Tag Archives | Helping Women

Beauty Heroes Q&A with Katharine L’Heureux

This month, Kahina is proud to partner with Beauty Heroes to celebrate the naming of Kahina Eye Serum as an Expert Selection. Beauty Heroes is a subscription box that gives you full-sized items that have been vetted by their team of spa & beauty experts. Interested? Subscribe before September 15, 2015 to get a full-size Kahina Eye Serum plus a deluxe travel size (1 oz.) of our Facial Lotion for just $39.

See the original posting of the Q&A here.

Katharine at Agadir Beach

The recent update to our identity, now Beauty Heroes, could not have happened at a more appropriate time as we announce our September selection from Kahina Giving Beauty. Katharine L’Heureux, the founder of Kahina has taken her process of developing an ingredient driven, effective and beautifully packaged skincare line and turned it into a heroic venture that contributes substantially to the lives of women in Morocco. Deeply invested in their wellbeing, she travels to personally oversee how Kahina Giving Beauty can optimally direct resources, and ‘give beauty’ back to these women. I recently spent some time with Katharine in New York and got to see first hand how she balances the success of an iconic beauty brand with a mission to support communities of women making her a defining Beauty Hero. I hope you enjoy this glimpse behind Kahina Giving Beauty and take time to explore more of the line when you consider beauty products that benefit your skin while transforming the lives of women.

What inspired you to create Kahina Giving Beauty? Had you always wanted to formulate natural and organic skincare?
Following the birth of my third child 11 years ago, I was searching for safe and effective all-natural skincare products that, at the time, were hard to find. While on a trip to Morocco in 2007 I discovered argan oil – which is rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. I began by importing the argan oil, then worked with an experienced chemist to formulate the line I was yearning for – simple, effective, organic skincare products, using high quality ingredients from around the world that are ethically produced and beautifully packaged with this amazing ingredient at their core.

What inspired the name Kahina Giving Beauty?
My aim was to honor the Berber women who extract the argan oil in Morocco. Kahina is the name of a Berber queen and prophetess who reigned in North Africa in 700 CE. Giving Beauty, our company name, refers to our policy of giving back to these women – by paying them a fair wage and donating to programs that support them and their families. It also acknowledges the generations of traditional remedies and healing techniques that they’ve been kind enough to share with us.

Katharine L'Heureux in Morocco

What’s your workspace like?
My space is very important to me. I’m very fortunate to work out of my loft in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan with my superstar employee, Mairin Cipolla, where we enjoy great views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Working at home allows me to be flexible with my time, which is necessary with my kids coming and going.

When it’s time to create a new product, how do you begin?
I’ve created each of my products based on what I personally need and would want to use. Usually, we’ll have internal discussions beginning with objectives for the product, outlining the benefits we’d like to achieve and how and when we’d use it.

What IS your process? Do you begin with an ingredient or an objective?
Once we’ve decided on the product we’d like to make, we’ll research ingredients that would work well. This is the fun part! We’re certified by Ecocert, so we search for certified organic and natural ingredients that comply with their standards. The list of proven effective natural ingredients continues to grow and evolve in exciting ways and this most definitely informs the products we produce. We discuss efficacy, scent profile, consistency, texture, and packaging options, and then my chemist gets to work. We’ll go through a number of rounds before we get to a point where we feel satisfied with the precise formula. Once approved, products have to withstand rigorous challenge and stability testing, so our chemist’s knowledge and experience is invaluable in creating products that will stand up over time and in a range of environments.

How often do you make a new product? How long does that process take?
We try to keep the line simple and meaningful, so we introduce a new product just once or twice a year. The entire process, from idea to finished product takes at least 18 months. With testing, certification, production and packaging, there’s no room to be impetuous.

What’s been the biggest discovery for you lately in terms of the creative process – or in creating a specific new product?
I have come to realize that much of the creative process is a result of having an open mind, letting go and trusting in forces beyond my control. If I envision a thing one way, but things happen to make it work out differently, often it will turn out better than originally planned. The most engaging works of art are often dialogues between the creator and the environment. It’s why I enjoy gardening, wine and creating natural cosmetics.

