Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where Are You Taking Alaffia this Summer?

To request a sticker, pin, or temporary tattoo write us at with your name and address.

Official Rules:
  • Must be 18 years or older and provide a shipping address within the United States.
  • Contest runs from June 25, 2014 4:00 PM PST – July 31, 2014 3:00 PM PST.
  • Picture post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the tag #poweroftheeban enters the giveaway.
  • Winners will be selected by Alaffia's design guru, Ben Wilson (you can check out his work here).
  • Winners will be contacted via Facebook message within 24 hours of the end of the contest.  The winners will have 24 hours to respond to being notified of winning.  If no response is received within 24 hours, a back-up winner will be selected, and will be notified.  The same process applicable to the original winner will apply to all back-up winners.
  • Grand prize winner will win a year supply of Authentic Black Soap which equals one 32oz bottle per month for 12 months
  • One second prize will win a six-month supply of EveryDay Coconut Lip Balm which equals one lip balm per month for 6 months.
  • Ten runner ups will receive one EveryDay Coconut Lip Balm
  • Content deemed inappropriate will not be eligible for entry into the contest 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Alaffia Bike Drive Schedule 2014

We will update this schedule as more bike drives are planned. Please check back regularly during the summer, and be sure to share this with your friends and family.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Olowo-n'djo's Update: Pride Month

Dear Friends of Alaffia,

I hope this note finds you in good health. The month of June is recognized as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month), and celebrates the great diversity and variety of humanity in the world.  As I prepare to head to Togo, I am thinking that if there is one single thing most characteristic of Alaffia, it is our diversity. While outside Togo, we are all seen as Togolese, in reality, Togo has 42 distinct ethnic groups and each of these groups views themselves as a nation with unique language and culture. Individuals are more likely to represent their own ethnicity first before expressing themselves as Togolese.  Throughout Africa similar diversity has led to persecution, ethnic violence, and systematic denial of economic opportunity for people of ethnicities who are not part of government or military control. At the foundation of the Alaffia cooperative is the notion that as diverse as we are in Togo, we can co-exist in peace together. Ten years later, what was once an idea is now a reality.

In 2003, when I went to Togo to establish the Alaffia cooperative, I felt our differences should not be a reason for persecution; instead, they should be seen as assets. With this in mind, I decided to locate the cooperative in the center of the country in order to be accessible to ethnic groups from both the south and north of Togo, including the most disadvantaged group, the Fulani. To this day, my own ethnic group, the Kaboli, disagree with me for not “putting my own people first.” The fact is my own group does not experience the same type of discrimination that others do, and limiting the cooperative to only my own group would not serve the purpose of empowering those most in need.
Despite the difficulties at the beginning, I continued to believe we can all coexist if we call ourselves beings with humility and loving character. Therefore, I forged ahead, and today what we thought was impossible is blossoming.  Every time I walk into the Alaffia cooperative, it does not feel like a production facility. Instead, there is a sense in the air of celebration, mutual respect and collaboration.  No one has to give up her of his religious or traditional beliefs. The only belief we all have in common is to work and live in peace and with conviction.

While the Alaffia cooperative is a small setting, it convinces me that we can live in a world where we each maintain our beliefs and diversities, yet create a peaceful world that is free of persecution for any reason, be it skin color, religious belief, sexual orientation or any other difference. To me it is the ability to coexist with differences that makes us truly human. 

It is my hope that the Alaffia setting spreads not only through the continent of Africa, but the world. As for me, I will continue to dedicate my life for peace and full human rights for all.
Wishing you a peaceful summer,

Olowo-n’djo Tchala