Empowering Women Around the World

 Certified Organic Fair Trade Baraka Shea Butter is produced by women & families in Ghana. Photo courtesy of  Baraka Shea Butter .

Certified Organic Fair Trade Baraka Shea Butter is produced by women & families in Ghana. Photo courtesy of Baraka Shea Butter.

"Each purchase helps empower women around the world."

      You've probably noticed this written on our soap and candle labels. What do we mean and how is Heart & Arrow Handcrafted helping empower women?

Through our company's purchase of Certified Organic Fair Trade Shea Butter from the Baraka collective of women producers in Northern Ghana, we support the economic opportunity & community development these women work so hard for.

Each year, we donate more than 1% of our profits to organizations like Kiva, which offers micro-loans to women around the world, helping many create a path out of poverty for themselves and their families.

We have been a long time donor to SOIL, or Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, a non-profit organization based in Haiti. SOIL’s mission is to promote dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods through the transformation of wastes into resources.

We also donate to Lovin' Soap Project, which empowers women in developing regions through facilitating the teaching of artisan soap making & business skills.  

Here is a spotlight on four of the organizations we intimately support. 

 Women pounding Shea Butter in the traditional manner. Photo courtesy of  Baraka Shea Butter .

Women pounding Shea Butter in the traditional manner. Photo courtesy of Baraka Shea Butter.

Baraka Fair Trade Shea Butter~ "Baraka Shea Butter is 100% handmade by women and families using age-old tried and true traditional methods passed down through generations. It uses no chemicals or additives nor are harmful industrial processes used and it is never tested on animals.  Just pure, natural, unrefined shea butter the way nature intended it.  

As much of the money as possible ends up in the hands of the producers and not in the hands of equipment makers and factory operators."

 Baraka's community initiatives help improve educational opportunities for children,

Baraka's community initiatives help improve educational opportunities for children,

Instead, Baraka funds community initiatives to help more children go to school with supplies & uniforms. They also fund community tree planting, & income generation through skills training.

It is one of Heart & Arrow's great prides to make our beautiful artisan soaps from this pure, handmade, unrefined, Fair Trade, Certified Organic Shea Butter made by the beautiful women of Kperisi village in Northern Ghana. To have this connection of sisterhood is the blood that fuels our company, our ideals and our passion for creating unique, naturally luxurious soaps. For more information on the community projects & women behind this, please visit www.barakasheabutter.com

Kiva- "Women around the world have much less access to fair and affordable credit for their businesses or basic needs. While 46% of men around the world report having access to formal financial services, the figure is only 27% for women. Support women starting businesses, going to school, leading their communities and building strong families.

  Pamela  with Veronica, a widowed borrower who sells flatbread and hopes to open a catering business in the future. Photo courtesy of Kiva.org.

Pamela with Veronica, a widowed borrower who sells flatbread and hopes to open a catering business in the future. Photo courtesy of Kiva.org.

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. 

By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.

100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors." 

 Najah talks with Rachel from Kiva about her loan. Photo courtesy of  Kiva.org .

Najah talks with Rachel from Kiva about her loan. Photo courtesy of Kiva.org.

Read Lindiwe's, 22, entrepreneurial success story in Zimbabwe.  Read about Pamela's dream of creating hope for HIV-positive women. And check out Najah's incredible story of growing her goat & sheep farming business from a refugee camp on the West Bank, near Jericho.

For more information about becoming a lender or obtaining a micro-loan yourself, please visit www.kiva.org.

SOIL Haiti- "SOIL primarily focuses on promoting the use of ecological sanitation (EcoSan). EcoSan simultaneously tackles some of Haiti’s toughest challenges by providing sanitation to people who would otherwise have no access to a toilet and producing an endless supply of rich, organic compost critical for agriculture and reforestation. 

Working with communities to design and test ecologically and socially beneficial solutions, SOIL implements low-cost technologies that are simple, easy to replicate, require minimal water, and provide safe and dignified access to sanitation.

 Tending the sustainable agricultural projects of SOIL Haiti. Photo courtesy of SOIL.

Tending the sustainable agricultural projects of SOIL Haiti. Photo courtesy of SOIL.

SOIL is working to transform conditions in Haiti with both short-term projects that address critical needs and a long-term strategy to expand sanitation access through social business models. SOIL produces an increasing quantity of Konpòs Lakay, SOIL’s EcoSan compost, each year. This compost is used to rebuild the productive potential of Haiti’s soils. 

 SOIL instructor teaching community women how to use the composting EcoSan toilets. Photo courtesy of  OurSOIL.org .

SOIL instructor teaching community women how to use the composting EcoSan toilets. Photo courtesy of OurSOIL.org.

WHO IS BEHIND SOIL? We are ecologists and accountants, carpenters and writers, rappers and soccer players, mothers and truck drivers, united by our passion for promoting dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods in Haiti. We share a belief that in transforming wastes into resources, we can help restore Haiti’s beauty and vitality."

This year, SOIL won the 2018 LUSH Cosmetics Spring Prize in recognition for the work they do in Haiti to build socially and environmentally regenerative solutions to the sanitation crisis. For more information or to donate to SOIL, please visit www.oursoil.org. Follow them @SOILHaiti.

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The Lovin' Soap Project- The Lovin' Soap Project empowers women with economic opportunity through the micro-business of artisan soapmaking. 

 Learning the art of soapmaking. Photo courtesy of  Lovinsoapproject.org

Learning the art of soapmaking. Photo courtesy of Lovinsoapproject.org

"According to the Global Poverty Info Bank, women are 50% of the world’s population, yet make up full 70% of the world’s poor. It’s an astonishing figure. Millions of women in less-developed countries live under crushing poverty and discrimination that makes access to basic needs such as healthcare, safe childbirth, education, employment, and participation in their own communities, nearly impossible. This means we must ensure women and girls have a means to overcome inequality and benefit from economic development by addressing the core problems head on.

 Lovin' Soap Project co-founder Amanda Gail with Community Member. Photo courtesy of  Lovinsoapproject.org

Lovin' Soap Project co-founder Amanda Gail with Community Member. Photo courtesy of Lovinsoapproject.org

The Lovin’ Soap Project ensures that women and girls around the world have the means to overcome inequality and benefit from economic development.

The Project organizes simple soap making workshops for women in developing countries. The micro-business empowers women, helps families send their daughters to school, and saves lives through access to hygiene."

 Soapmaking. Photo courtesy of  Lovinsoapproject.org

Soapmaking. Photo courtesy of Lovinsoapproject.org

We are happy to have supported this since our inception. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.lovinsoapproject.org.

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Thank you so much for choosing Heart & Arrow Handcrafted every time. Not only is it a remarkable soap for your skin & senses, but your dollars are spread much farther & touch many lives in a positive way through your purchase of just one bar of soap. Please feel free to share this blog post & bring others into the circle. We all have something to share and something to gain from working together to create a better world for women & girls.

Right now is a wonderful time to check out our full summer line of naturally luxurious soaps & take advantage of our 1 Year Anniversary Free Shipping on orders over $75! Use code MADEWITHLOVE at checkout.  Offer expires 07/05/18.

Til next time, lots of love!

XX00 ~Lindsey Rose

 Najah with one of her prized goats on the West Bank. Photo courtesy of  Kiva.org .

Najah with one of her prized goats on the West Bank. Photo courtesy of Kiva.org.