Is it safe to assume that Argan Oil is your favorite superpower ingredient? What specifically do you love about it?
Argan oil is certainly my first love. It’s a multi-purpose ingredient, with high concentrations of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and works well on most skin types and for a myriad of skin concerns – from addressing signs of aging to acne. It also has uses for hair, nails and body. What’s not to love?

Since starting Kahina, I’ve discovered so many amazing new ingredients that we combine with the argan oil in our formulations, including sea buckthorn seed oil, carrot seed oil, and my latest love, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, which is sourced from the same women who supply our argan oil in Morocco.

Women cracking argan nuts photo credit Kahina Giving Beauty

How about a favorite product in the collection?
It’s so hard to choose only one, as they’re meant to be used together for the best results. Each product assists the next in achieving optimal, glowing, healthy skin. I do have a soft spot for the eye serum, though. It’s resolved issues of under-eye puffiness many mornings when I didn’t look as bright and awake as I would’ve wished!

How often do you visit Morocco? How long do you stay when you go? Any favorite places you’d like to tell us about?
I visit Morocco at least once or twice a year for at least 10 days each time. There is a lot of ground to cover on my trips, usually from Casablanca to Marrakesh, then Essaouira, Agadir and Taroudant in the South. This usually means a couple of hours a day are spent driving, but it’s a great way to experience Morocco and witness the rural way of life there. One of my favorite drives is from Essaouira to Agadir, through the argan forest and along the beautiful unspoiled Atlantic coastline, passing through some typical small villages along the way. My two favorite places to stay in all of Morocco are Riad Laaroussa in Fez and the Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge in Agadir – both of which are meticulously restored historic structures run by friendly and charming couples with an eye toward authenticity and cultural preservation.

You recently visited Morocco and the cooperatives where you source your ingredients? Can you share a glimpse into your trip?
Visiting the women who extract the oil for Kahina is always a touchstone for me, renewing my passion and excitement for the work I do. These women live in a remote village high in the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Southern Morocco. They are extremely poor, with no electricity or running water. They work hard just to survive, but they are truly aligned with nature in their daily rhythms, which connects them to the earth and to each other in a joyful way. It’s very rewarding for me to see how their work for Kahina benefits them, and to discover other ways in which we can help. In the last six months, we were able to build a bathroom with clean running water for a Middle School to help increase girls’ attendance. We also donated clothing and supplies to a village devastated by flooding last Fall.

Children outside schoolhouse

Do you have a personal mantra that inspires you?
One very simple, but helpful one I picked up in Morocco, “give time to time,” meaning be patient and let events unfold as they will. Also, thank you, God.

Where might I run into you on a Sunday morning?
That depends on where I am and the time of year. Right now, weekends are spent at our home in the Hudson Valley working in the garden followed by lunch with my husband and whichever kids are home. Fall and Winter weekends find my family and I in Manhattan where my husband and I like to take walks along the Hudson River and then we shop for lunch at Chelsea Market.

How do you relax?
Nothing makes me lose track of time like working in the garden. I love that it stretches me physically while also offering a time of contemplation and a creative outlet. There are also so many philosophical aspects to working in the garden: You can learn so much from observing plants, their power to heal and delight, to attract and repel in order to survive.

Just back from Morocco

I just returned from another trip to Morocco, visiting our cooperative, artisans, the High Atlas Foundation, and several cities.

Here, a few snapshots from my visit. More details soon!

xx
Katharine

Moroccan school children with new bathroom at schoolhouse Moroccan school children, with a new bathroom at their schoolhouse, thanks to Kahina contributions to High Atlas Foundation and local community support

Essaouira Archway Beachy, blue Essaouira

Prickly Pear Cactus by Katharine L'Heureux Prickly Pear Cacti are in full bloom this time of year

Katharine smiling in red shawl in Morocco Soaking up the late afternoon Moroccan sun

International Women’s Day 2015

International Women’s Day: a chat with Kahina founder Katharine L’Heureux

by Oresta Korbutiak of Oresta Organic Skincare. To view the original post, click here.

