Monthly Archives: June 2016

Palmer’s changing lives of working mothers in Cocoa Farms of Africa

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 IMG_4572.JPGOne of the beauties of living in Dubai is that people of different nationalities are crossing paths regularly. This was the way Antonia Amehame- Brand Manager of Palmers ME Cocoa Butter and Josephine Nalugo, founder of the Children In Africa Breastfeeding Support a not for profit organization based in Uganda met for the first time in October of 2015, whilst, attending a breastfeeding conference in Dubai.

The incredible link between these two women is “Cocoa”, Antonia works for Palmer’s, which was founded in the United States of America and has been producing safe and effective beauty and skincare products since 1840.  Palmer’s is the world’s largest producer of Cocoa Butter skincare products and is rated the #1 Cocoa butter brand in the world. In October 2012 Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula joined the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) in support of their efforts to provide economic, social and environmental support to cocoa farmers and their families around the world.

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Josephine Nalugo founded the Children In Africa Breastfeeding Support to working mothers and parents whose income is $1 a day or even less, these mothers also work as farmers in the cocoa farms – which are the raw ingredients for Palmers Cocoa Butter. Josephine’s organization works with 6 women who stich and produce “Happy Baby Carriers”; according to Josephine Nalugo; “Some of these ladies work in the farms for 10 – 12 hours and they have no one at home to take care of their new born, most bring their newborns to the farm with them without a proper support, these ladies than leave their babies under a tree shed and work, once they hear the baby crying – they run back to breast feed and go back in to the farm, this continues the whole day, by the end of it the mother is exhausted and the babies left malnutrition and at risk of being bitten by insects and animals when unattended. When we step in and provide The Happy Baby Carriers, it becomes a life support for the young mothers, since now their babies are safely fastened against the mothers chest and they can work without anxiety and it’s a reason for them to rejoice and celebrate.”

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Including Josephine, there are 6 women working to produce the Happy Baby Carriers’ – Fatuma Nakachw; is a mother of 5children, 3boys and 2 girls. She has had a great experience with carrying them using happy baby carrier.  Working with Baby carrier has enabled her to start another small business of cassava chips making and pancake baking.  For the last 3months she has been working on Happy Baby- Palmer’s baby carriers project and Fatuma explains; “this project came to us at a perfect time, I have been able to use the funds from my work to pay my children’s school fees and also invest in my business.” The other ladies include, Clair Nansubuga; who is a trained happy baby tailor, she is a mother of a 4year old daughter and expecting her second baby.  She has been at the forefront with Fatuma in making happy baby carriers.  Claire says; “Working with happy baby has enabled me to establish a small scale grocery shop and take care of my family and also to pay school fees for my daughter, I hope we get more projects like these to work and earn.” Another worker is Nakato Hawah who is mother of a 6 years old son. She runs Retail grocery store. As a women with physical disability, she is happy that happy baby has given her the opportunity to make baby carriers going outside Uganda to other mothers. There is also Fahimah Nambejja, who is just 19yrs old. She joined happy baby 2weeks ago and is currently under training.  She has supported the production of Happy Baby by making straps for the baby carrier. As a youth, Fahimah wishes young mothers of her age to have and use happy baby carrier. The team also has Nalujja Norah, who is a happy baby model mother and is currently a new entrant on the happy baby sewing crew.  She is a mother of two.  After enjoying the benefits of using happy baby carrier with both her children, she took up sewing lessons now learning to make what she calls the magical tool. She is excited that mothers in Ghana are going to enjoy what she has shared. Last member is also the founder of the Children In Africa Breastfeeding Support Josephine Nalugo, she is the seventh born from a family of 10 children. Is a mother of 2 girls 11years and 9years Old and a 2year old son.  Josephine Graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences majoring Sociology. With this back ground, and a passion to work with mothers and babies to support them breastfeed successfully for better health as they go along with their daily activities. She is really a Social Entrepreneur making a difference in the lives of hundreds of women.

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The material used to make the carriers is locally sourced, and the colors and designs are a representation of the vibrancy of Africa. The organization has been working in the region for 4 years – it provides income to the ladies who stich and produce the carriers to enable them to send their children to school and also to fund alternate businesses.

According to Antonia Amehame – Brand Manager – Palmers ME, “At Palmers; one of our most loyal customers are mothers who use our pre and post natal skin care products. We always support initiatives for mothers and believe that if we empower them, we empower the whole community.”

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Antonia and Josephine joined forces to work together and in April of 2016; while Antonia managed the communication and funds from Dubai; Josephine spearheaded the project on ground in Africa, sometimes travelling for 6 hours on a bus from Accra to the Ashanti region to New Edububaise, then 2hours in a small taxi to Odumasi. To reach the Western province it would take 5hrs by bus to Takoradi then 3hours in a taxi to Aiyinasi, in areas where a car and bus couldn’t reach, she would hop on her motorbike to reach the farms where these mothers needed the carriers.

