2015 – 2016 Shea Health & Safety Project
As a Sustainability Partner with the Global Shea Alliance, Shea Radiance will embark on a pilot study of women Shea collectors to identify, prioritize and mitigate safety challenges associated with shea gathering and production.
Over 16,000,000 women make their livelihood from Shea. Women collectors generate over 150 million dollars annually in Shea production yet many still survive on less than $1.25 a day. Loss of work through snake bites and burns can be devastating to the family income. Addressing the challenges facing women collectors is one way we can ensure financial sustainability and empowerment of women engaged is Shea production across West Africa.
The Shea Radiance safety solution project starts this summer in within country field studies culminating in recommendations and training for women collectors. In addition we will create interactive, socially impactful education campaigns to support and protect women in the Shea industry.
Our first two stops are women collectors in Northern Ghana and Nigeria followed by Burkina Faso and Togo.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
Women are the face of Shea and they deserve our support and protection.We are looking for COLLABORATORS and SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS to support this mission. If you are interested please email Lydia at Lydia@shearadiance.com
March 2013 – Thinking Global, Acting Local Abuja, Nigeria
In March of 2013, we trained more than 300 small businesses to Think Global and Act Local through a selection of workshops including soap making, formulation, access to finance, business plan development, and marketing. Shea butter is an incredible gift to women on so many levels – from the Shea producer in the village, to the small business owner who manufactures products for the local market.
2010 – 2012 Beginning of Strategic Collaborations
I met Petra Jacobi, GIZ Program Director for Nigeria, on a long bus ride from Bamako the capital city of Mali to the Shea producing communities in March 2010. We discussed the issue of poverty among women in rural communities especially in the Shea sector. By the time we were heading back to town we had talked about the possibilities of a partnership between GIZ and the Shea Radiance brand that would be focused on alleviating poverty in a selected group of communities in Northern Nigeria. In November 2011, my husband and I formally met with the GIZ team at their office in Abuja Nigeria and mutually agreed to enter into partnership with the following objective “To help local Shea processors improve income through consistent butter production, marketing and sale and as a result become competent partners in an improved Shea value chain for export and domestic markets”. Our initial intervention was focused on six communities in Bosso Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria and we later opened it up to eight communities.
Shea Radiance Poverty Alleviation Intervention Program in Northern Nigeria
For this intervention, we worked with over 500 local Shea producers in eight communities in Bosso Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria. The program focused on training the women in group formation and Shea nut and butter quality improvement. Training consisted of the following modules:
- Shea Sensitization Program
- Shea Quality Improvement Training
- Group Formation and Strengthening
- Follow-up Intervention on Group Formation
- Supply of basic Shea equipment
Shea Radiance supplied each of the eight communities with the following locally fabricated equipment to help increase production output, relieve physical labor of production and provide a consistent and improved quality of Shea butter:
- 16 Shea roasters (2 per community)
- 8 milling machines
- 8 crushing machines
- 8 connecting metal tables
- 8 Diesel engines
PLANNED IMPACT - For Women Shea Collectors and Local Processors
- Improved women’s ability to compete in the Shea market by helping them organize into cooperatives in order to negotiate as a group
- Provided pre-financing of nuts so that women could buy additional nuts from other communities in order to meet up with our production demands
- Established a buy-back arrangement so that Shea Radiance purchases Shea butter from local cooperatives thus providing immediate market for their product
- Provided training and education to improve knowledge of best
practices in Shea processing that includes:
- Eliminate smoking of nuts
- Stop indiscriminate cutting of trees
- Promote effective handling and storage of nuts
- Improvement on quality of nuts and butter
- Better Shea prices at farm gate
- Improved ability to handle and maintain Shea equipment
Long-Term Vision for Sustainability
- Healthcare center and itinerant health practitioner to care for the women and their families
- Learning center within communities for kindergarten and elementary age children, special focus on girls
- Literacy center with focus on women
- Joint project with communities and NGO’s to build better storage facilities for nuts and butter