Katharine L'Heureux interview with Oresta

It is a pleasure to feature my chat with Katharine L’Heureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty. I first met Katharine in 2012 when she attended the launch party of Kahina at ORESTA. She spoke about the magic of argan oil: Morocco’s ‘liquid gold’ and her creation of Kahina: a luxurious holistic line of organic argan oil skin care products.

Katharine is a dynamic and inspiring woman who exudes radiance and grace. Kahina’s philanthropic philosophy is ‘Women Helping Women Through Shared Beauty Rituals’ and Katharine works with the Berber women of Morocco who extract the argan oil using techniques that have been passed down through generations. All of Kahina’s products are produced from start to finish with consideration of cultural and environmental sustainability. Katharine visits the women’s cooperatives in Morocco and donates a percentage of Kahina profits to support programs that improve the lives of these women whose signatures grace Kahina’s packaging.

Katharine introduced me to the wonderful world of oils and I’m excited to share with you Katharine’s experience and wisdom on empowering women around the world with healthy beauty.

Katharine L'Heureux in Morocco

O: How did you discover argan oil?

K: I was on an extended trip through Morocco and was in desperate need for a moisturizer in that extremely dry desert climate. I asked my guide what the local women use and he proceeded to tell me all about argan oil and how it was made. I was intrigued by the story of the oil, unique to Morocco, that I had never heard of before, and made by hand by the indigenous women of Morocco. When I tried it and discovered how well it worked on my skin, I was convinced that I needed to share this miraculous ingredient with women at home. I never dreamed at that time that this discovery would turn into a full-blown skincare company.

O: What makes Kahina’s argan oil superior to the many other argan oils on the market?

K: First of all, our oil is certified fair trade and organic. Just because an oil is sourced from a women’s cooperative (as most are) doesn’t mean that the women in the cooperative are being paid. Also, our argan oil is the finest grade, meaning that the nuts are carefully picked by hand from the argan tree, not gathered from the ground where they may have been pre-digested by livestock. The nuts are then sorted by hand to ensure quality, and cold-pressed and filtered by machine to eliminate the chance of bacterial contamination. Region pays a part also, delivering our signature mild, nutty fragrance. Our oil is never deodorized, which many argan oil manufacturers do to disguise an inferior quality oil.

O: What role does Kahina play in supporting women?

K: We purchase certified fair trade argan oil, which means that the women who are doing the work of harvesting and cracking the nuts for our oil are paid a fair wage. We also donate additional funds programs in Morocco that support these women who are very poor and mostly illiterate.

O: What is Kahina’s latest project?

K: We have a few projects going on right now that I am really excited about. First of all, we recently donated clothing to the women and children of a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains that was devastated by floods over the past winter. We are in the midst of a fundraising effort to raise money to purchase more sheep to use for wool and dairy for the women who extract our oil, and we are working with the High Atlas Foundation to deliver a clean water system to a school outside of Marrakesh. Because there is no clean water or facilities, girls’ attendance has been steadily dropping off.

O: What is your beauty routine?

K: Night and day, I cleanse with the Kahina Facial Cleanser, followed by the Kahina Toning Mist and Brightening Serum then an oil or Serum. Right now, I’m using the Prickly Pear Seed Oil, but I switch this up with the Kahina Serum from time to time, and in the summer I love the pure argan oil. In the morning I layer this with the Kahina Facial Lotion, which makes a great skin primer before makeup and works well to protect and deeply moisturize the skin. For the eye area, I layer the Eye Cream over the Eye Serum to make my eyes look more fresh and awake and to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. And twice a week, I apply the Kahina Antioxidant Mask, letting it sit for approximately 20 minutes before massaging it into my skin as an exfoliating and detoxifying treatment. For body, I use a dry brush 3 times a week. I love my Mio Dry Brush. Then jump into the shower with our Rosemary Lavender Soap for some extra exfoliating. As a special treat, I use Savon Noir with Eucalyptus that I bring home with me from Morocco. Its made from the pits of olives and really softens skin. After the shower, I slather on the Kahina Fez Body Serum before jumping into bed. I love the way it makes my sheets smell!

O: What is your beauty motto?

