Ghana may be rich in gold, diamonds and cocoa but the Tamale region is hot, dry, and often has only one rainy season a year rather than two. In a long dry season, villagers can't grow crops to eat or sell and have to rely on trading their stores of shea nuts or other goods to make money.
More than 430 women in 11 villages in Tamale, northern Ghana, benefit from our trade. But that’s not all. Their communities have also gained safe drinking water, nursery schools and medical facilities that have been built with their social fund. Money from their trade has been used to fund water pipes and wells, and provide access to medical care, better housing and education.
Shea butter has been used by Ghanaian women for generations to help protect their skin from the dry Saharan winds and it’s still a beauty favourite today. Our Community Trade shea butter is hand produced by more than 430 women in Ghana. They hand prepare and crack the nuts, extracting the precious kernel which is then roasted, crushed and ground before being transformed into our creamy smooth-on-the-skin butter. Shea butter is extracted from the kernel of ripe shea fruits by hand. The raw butter is heated to remove impurities and allowed to cool before it is shipped to Europe or kept in storage for the dry season. It takes one woman two days to extract 25kg of shea butter.
A maternity clinic in Mbanayili village, which was built with funds generated from trade with The Body Shop.
MEET A MEMBER
The Association has changed the lives of many women in this once male-dominated area. Afisheya has progressed from shea nut picker to Company Secretary at Tungteiya. "I am grateful for Tungteiya and The Body Shop," she says. "And we hopefully will continue this good relationship."
During the dry season, families often went hungry as they had no crops to eat or sell. Since trading shea butter with The Body Shop, families can sell stored shea nuts in the dry season to raise money to buy food.
The Association has set up a fund to pay for community projects. Successful ventures include building 10 nursery schools, three medical centres, latrines and washing facilities for local villages. The women are proud that they've been able to help their communities.