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.
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:

Jan 2, 2014

Let's help 67 more women DOUBLE their income with Just Shea this year!!

Dear Supporters All--
 
Well, we at One Village Planet-Women’s Development Initiative and our sister organization Just Shea are finishing a very exciting year – one chuck-a-block full of accomplishments and pride.
 
We want to share some tid-bits with you, because, frankly, without the energy and support you offer us, we would never be this successful.
 
First, news about the women in Ghana: the harvesters who are the heart and soul of this project, due to the silo you helped build and the ability to store high quality sheanuts, will double their income because they joined the Just Shea Program this year!
 
Take this in: They double their income. Because of you.
 
And because of this success we have a waiting list for more women to join.
 
It costs $250 to enroll each new Just Shea member. This includes protective gear, training, interest-free loans, coco sacks and a place to store their collective harvest.
 
Our products are gaining in popularity and with each sale, more and more people learn about the difficulties and dangers the harvesters face and how we are helping. Just Shea Products are now at ABC Home and at Urban Zen.
 
In fact ABC Eyewitness News thought we were noteworthy and did a great piece on us and the women in the Just Shea Program. Give it a watch!
 
And then hit the donate button and help enroll more harvesters.
 
Here’s to a prosperous and equitable New Year for us all!
 
Danielle, Wicki and Fati and the Just Shea Ladies

Links:

Oct 1, 2013

The Shea Harvest Is In!

We are, all of us, in it for these little helpers!
We are, all of us, in it for these little helpers!

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
  • We’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 Competition…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 children’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 Karan’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 industry—including representatives from The Body Shop and Burt’s Bee’s—to advise on the development of the Global Shea Alliance’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.’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 she’s back she’ll be sending us the videos…So make sure you’re following us on the Just Shea Facebook Page, where we’ll post the video interviews with the women in Gushie for you as soon as we can!

Oh!  And, if you haven’t seen it already, take a quick 2 minutes to enjoy this great stop motion animation video about the Just Shea Program produced by our young and talented intern Isa Goldberg.

Thank you all so very much for your support for these incredible women! We couldn’t do what we do without you! So keep the love a-comin’ and help us spread the word!

With Gratitude,

Danielle, Wicki, Fatimah, Lucy, Isa and the Gushie Just Shea Collective

Adisah Alidu is winning the competition so far...
Adisah Alidu is winning the competition so far...
A few Just Shea Women at a quality training.
A few Just Shea Women at a quality training.
Depulping shea fruit before steaming and drying.
Depulping shea fruit before steaming and drying.
Shea nuts are heavy! Women help each other lift.
Shea nuts are heavy! Women help each other lift.
Women crack shea with wooden mallets to dehusk!
Women crack shea with wooden mallets to dehusk!

Links:

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