K: Beauty does not simply come from a product that you slap on your face. It comes from taking care of yourself, and feeling good about yourself. Eating well, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty sleep are crucial. So is trying to eliminate stress and making time for the things that bring you pleasure. Beauty rituals can play a huge role in making you feel good and good about your appearance. An all-natural regimen will contribute to your health. Make the investment in high quality ingredients and take the time to enjoy the fragrances and textures that they provide.

O: What woman do you admire most and why?

K: Right now, I am obsessed with Joan Didion. Obviously, she is an amazing talent, and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of her books, which have resonated profoundly with me at different stages of my own life. She is a complicated person who has lived a fascinating life, according to her own rules, and shown us how to bear up under the most difficult of circumstances. She has always had a very laissez faire style, which is incredibly chic. As the model for the Celine ads, she is a perfect role model for women on how to age gracefully without conforming to anyone’s rules or conventional ideas of beauty.

O: What is a valuable lesson that you would like to share with your daughter?

K: I was a late bloomer in life, and very insecure growing up. My daughter is a junior in college now. I want her to know that she is beautiful and talented, and that she deserves to expect so much in her relationships. I also want her to trust that the universe has a path for her, and that she needn’t worry. There is no prescribed timeframe for life events to take place. She should trust in herself and life will work itself out.

O: What message would you like to share with women on International Women’s Day?

K: That we, as women, working together, can be such a force for positive change. We need to work to support each other and lift each other up.

Buy Sheep for Year of the Sheep!

Kahina Giving Beauty Raising Money to Buy Sheep

Happy Lunar New Year! To usher in the year of the sheep, we’re committing to buying some. For every bottle of argan oil purchased on givingbeauty.com from February 19th to March 18th, 2015, we’ll be donating 100% of sales to the purchase of sheep for the Berber women of our argan cooperative.

Why sheep?

  • their wool can be used to weave rugs for use at home or to sell at market
  • their milk provides food for families
  • if bred, offspring can be sold at market for a profit

Kahina did this initiative back in 2012 (above is Katharine with some of her donated sheep). Our goal this year is 15 sheep impacting 15 women.

Did you know? The Year of the Sheep is associated with goodwill and giving back. From a recent Well & Good article: “[The sheep] is considered to be the good Samaritan of the zodiac. Potentially, there will be more attention to the environment, and people will be more inclined to give back,” Wendell says. “[Sheep] are good-natured and sensitive to beauty and balance.”

Support our efforts. Shop Argan Oil now.

Kind Eye’s Interview with Katharine

Kahina Giving Beauty on Kind Eye

A Kind Brand: Meet Kahina Giving Beauty
by Rachel Murray, founder of Kind Eye

You hear about finding beneficial ingredients from the rainforest, or the ocean but what about the desert? Kahina Giving Beauty prides themselves on offering a truly effective line of skin care, with organic argan oil from Morocco at its core. All products are certified by ECOCERT, which provides a rigorous process for ensuring sustainable agricultural practices. Founder and CEO Katharine L’Heureux graciously shared information about her company, their processes and more. Kahina Giving Beauty’s eye serum is part of our Spring Skin Discovery Kit Giveaway, open until March 8!

What is your company’s philosophy?
At Kahina, we believe: The best skincare ingredients are found in nature. Luxurious and effective skincare can go hand in hand with care for the environment. Companies can do well while doing good.

Is there anything your customers may not know about your company that you want to share?
In addition to providing economic activity for the Berber women who do the work of extracting our oil by purchasing Fair Trade Argan Oil, we donate additional funds to programs that help the women and their families.

What charities do you support (if any)?
As part of our initiative to help these women, Kahina supports Education For All, Morocco, providing free room and board so that girls can continue their education past elementary school.

The High Atlas Foundation, run by former Peace Corps volunteers, funds a number of programs in remote villages, including providing clean drinking water, and planting community run nurseries.

We also provide direct monetary assistance to the Berber women. Most recently, we provided clothing for victims of this winter’s flooding in the Anti-Atlas Mountains.

