Children of Tazghelilt who will be spared from dangerous lung irrritants and fire hazards at home with the new solar powered ovensIt’s been over five years since my first trip to Morocco and four years since I launched Kahina Giving Beauty. 2012 has been a great year for Kahina; we launched new products and saw expansion into new countries while building our base at home. We continue to receive positive messages from our customers and retail partners for which we are grateful. While we feel proud and excited about Kahina’s continued growth, most importantly this success has meant that we were able to increase our support of the Berber women of Morocco through increased trade and by funding some interesting projects, including: Specialized Health Care Insurance for the Women of One of Our Cooperatives Government run hospitals in Morocco are underfunded and often poorly run, with no specialized care for women and children. Without specialized care alternatives, common conditions such as diabetes go untreated, and maternal mortality remains high. With insurance, these women have choices and can receive checkups and treatment that they otherwise could not afford. Education for All: Free and Safe Boarding Schools for Impoverished Girls from Rural Morocco The sale of our Moroccan Pouf necklaces made by Berber women outside of Marrakesh allowed us to raise money for Education for All, a Moroccan NGO (non government organization) that enables girls from rural areas to continue their education beyond the third grade. Government funded schools in small Moroccan rural villages typically end at third grade, when schools become more centralized in the larger cities. Sometimes state-run boarding homes for girls are provided, but most parents would never allow their daughters to leave their home villages unsupervised. The boarding homes provided by Education For All provide a safe alternative to state-run boarding homes, while augmenting the school curriculum with additional classes such as computer literacy and language courses and allow these girls to continue in school. Solar-Powered Ovens for Women in the Mid-Atlas Mountains Like many cultures, in rural Morocco, home cooking on primitive wood burning ovens can be a source of pollutants that irritate lungs and eyes and may cause respiratory diseases among women and children. Solar-powered ovens offer many benefits to communities who implement them. Women in these remote villages don’t need to walk for miles to collect wood, while argan trees are protected from being cut down for firewood. Additionally, smoke-free solar-powered ovens offer a clean and safe alternative to smoky cooking fires that can contribute to diseases. Our Approach to Giving Back As always, Kahina partners directly with our local argan oil providers to determine ways in which Kahina can offer meaningful support to their communities. In this way we are assured that 100% of the money we raise goes directly to support programs for the women and their families. There are never administrative fees or middlemen. Helping at Home Our efforts don’t stop with the Berber women of Morocco. Kahina Giving Beauty, in a special partnership with Lucky Magazine, donated over $1000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the month of October. In addition, we donated over 75 products to the residents of Coler-Goldwater, a New York City-based clinical, nursing and rehabilitative care facility, home to more than 2,000 residents with acute long-term care needs. Thank you for your continued support and business, which enables us to realize our mission of giving back to communities near and far.