Fair shea

Quarterly Newsletter 01-2022

“When given the limelight, your potentials would be unlocked. Just believe!” – Bala Hairiya

On 7th January, 2021, the Fair shea team travelled north to Tamale to meet our beneficiaries, chief’s and opinion leaders, partners of our beneficiaries and stakeholders who matter within our beneficiary community of Malshegu. The Fair shea team comprised of Frank Ekow Arkorful who is the Founder and Director, Nimo David who is the Project Coordinator, Bala Hairiya our women activist and a hygiene/sanitation specialist and Noel Nyabu a volunteer who received the team upon arrival and made logistical arrangements prior to the visit. The team first met the assembly women of the community Mrs. Bibiana Yakubu Wompini who is also the leader of the women shea butter group. She organized the women and their partners and also led us to the Chief’s palace. At the Chief’s palace, there were about 30 men in total present. The team outlined our mission and vision, goals and reasons why the organization had chosen the Malshegu community as the first beneficiary community to operate. The chief, Malshenaa Adam Martin Tinto expressed his excitement about the prospects the Fair Shea project can potentially have on the community. He expressed his absolute support for the organization. He however raised some concerns our beneficiaries have faced for many years and thus will be happy if they will be key to our agenda. The concerns he raised included fair market prices, ready market and prompt payments after the women produce the Shea butter.

The team later met with our beneficiaries. Mrs Wompini took us through her personal story and the formation of the shea butter group. According to her, she was motivated by the story of the mother of her closest friend, Fati Abigail Abdulai, who is the Executive Director of the Widows and Orphans Movement. Fati’s mother Betty Ayagiba, was a widow and worked as a nurse in a hospital. During her shifts caring for patients, she noticed that many widows and orphans could not afford to pay for their medical bills. Unfortunately, due to the stigma around widows no one wanted to financially or emotionally support these widows and orphans. This left them in desperate situations to manage on their own. Betty aspired to create a women’s rights organization which addressed changing generational attitudes towards widows’ roles in their communities. She also saw the need to create skills training and economic empowerment opportunities for widows to become self-sufficient, which is the inspiration behind WOM. Today WOM has over 13,093 members over 6 regions and 154 widows groups they work with. Over 400 widows are directly working in baobab oil processing under Atarrah Ltd.

Mrs Wompini was motivated by the efforts of her friend’s mother and seeing that as the assembly woman of Malshegu, her fellow women faced similar challenges, she decided to bring them together, form a solidified group of women shea butter producers who will take charge of their own lives and livelihood. She stressed on the fact that the group has been working as a unified group for many years. However, their goal to achieving their vision has suffered setbacks due to challenges they constantly face. Some of these challenges she said include ready market after production, mechanical modes of production (Mechanized Shea processing plant), reliable water supply, silo for the storage of shea nuts, a training and production canter and opportunities to add more value to their raw shea butter. The Fair Shea team informed the women about the nature of the project which is to see to it that they take charge of their own lives and livelihood while ensuring rapid development in the community. The organization among other things wants the women to receive fair market value for their products through fair trade while also enhancing their skill in value addition organic products, environmental consciousness, communication, leadership, organizational and financial literacy. All these the organization believes will elevate their status at home and in the community.

Key Activities

Registration of the organization

Fair Shea was officially registered on the 23rd day of February, 2022 under The Companies Act, 2019 (ACT 992) as an NGO. Our our women activist and a hygiene/sanitation specialist Bala Hairiya received the certificates on behalf of the organisation in Accra on 2nd March, 2022.

Circular Economy Training

The organisation was privileged to partner with Entojutu, a farmer focused environmental organization that deals with organic waste based in Nigeria to train three of our team members. The training on circular economy took place on the 21st February, 2022 via zoom.

Water and Sanitation Hygiene Training

The organisation also partnered with Paromanyien, a community based organization that advocates for the menstrual health of women and girls in rural communities in Kenya. A weeklong training on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene was organized for four Fair Shea team members including the Assembly woman of the beneficiary community. The aim of the training was for the team members to gain the needed knowledge in order to train our beneficiaries and selected schools mainly attended by children of our beneficiaries on sanitation and hygiene. The training took place from the 1st to 7th of March, 2022.

Upcoming Project Activities

Blood Donation, Medical Screening And Vaccination Exercise

The organization in partnership with Bil Clinical Laboratories and the St Johns Roman Catholic hospital will be organizing a blood donation, medical screening and vaccination exercise in the month of April, 2022 in our beneficiary community. Screenings will be for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Blood pressure and breast cancer.

Monthly Cleanup Exercise And Waste Free Community Project

The organization will also be introducing a once in a month community clean up exercise in our beneficiary community. The goal is to achieve a waste free community in one of the most waste saddled communities in the region by the end of the year and make hygiene a part of every household. This will be a half day exercise where all markets, shops and food joints will be closed from 6am to 12 pm on the second Saturday of every month. For the Waste Free Community Project, The organization is looking to have a community centred organic treatment facility that converts about three tons of organic waste per day into valuable resources. We would have a concise organic waste disposal and collection system that feed the organic waste treatment centre daily. The aim is for the treatment centre to provide affordable farm input per day and also organic manure.

Waste For Energy and Sustainability Project

The goal is to see a Malshegu where potential waste from shea processing and other high carbon waste are used as resource to meet the rising energy demands. The project is aimed at setting up waste segregation and collection points to convert about 120kg of high carbon waste daily. By this, the community would shift from highly unsustainable energy sources to more sustainable alternatives using products from the waste treatment technology.

Sanitation and Hygiene Project

The aim of this integrated sanitation and hygiene project is to promote good personal and environmental hygiene in order to protect health. Hygiene promotion is the mix between the population’s knowledge, practice and resources, which together enable risky hygiene behaviours to be avoided. At least 20 of health champions will be trained on Hygiene and sanitation behaviours to cascade the information not only within our beneficiary community, but also in other vulnerable communities.

Shea Butter Processing Center and Value Addition Project

After the registration of the beneficiaries, the organization will be looking to raise funds to construct an ultra-modern shea processing centre for our beneficiaries. This, the organization intends to do to offer our beneficiaries the comfort to operate, increase production and convenience in receiving trainings to enhance their skill in adding value to their raw shea butter.

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