Monday, November 7, 2016

Alaffia Family

The reality today is that families are spread out across the world, thousands of miles apart, with each of us living separate lives.  We get caught up in our own struggles and routines and forget the bonds we share. However, as the holidays get near, we begin to think of those close to us, through blood or love, and we feel an urge to come together to remind us how important it is to have each other. This urge seems to be something truly cross-cultural, as strong here as it is in Togo and other far reaches of the world.

As families come together over the holidays, they put aside their differences and work toward a common goal. Even if the goal is as simple as putting together a warm meal and giving thanks for the opportunities and events of our lives, the goal is reached by everyone contributing what they can. In many ways, the unity I see in families during the holidays reminds me of how our cooperatives and women’s groups work every day in Togo.

In fact, the women of Queen Alaffia are a great example. At Queen Alaffia, the goal is twofold – give women an opportunity to support themselves and their families with the skills and knowledge they have accrued during their lives, and also, to create beautiful and creative products for others to enjoy.  Neither goal would be attainable without the women working together.  Like a Thanksgiving dinner, a Queen Alaffia bag is made of several parts contributed by many people.  One woman may sew the strips of fabric together. Another woman cuts the bag, and others will sew, press, and finish the bag. Each piece is a combined effort with a common goal.

If I look beyond Queen Alaffia to the greater Alaffia family, I see the same pattern – with each of you bringing your “dish” to make the Alaffia goal a reality.  The Alaffia family spans several continents, multiple cultures, beliefs, and ways of life. However, we all have a critical piece to contribute, and, united with the goal of empowering the less fortunate, we are truly making a difference.  During this season of reflection, we thank you for being part of our family and look forward to what we can accomplish together in the coming year.

Wishing you a peaceful and cooperative holiday season,


Friday, March 4, 2016

Ladies of Togo Tour

Three members of the Alaffia Togo Team will be visiting the US during March. They will tour retailers throughout the country, sharing their stories, traditional knowledge, and answering your questions. Learn how your Alaffia purchases support our fair trade initiatives, alleviate poverty, and empower communities.

Join the ladies and Alaffia founder, Olowo-n'djo Tchala  at the following events:

  • March 8, 10:00AM: WFM Chambers Bay (3515 Bridgeport Way W University Place, WA 98466)
  • March 8, 4:00PM: WFM Chambers Bay (3515 Bridgeport Way W University Place, WA 98466)
  • March 16, 6:00PM-8:00PM: African Dance Class; World Beat Cultural Center (2100 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101)

  • March 24, 1:00PM-2:30PM: WFM Ponce de Leon (650 Ponce de Leon Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30308)
  • March 24, 3:30PM-4:30PM: Sevananda Natural Foods Market (467 Moreland Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30307)
  • March 25, 1:00PM-2:30PM: WFM West Paces (77 West Paces Ferry Road NW Atlanta, GA 30305)
  • March 25, 3:30-4:30PM: Nuts ‘n Berries (4274 Peachtree Road Atlanta, GA 30319)
  • March 28, 11:00AM-12:30PM: WFM Brooklyn (214 3rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11215)
  • March 28, 2:00PM-3:00PM: Perelandra Natural Food Center (175 Remsen Street Brooklyn, NY 11201)

  • March 28, 4:00PM-5:00PM: Westerly Natural Market (911 8th Ave New York, NY 10019)
  • March 28, 6:00PM-8:00PM: Fairway Market (2131 Broadway New York, NY 10023)
  • March 30, 7:00PM-8:30PM: The Wedge Table (2412 Nicollet Ave Minneapolis, MN 55404)

Abidé Awesso is Alaffia’s Director of Community Support for the Kara and Savanna regions of Togo. Abidé is a licensed midwife and joined Alaffia in 2012 as Maternal Health Coordinator for central Togo communities. In 2014, Abidé advocated for the expansion of the maternal initiative into the Kara region, as her research had shown the need was even greater there than in the central region. In 2015, Alaffia expanded efforts into the Savanna region and Abidé now manages both maternal and education initiatives in these two regions. Abidé is from Kara, north of Sokodé.

Mawulé Houmey is the Manager of Traditional Oil Extraction at Alaffia Village, Sokodé. Mawulé is from Aneho and first joined Alaffia to oversee coconut oil extraction at our Alaffia Coconut Cooperative in Klouvi-Donnou in 2012. She moved to Sokodé in 2015 to train and manage our cooperative members on traditional coconut oil & shea butter extraction.

Ahoumondom Bamassi is the Manager of the Togo Artisan Center in Sokodé. Ahoumondom has been with Alaffia since 2011, when she joined the Community Support team as the Education and Environment Coordinator. As Coordinator, she managed Alaffia’s Bicycles for Education, School Supply and Reforestation initiatives in the Central and Maritime regions. In 2015, she moved to Alaffia’s  newly created Artisan Center to manage the Queen Alaffia prostitution rehabilitation movement.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Love Your Beautiful Curls Contest


We want to celebrate you, your natural beauty, and your Beautiful Curls! 

Enter the Love Your Beautiful Curls Contest by creating a video about your favorite Alaffia Beautiful Curls product.
Contest Rules:

1. The video must be between 15 and 30 seconds long, posted on Facebook or Instagram.
2. Tag Alaffia and include the hashtag: #LoveYourBeautifulCurls.
3. Show at least 1 Beautiful Curls product and tell us how you use it & why you LOVE it.
Have fun! We are looking for creativity and passion for BEAUTIFUL CURLS! 

Questions? Comment below or visit us on Facebook or Instagram.

(The contest is open in the US only February 14-March 14)