We have worked with the women of Northern Uganda and South Sudan to create Women's Owned Nilotica Shea (WONS), giving refugees and victims of war the power of brand ownership.
WONS is the first ever women's only Ugandan cooperative. These women are refugees from war-torn South Sudan and victims of Joseph Kony's reign of terror in Uganda. Many were kidnapped, forced to be child soldiers and young mothers.
Now they need a means of income, a way of moving on from their past.
Most aid agencies focus on immediate humanitarian responses but long term help is also needed. Position is supporting these women to create sustainable livelihoods through the East African Shea tree. These women will own a luxury brand of pure unrefined Nilotica Shea butter products, complemented by control of distribution in the final markets.
Due to extreme trade isolation and reliance on commodity export prices, these women earn less than $1/kg for their Nilotica Shea, despite it being worth over $1,000/kg as a skin care product.
Through our business positioning process of the WONS brand in the UK, these women can say no to the exploitative offers from major cosmetic companies.
WONS could increase income for these women to $25-$100/kg of Nilotica Shea.
"THE CHAMPAGNE OF SHEA BUTTERS"
Benefits of Nilotica Shea include:
Remarkable moisturising properties
Retains skin elasticity
Reduces stretch marks
Treats sun damaged skin as well as psoriasis and eczema
Treats damaged, dry and brittle hair
Reduces swelling inflammation including muscular aches
Shea butter is one of the most effective natural skin care products in the world, widely used in best-sellers by companies such as The Body Shop, Burt’s Bees, and L’Occitane. However these focus on West African Shea which does not possess the benefits of Nilotica Shea.
Found exclusively in Northern Uganda and South Sudan, Nilotica Shea contains 95% Shea butter compared to just 20% of the popular West African Shea, giving a creamier feel that absorbs more easily into the skin.
Together with the women of WONS and a world class brand design team, we have created the brand Mooyaa. We will control the supply chain and position the unique Shea products under the Mooya retail brand that is owned by the WONS cooperative.
Photography by Meg Brindle of the WONS South Sudanese women in Arua, Uganda