Giving Back and The Power of One
As the daughter of Malian immigrants, I have always wanted to make an impact and create opportunities for people in Mali. Before launching Yawoni, I traveled to Mali to source raw ingredients. My cousin Sokona, pictured with me above, was so helpful that I decided to create a new initiative, starting with one woman.
I would partner with local women to help me source raw ingredients, and would give them a stake in the company as well as a space for them to explore their interests. They could participate in all aspects of Yawoni: sourcing, manufacturing, logistics and supply chain, marketing... learn about their strengths while developing new skills.
For many girls coming of age in poor areas of Mali and Africa’s Sahel region, there is little time to indulge in thoughts about who they could become or what they’d like to do. Their aspirations, hopes, and dreams are more often than not swept away as they move from helping out with chores in their household to running their own. They often have to drop out of school, marry, and become young mothers -- a vicious cycle that diminishes their economic potential and impacts their health.
The goal with this new initiative is to go beyond charity: create economic opportunities, provide skills and means of self sustenance. The Power of One is our new mission: one African woman helping other African women create a brighter future.