How do you decide what products to create?
I created Kahina for myself, out of my own desire for a simple line of truly effective natural skincare. I still strive to keep the line simple, and work to create products that I feel a personal need for, and with aesthetics that are pleasing to me. I often am inspired by ideas from our customers who can be very creative in coming up with new uses for argan oil.

What’s the number one misconception that people you meet have about ‘natural’ products and how do you answer it?
The number one misconception about natural products is that they aren’t as effective as traditional skincare. I argue that they are more effective as they don’t use unnecessary fillers and harmful ingredients. Plants have amazing defenses against all kinds of environmental stressors and contain the nutrients and fatty acids that our skin needs to be healthy and glowing. With advanced extraction technologies, we are able to tap into these extraordinary powers and use them in creating products that are safe and that really work.

What’s your top tip for health and well-being?
I believe in finding balance. We need to exercise, eat right (whatever that means for you), and get plenty of sleep, but we also need to make time for reflection, creativity, and for finding things that bring us joy. Finally, we need to be grateful for the ability to do all those things and forgive ourselves if we’re not always perfect at them.

How do you like to start your morning?
During the week, my alarm goes off at 7 and I’ll lie in bed and meditate for a few minutes to set positive intentions for the day. The first thing I do after brushing my teeth is perform my Kahina skincare ritual: Cleanse and Tone, then massage Brightening Serum, Oil, and then Lotion into my face. The scents make me happy, and the facial massage stimulates circulation while smoothing away any creases left from my pillow.

Then I spend some time with my husband and 10 year old son while he eats breakfast. I’ll have hot water with lemon, my multivitamin and probiotics, maybe I’ll fry an egg. Then I’ll spend a few minutes at my computer and throw a load of laundry in the machine before we’re out the door to get to school on time.

Thanks for the interview opportunity! Find the original post here.

About Kind Eye: Kind Eye is an informational website, aimed to help consumers make easy and conscious shopping choices about personal care products without running all over town or the internet.

The Power of an Image

girls with photo

In this age of the ever-present selfie, it is hard to imagine a world where many people have never even seen a photograph of themselves. This is often the case in the remote villages of rural Morocco. Sharing my photos with the women and children on my visits has been a great source of entertainment for all of us, especially seeing the young girls and boys striking poses and racing back to me to look immediately in the view finder, then demanding more while jockeying for a prominent position in the group photo. Seeing the young women carefully analyze their photos is fascinating to me. I can’t imagine being so unfamiliar with my own image, but with mirrors and glass windows a rarity, these girls rarely even see a reflective surface. Far from disliking their photos because of an unflattering angle, as we are so ready to do, these girls typically respond with peals of laughter.

I recently had the honor of an introduction to Heather Binns, a talented photographer volunteering for an organization called Prints for Prints. Prints for Prints reminds me of the value of the family photograph. From the Prints for Prints website:

A family photograph is a precious thing to many of us, and especially to people who live in rural areas and often do not have a record of their children or elders. Prints for Prints creates makeshift studios in rural villages, working with local student photographers when possible, for the purpose of donating prints to those who do not have photographs of their loved ones.

Heather will be traveling to Morocco in February. It gives me great pleasure to sponsor her work with Kahina’s charitable partners, the High Atlas Foundation and Education for All, Morocco, where she will document their work and donate prints to families and the girls in the boarding home to send home to their loved ones. I hope you will join us in following Heather on her journey via instragram @heathre. We look forward to sharing some of her photos here.

women with photos

Being Content Interviews Katharine L’Heureux

Kahina Giving Beauty at Content Beauty

KAHINA INTERVIEW
As we celebrate the launch of Kahina Giving Beauty in-store and online this week, we caught up with the inspiring founder, Katharine L’Heureux, to find out more about this #mindfulbeauty brand – as kind to skin as it is the environment.

Katharine L'Heureux of Kahina Giving Beauty at Content Beauty

What inspired you to create Kahina Giving Beauty?

