One Village Planet-Women's Development Initiative

One Village Planet--Women's Development Initiative is a global-thinking, village-acting, environmental, educational, and humanitarian organization focused on sustainable development projects for rural women in Haiti and Ghana. Our approach is centered on a belief that solutions to the problems of access must be self-sustaining if they are going to succeed. Community support and involvement are integral parts of our vision.
Jul 16, 2014

Shine a Light on Just Shea Women with Matching TODAY ONLY! (Wednesday July 16th)

Fuseina Abukari with her solar light in Diare
Fuseina Abukari with her solar light in Diare

JUST SHEA and Global Giving invite you to help SHINE THE LIGHT on our Just Shea women sheanut harvesters.

Ok, by now we have told you about the wonderful women who collect sheanuts in Ghana and some of the dangers they face. Let’s face it, poison snakes tops the list. We have tackled that by finding ways, thanks to you, to provide protective gear to the women.

So now we want to SHINE THE LIGHT on their work and their plight by providing them with portable, solar lights that can be used to illuminate the murky dawn and dusk when the harvesters have to work so that collecting doesn’t interfere with other family oriented tasks. Plus, their kids can use the lights to do their homework at night!

The light costs $14 and it lasts for at least two years.

We have 375 women in our program, right now.

So the big math leap is

375 harvesters times $14 cost per lamp = $5,250

That’s our goal RIGHT NOW.

Now is the perfect time to contribute, as Global Giving will match contributions to our organization by 40% TODAY (Wednesday July 16th) ONLY! So ever 100 bucks you give buys 140 bucks worth of light.

It’s summer the light is all around us, so let’s share some.

With love and gratitude from Ghana.

SHINE THE LIGHT on 375 Just Shea Women TODAY
SHINE THE LIGHT on 375 Just Shea Women TODAY
She can collect and sell more sheanuts with light
She can collect and sell more sheanuts with light
Just Shea kiddos are very excited about them!
Just Shea kiddos are very excited about them!
14 bucks for TWO YEARS of rechargeable light
14 bucks for TWO YEARS of rechargeable light
A great big THANK YOU from the Gbanga Women
A great big THANK YOU from the Gbanga Women

Links:

Jun 2, 2014

We've added 325 Just Shea Women to the Program!

Adisah, our top seller, Woompanie and Magazia
Adisah, our top seller, Woompanie and Magazia

It's been an exciting whirlwind on the ground in Ghana the last two months. Fatimah and Danielle have been in the field with our survey squad (a local team of 10) collecting crucial data and distributing Pay it Forward Safety Kits for almost 325 new members! Safety kits mean the harvesters, who are all women and moms, can collect the fallen shea fruits more safely and efficiently and increase their earning potential.
 
Thanks to your support we have more than tripled our reach in this first expansion phase. There are now 373 Just Shea Women from 7 villages!!
 
A few weeks ago we facilitated the sale of last year's sheanuts from the Just Shea Collective Warehouse. We AGAIN helped the women secure a sale price that is double what they were making before they joined the program!
 
In these 30 second micro-interviews we asked how they will invest their increased earnings. The answers: additional income generation activities, like small businesses and planting food crops, and paying school fees for their kids.
 
With the collective sale we also recouped 100 percent of the interest free loans we made available for 40 women to help them cover immediate cash flow needs, allowing them hold out for a higher price for their sheanuts later in the season.
 
This opportunity for the women to take out loans using shea they stored in the Just Shea warehouse, allows them to mitigate risk. It was so impactful that we are formalizing the Just Shea Social Loan Fund this year!

Our goal is 100 bucks per woman and if you contribute $1,000 or more you can have your investment back next May! Pretty cool, right?! Considering interest rates are at an all time low in America, the human interest you gain in this one year, we think, will give you a much greater return.

Feel free to email us (danielle@justshea.com) if you have any questions about it! Oh and did you see the New York Times article Marci Alboher wrote about us?  There's also a link on our Facebook Page with some new photos from the field.

…AND, lest we forget, a beautiful documentary featuring the Just Shea Women aired last week on China’s CCTV NEWS Faces of Africa Series last week. Here’s the LINK in case you missed it.
 
Whew, we are having a big spring. Help us keep rolling along.
 
Tipagaya! (We Appreciate You!),

Danielle, Wicki and Fatimah

This kiddo wanted to help his mom so much.
This kiddo wanted to help his mom so much.
Safety gear for 325 NEW Just Shea Women!
Safety gear for 325 NEW Just Shea Women!
Her mom is joining so she can go to school!
Her mom is joining so she can go to school!
This truck came to pick up the shea we sold them.
This truck came to pick up the shea we sold them.
Quality Control teacher training for 5 new groups
Quality Control teacher training for 5 new groups

Links:

Mar 24, 2014

Spring Ahead from JUST SHEA

Let
Let's help these women Join our Just Shea Program!

Here on the East Coast of America, at the hub of JUST SHEA and One Village Planet-Women’s Development Initiative, we have just dipped our toes into spring and day light 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 (175 of them!) to join the JUST SHEA program 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 access to 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 BUTTON below.

But if you want to know more about why our JUST SHEA program is successful read on…

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 it’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 a 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 it’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 and the Just Shea Women.

She was biten by a viper while harvesting!
She was biten by a viper while harvesting!
Depulping shea at a Just Shea Training session.
Depulping shea at a Just Shea Training session.
Gushie kiddo Woompanie in the sheanuts.
Gushie kiddo Woompanie in the sheanuts.
Let
Let's give these women and their children a hand!

Links:

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