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This project is a start of many more initiatives to develop and support these communities by Palmers and in conclusion Antonia Amehame – Brand Manager of Palmers ME says, “With every cocoa butter product produced, we acknowledge the effort of their work.”

Happy Baby Carrier is produced and distributed to local farmers throughout Cocoa farms in Ghana.

 

About Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula:

Palmer’s was founded in the United States of America and has been producing safe and effective beauty and skincare products since 1840.  Palmer’s has a global presence and is available in over 80 countries offering the #1 Cocoa butter brand in the world.  The unique heritage and commitment to quality has stood the test of time, making Palmer’s a trusted household name, used by families for generations.

Palmer’s uses only the finest ingredients to provide consumers the highest quality formulas at affordable prices.  All of the products are hand crafted based on Palmer’s long standing heritage and experience in offering superior formulations that deliver results.  This is why Palmer’s promise to its consumers has always been an unconditional guarantee of quality.

 

To know more about the brand visit https://me.palmers.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/PalmersME/?fref=ts

 

 

 

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Miss June of the Calendar Girls –Mahek Anadkat as the “Ballerina”an interview by Ruqya Khan

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7 JUNE.jpgMahek Anadkat was born with a gift; the gift to give! Her smile gave hope to her parents. Her eyes gave feelings to her silence and her feet gave life to dance.

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Her life however did not begin from a pleasant place. She was born with a hearing impairment and she had to grow and learn at her own pace. Her mother, Priti looked back 20 years as she shared her daughter’s story. “Mahek was born in UK. A year later we moved to Malawi in Africa. We were there for about 8 years. At Malawi Mehak began her schooling. She studied with normal children. She enjoyed all areas of learning especially music. Her first dance performance on stage was at age 6 – she played Radha during a Janmashtami celebration. She was the lead dancer for the Krishna song. She was brilliant and so full of life! Her whole physiology would shift went she danced. It was heart-warming to see that.”

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When the family moved to Dubai Mahek was unable to get admission in a normal school. Due to unavailability of a speech therapist and other setbacks she had to join a school for children with special needs. She trained and developed her skills further at the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre. “Mahek cannot hear the beats however she senses the vibrations. Further she is quick to pick on the instructions of her choreographer and group. She is very observant of the signals being given to her during practise. She is in sync with the steps of the team. This is her medium of expression which is why she chose to be Ballerina for the Calendar Girls project.”

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Mahek had been on previous w2w projects and she was keen to be on this very unique opportunity because she felt strongly about her message to the world. “I think I am fighting a mind-set more than a stereotype. When it comes to anyone with special needs – anyone who has a disability – the world automatically dismisses our talents. I want to challenge that idea; I want to show the world that we all have talents, dreams and also the drive to make them come true. Even though I am hearing impaired, it doesn’t stop me from my love to dance, I work twice as hard as someone who is able bodied but I do it with love and passion and to me that is worth celebrating. The Human spirit is what I stand for in the Calendar – we are all people with flaws but what makes us great is that we keep getting up after each fall,” wrote Mahek in reply to the interview questions.

“The beauty of woman must be seen in her eyes because that is the way to her heart. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.”

She added, “Beauty is not only that which looks beautiful to show everyone, but it is how women talk, behave, love, smile, laugh, care and polite. Beauty with innocent, kind heart and soul is underrated. No matter what, women are beautiful inside and outside. All sizes of body are also beautiful. I strongly resonate with the quote: “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”

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A woman who doesn’t need to be told that she is beautiful and knows it…that’s truly beautiful…someone with unwavering confidence in her beauty!

Mahek is like any girl her age. She has dreams and aspirations. While dancing is her passion, her dream is to be a graphic designer and maybe progress to be an interior designer. “She works with designs and art. She uses colours to express. I’ve seen her at her best and worst. She stood strong in spite of the pain and suffering of her condition to rise above her challenges. She never gives up. She is a fighter and this is her message,” her mother concluded. “Her dance is by itself a miracle; it is her gift to the world.”

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Calendar Girls 2016 :

The ethos behind the program is to develop campaigns through marketing and events that promote positive body image in Men and Women.

Calendar Girls had over 14 role models for young women to identify with and inspire from, the personal stories of these 14 women will be showcased in this unique calendar.

Theme for 2016 : Fairytales – each image for the photo shoot was inspired by the person’s own favourite character – the idea behind it is, the each one of us really are, “our own super heroes”.

We are grateful for all the amazing support from many individuals!

The Fashion Designers of Calendar Girls 2016:-

Anisa Couture

Aisha Alia – Hayaatii

Dutchess Riley

Desi Sari Dewi

Kash Kouture

Reve Du Soleil

SASH

Calendar Girls Sponsors:-

AGATHA PARIS

BOURJOIS

Splendour Salon

Saante

Selfie TV

Shaby Designs

KC24

RK rites (Ruqya Khan)

MAD (Mad About Dance Institute)

 

To learn more about w2w: w2w.events.dubai@gmail.com