I had been searching for effective organic skincare at the time when I traveled to Morocco in 2007. It was on that trip that I discovered Argan Oil and realized I had found the single ingredient I had been searching for – sustainable, multi-purpose and effective. After sharing the oil with friends I discovered that I wasn’t the only one searching for simple organic skincare that works. I made frequent trips to Morocco to source the highest quality Argan Oil and developed a deep appreciation for Morocco, particularly the Berber women who do the hardwork of extracting the Argan Oil. It was then I decided to create the Kahina line of ethically sourced skincare that honors and gives back to these women.

We love a company that gives back. How does shopping the Kahina collection benefit the world outside the direct benefit for the company?

The philosophy behind Kahina Giving Beauty is to create a sustainable skincare line that respects the environment and provides real benefits to the women who do the hard work of extracting the Argan Oil which is at the heart of the line. To that end, we use organic ingredients whenever possible, recycled or recyclable packaging and, most importantly, work only with co-ops in Morocco who pay a fair wage to the women. In addition, we donate to programs that support the Berber women and their families.

I’m always looking for ways to give back and provide the Berber women with opportunity. As a small company, sometimes we need to be creative! For the women who inhabit the Argan forest in the Southwest of Morocco, the hard work of extracting Argan Oil offers them their only means of financial and social independence. Here are a few ways we have helped them in – and outside of the workplace:

  • Funding the organic certification of a women’s cooperative to allow them to more successfully participate in the international Argan trade. The previously unprofitable cooperative now provides steady wages for its 46 members.
  • Donations to Education for All in Morocco (EFA), an organization that provides free boarding for girls so that they can continue their education beyond primary school. Currently, most girls end school after third grade because their parents are not comfortable sending them away to the cities where the centralized upper level schools are located. EFA provides room and board as well as extra-curricular educational programs for these girls.
  • The purchase of sheep for the women of the Idzouane Mountains in southern Morocco. With the purchase of a sheep for each woman in a village there, these women now can provide milk for their children and have a supply of wool for weaving rugs, now sold on the Kahina website, to further their economic independence.
  • Donations to the High Atlas Foundation to support their one billion tree campaign. To date, Kahina has raised money to plant, irrigate and transport 250 trees to support rural villages through community run nurseries in the Southwest of Morocco.
  • Donations to the High Atlas Foundation to deliver clean drinking water to a girls’ school in the High Atlas Mountains.

The range incorporates the star ingredient, Argan Oil, how does it benefit the skin?

Argan Oil is my first love and the real star of Kahina Giving Beauty. With twice the amount of tocopherols (Vitamin E) as in olive oil, and high concentrations of Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids in Argan Oil moisturizes, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restores elasticity and calms inflammation. It also contains plant sterols that actually treat acne and because it isn’t greasy it works well for all skin types and on a multitude of concerns.

If we wanted to try one key product from the range, where would you suggest we start?

I love all my products and they all have their individual place and purpose. But the one product I can’t live without is the pure Argan Oil. I use it as an eye make-up remover for my face and body and in my hair. It’s the perfect all-purpose product.

Is there a specific combination of products that work well for different skin types?

Spot prone:

AM: Cleanser + Toning Mist + Argan Oil (optional: Brightening Serum between Toning Mist & Argan Oil)
Eye: Eye Serum
PM: Cleanser + Toning Mist + Argan Oil (optional: Brightening Serum between Toning Mist & Argan Oil)
Eye: Eye Cream
Twice weekly: Antioxidant Mask
Dry + mature:

AM: Cleanser + Toning Mist + Argan Oil + Facial Lotion (optional: Brightening Serum between Toning Mist & Argan Oil)
Eye: Eye Serum + Eye Cream
PM: Cleanser + Toning Mist + Serum + Night Cream (optional: Brightening Serum between Toning Mist & Serum)
Eye: Eye Serum + Eye Cream
Twice weekly: Antioxidant Mask
Sensitive:

AM: Cleanser + Toning Mist + Argan Oil + Facial Lotion
AM: Eye Serum
PM: Cleanser + Toning Mist + Argan Oil + Facial Lotion
PM: Eye Cream
Once every week: Antioxidant Mask

We love the new Fez Hand and Body Balm – what are some of the key benefits we can expect to experience from regular use?

