Women the world over; mothers want the same things. We want safety, joy, and satisfying lives for our children and we will move the heavens to provide that. The women in the northern Ghanaian village of Gushie have a much harder time insuring these simple inalienables come to fruition for their darlings. This was why I traveled for days to meet and work with the great Gushie Women's Shea Nut Collective.
Our company, Just Shea, an LLC, and its non-profit partner One Village Planet Women’s Development Initiative was begun four years ago by the then 25 year-old Danielle Warren. Warren had been on a fact-finding mission with her father, an agronomist, in search for hardy trees that might grow in Haiti; instead she found a life's work. Warren set about creating a non-profit that would help the women who harvest shea nuts, which are used to make shea butter that is incorporated into oh so many cosmetics, and food products. The harvesters were plagued by snakebites, as they possessed no protective gear. No boots, hats or gloves.
I joined Just Shea last year as the second in command taking up the stanchion of creating a product line using the rich, emollient shea butter in the hopes that we could concoct products for American women’s face, hands and feet that might sell like hot cakes. We would then utilize the funds to further help the harvesters secure gear, send their sweet round faced kids to school and maybe even build these women a barn where they could store their crops.
And so we launched our products to some good press, made some money and then did a campaign on Global Giving to raise a few more dollars. We loaded the cash into our pockets, really we did and we flew over to Accra, the capital of Ghana. From there we made our way north until we got to the village of Gushie.
----------------------More on next post (2 of 3)---------------------------
If you would like to purchase Just Shea products please visit
If you would like to donate to complete the barn or buy equipment for the harvesters please visit Global Giving, here is our direct link.