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.
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:

Jun 25, 2013

Springing into Summer with Lots of Exciting News

Don
Don't you love this photo of the Magazia in Gushie

Our organization continues to grow and to set high goals and standards for ourselves and the participants in our Just Shea Program.

 

We have just submitted to USAID - at their request - to assist the expansion and replication of the Just Shea Program you have been supporting.  It improves access to safety, healthcare and education for shea harvesters and their families in Northern Ghana.  It is a tremendous honor even to be asked to apply and, so while we wait with fingers crossed, we are also celebrating that our work to date has been noticed by such an august international funder.

 

Further in that arena, we spoke at the Global Shea Alliance Conference in Manhattan. There were experts from around the world addressing issues such as establishing standards for safety and quality with this increasingly growing commodity. Earlier in the spring, founder Danielle Warren was asked to speak at a division of this same conference in Abuja, Nigeria.

 

Danielle also spoke at a Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale and the co-founder of our social business arm (Just Shea) Wickham Boyle will be addressing a group in August about social business in the beauty industry. We are attempting to utilize both our growing acumen in the fields of shea and social business to improve the visibility of the women sheanut harvesters and to grow our networks of influence and impact.

 

As a result of our growing network, photographer Adam Ottke came to Gushie, the village in Northern Ghana where our pilot program is housed. Adam took some truly stunning photographs, which we have submitted to the upcoming GlobalGiving photo competition. Stay tuned for more on that!! (They will also be available to donors through GlobalGiving this December!)

 

Our social business Just Shea, has been experiencing some much deserved notice since expanding to two more retail venues in New York in the last few weeks. Our products will now be carried at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen stores in Manhattan and in Sag Harbor, Long Island.

 

Since our last report, you have helped us raise the funds to provide and distribute 25 additional sets of protective gear for the women shea harvesters who are a part of our collective program in Gushie. This gear protects them from snakebites and allows them to work more efficiently, thus garnering them a better harvest.

 

We are also in the process of training new members of the Gushie Just Shea Collective. In addition to the 50 women we now have in the program (Wooohooo!) a further 57 women have also just been trained by our in-country program director Fatimah Zubair. The training allows women to harvest more safely and to store and sell a higher quality product!

 

Another huge place of pride for us is that, as a direct result of the collective silo, the harvesters were able to DOUBLE their earnings this past spring. As our fundraising efforts continue both on GlobalGiving and in future in-person events, we aspire to give protective gear to an additional 100 women who have signed up for the program.

 

Join us in celebrating our work and perhaps take a moment to enjoy a short, 2 minute, film produced by our young, and oh so talented intern Isa Goldberg as part of her high school senior project.

 

We are ever proud of all the women who grace us with their energies, passion and prodigious talents.

 

With Gratitude,

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

 

Stay Tuned for the Global Giving Photo Competition
Stay Tuned for the Global Giving Photo Competition
Ottke Photographs of Some of the Kids in Gushie
Ottke Photographs of Some of the Kids in Gushie
Just Your Average Toy in Gushie.
Just Your Average Toy in Gushie.
Aren
Aren't these Ottke prints just incredible!

Links:

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