sustainable development in the sector
The Just Shea products, whose profits help support the Program, are now available at Donna Karanâ€™s Urban Zen stores and ABC Carpet and Home!
Shea nuts are still being dropped off at the silo in anticipation of the 2nd collective Just Shea sale this fall. Last year we helped the women harvesters to double their income and we aim to do even better this season.
In the meantime, our project founder Danielle Warren will be returning to Ghana in November to join a group of 15 major stakeholders in the shea industryâ€”including representatives from The Body Shop and Burtâ€™s Beeâ€™sâ€”to advise on the development of the Global Shea Allianceâ€™s Sustainability Base Code and Implementation Principles. The purpose of this group is to ensure sustainable and equitable development, with a special focus on women collectors, in the 3.5 billion dollar shea industry.
We also had a site visit from Global Giving U.K.â€™s very own Helen Denyer. Helen met with Fatimah and the Just Shea women in Gushie and even taped some footage of her conversations with them. Helen is still travelling, but as soon as sheâ€™s back sheâ€™ll be sending us the videosâ€¦So make sure youâ€™re following us on the Just Shea Facebook Page, where weâ€™ll post the video interviews with the women in Gushie for youas soon as we can!