OUR PARTNER: KAHINA GIVING BEAUTY
For centuries, Moroccan women have been using organic argan oil to nourish and enhance the quality of their skin. By collaborating with the Berber women in Morocco, who use traditional techniques to extract argan oil, Kahina’s founder Katharine L’Heureux, has found a way to connect women around the world through a shared beauty ritual. Inspired by the warmth and generous spirit of the Berber women, Kahina fosters their craft while helping to improve their lives – ensuring workers are paid a fair wage and given an ethical work environment. Kahina recognizes the artisan heroine that makes its products possible, giving them opportunities for social and economic freedom they wouldn’t otherwise have. Kahina funds local initiatives outside of the workplace – obtaining organic certification for the cooperative, donating to Education for All, a local organization providing safe homes and education for girls, and purchasing goats for the women of the Idzouane Mountains, providing them with a source for milk and wool. Kahina’s personal connection to the artisans it works with is apparent in every aspect of the product. Many of the female artisans cannot read or write, so they use illustrative symbols to mark their identities – one such symbol is the five-pointed star, a key element in Arabic design that now appears on each Kahina package. And, the Kahina line is named after a Berber Queen and prophetess, who is a heroine and symbol of empowerment for the Berber women.
- With Education for All, Kahina provides safe room and board for girls from rural Morocco so that they can continue their education past the 3rd grade
- Kahina has provided 100 sheep to the women of the village from which they source argan oil. These sheep provide wool for weaving (another potential source for income), dairy and opportunities to breed offspring.
- Kahina has provided employment for 30 women by obtaining Ecocert Organic certification for their cooperative. As these Berber women were mostly illiterate, far from speaking, it was impossible for them to gain access to the market, though their oil is of great purity. Kahina stepped in and funded certification and worked with a partner to assist with the legal paperwork to complete certification.