Inspired by the mysterious and exotic city of Fez, Morocco, our Fez Hand & Body Balm is a nourishing and soothing balm that will instantly restore and soften severely dry, chapped skin. A rich blend of argan oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and mango nut butter – this unique blend creates a velvety base that deeply moisturisers and naturally soothes irritated skin. Infused with Calendula, known for its anti-inflammatory and powerful healing properties, the Fez Hand & Body Balm can be used on hands, feet, elbows and any other areas in need of softening and deep hydration. Scented with Kahina’s signature Fez fragrance, the balm leaves behind a subtle earthy, warm scent to calm the senses and ground the spirit while leaving the skin soft and radiant.

View the original post on Being Content.

Get Girls Back to School

Moroccan girls go to schoolGirls on their way into school

This September, 100% of every purchase of Kahina Argan Oil on givingbeauty.com goes to funding girls’ education so they can go BACK TO SCHOOL.

WHO: Girls in rural Morocco who otherwise would not be able to go to school past 3rd grade
WHY: Girls from rural areas of Morocco must travel to larger cities for access to education beyond basic elementary school. They need to be boarded, an expense that most families cannot afford – and conditions in government run housing are poor and unsafe. Education For All Morocco provides free, safe boarding homes for girls so they can continue their education. The organization, which was founded in 2007, has recently opened its fifth boarding home in the High Atlas region of Morocco. It costs approx. $2,000 to provide free food and board to each girl for one year. The organization is providing housing for approximately 100 girls.
HOW: We are donating 100% of sales (that’s $36 for 30 ml argan oil and $82 for the larger 100 ml size) of Kahina Argan Oil purchased on givingbeauty.com to Education for All Morocco.
WHEN: The entire month of September, 2014.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit Education for All Morocco’s website HERE.

This is Kahina’s fourth year supporting EFAM and we could not be more thrilled to continue with your help this year.

Kahina throw rugs hand-loomed by the women of Kahina in Morocco


presenting the rug edited

In May of 2011, on a trip to visit my argan supplier in a remote village high in the Mid-Atlas Mountains, I was shown the weaving cooperative in the village, where the women who crack the nuts for our argan oil were learning to weave rugs as a way to make extra money. The following year, Kahina donated money to buy sheep in order that the women would have wool to use for their weaving. In 2013, on a return trip to the village, I was presented with a beautiful hand-loomed rug decorated with the Kahina circle and star graphic. My rug has lived beside my bed warming my feet and heart ever since.

Kahina Berber Rug

 

Earlier this year, I asked the women to weave me more rugs exactly like the one they presented to me three years ago. I am thrilled to now offer these exclusively on givingbeauty.com. SHOP NOW.

Each 2’ x 4’ rug is hand-loomed using virgin sheep’s wool and natural dyes by the Berber women of the weaving cooperatives who also do the work of cracking the nuts for our argan oil.

Help us support Education for All, helping girls in Morocco go to school

Dar Asni

Very few girls from the rural communities of Morocco get the opportunity to continue their education beyond primary school, which ends at third grade in Morocco. Secondary schools, mostly several miles away in larger towns, are not accessible to them for two main reasons:

1. Their parents cannot afford to pay for lodgings near colleges.
2. Their parents do not have the confidence in existing facilities near colleges to entrust their daughters to their care.

Education For All was established to provide the opportunity of a secondary school education for girls from rural Moroccan communities. Its first project, opened in 2007, facilitated access to secondary school for 36 girls from the remote villages of the High Atlas Mountains by building a boarding house for them in the town of Asni. This year, the organization completed the opening of their fourth boarding house and now provides free room and board (3 meals a day) for approximately 150 girls, allowing them to complete high school. Education for All also provides the girls with school uniforms, learning materials, and clothing and toiletries.

It costs 1,000 EU to provide room and board for each girl per year. As you consider your end-of-year charitable giving, I hope you will consider a donation to Education for All. Apart from a paid housemother and cook, there are no administrative expenses as both the committee and volunteers work on a voluntary basis allowing 100% of all donations to go directly to the project. Kahina has been a proud supporter of Education for All since 2010. You can learn more about the program and/or make a donation by visiting www.efamorocco.org.

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