2012 Equator Prize winners

 

We are absolutely over the moon to have been awarded the Equator Prize for 2012. We are one of only 25 winners, selected from a total pool of over 800 nominations from 113 countries. The entries were judged against 6 criteria:

• Impact
• Sustainability
• Innovation and Transferability
• Leadership and Community Empowerment
• Empowerment of Women and Social Inclusion
• Resilience, Adaptability and Self Sufficiency

The Equator Prize is awarded by the Equator Initiative which brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

There are two elements to the Prize. SIP will receive an award of $5,000 and the opportunity to send a representative to participate in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in Brazil in June 2012.

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A heart warming tale from the Netherlands

A customer in the Netherlands who uses Swazi Secrets marula oil regularly for her own skin has got two dogs. The oldest dog named Browny is 13 years old and has diabetes of the brain, which is very rare. Therefore, its resistance is very low. This illness had taken the fur off his back. Inspired by her own use of marula oil and encouraged by Netherlands distributor Eliza Wolfs who had already used it on her own dog with good results, she began massaging the bare back of the dog with the oil every second day. After just two months, the dog’s fur is almost completely restored and his condition and feeling have improved significantly. The whole family is really happy about it and sent us these photos. Here is Browny before and after the marula oil.

Browny before

Browny after marula oil

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Progress on all 8 MDGs

A 2010 study by Miranda Bernstein and Georgia Duerst Lahti of Beloit College, Wisconsin -available at  https://www.beloit.edu/polisci/publications/ – has enabled SIP to more accurately identify the impact of its activities. That impact is summarised below using the criteria of the Millennium Development Goals.

 

MDG1 – Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

The Beloit study shows that women involved with SIP experience an alleviation of their respective poverty level. 37% of the population in the Lubombo Region where SIP is active live in extreme poverty and hunger; interviews show that the majority of the kernel income is spent on food.

 

MDG2 – Achieve universal primary education

Currently only the first 3 years of primary school in Swaziland are free of school fees. Families still have to pay for the obligatory school uniform and the further 4 years of primary school. School fees are the 2nd most mentioned use of kernel income by SIP’s suppliers.

 

MDG3 – Promote gender equality and empower women

Statements by many SIP suppliers interviewed for the Beloit study show that they gain self esteem from contributing to their family’s survival or improvement, from meeting and exchanging advice with other women in similar circumstances at the procurement meetings, and that they feel in a stronger negotiating position.

 

MDG4 – Reduce child mortality

Several SIP suppliers told the researchers they feel better equipped to “deal with” HIV and AIDS, 75% stated improved nutrition for the family thanks to kernel income. In SIP’s own impact interviews, ability to access health care for their children is a frequently stated result of the kernel income.

 

MDG5 – Improve maternal health

No specific data on maternal health, but it can be assumed that not only the children’s, but also their mothers’ health, benefits from the stated improved nutrition and better access to health care.

 

MDG6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Swaziland currently has the world’s highest recorded rates of both HIV/AIDS and TB infection. Several of the respondents in the Beloit study stated they feel better equipped to defend themselves against HIV (e.g. able to negotiate condom use, no longer dependant on “sugar daddies”) or AIDS (e.g. ability to comply with ARV treatment thanks to regular nutrition).

 

MDG7 – Ensure environmental sustainability

Swaziland’s indigenous forests, where marula grows, are threatened by deforestation and overgrazing, the environment in general by inappropriate waste disposal. The marula value chain combined with education and tree planting campaigns conducted by SIP contribute to the protection of the natural resource.

 

MDG8 – A global partnership for development

That is what SIP represents: Transforming Swazi renewable natural resources, in Swaziland, under fair conditions and with developmental impact, into products that offer consumers around the world both functional and emotional benefits. Purchasing the products enables a continuous contribution to the Millennium Development Goals.

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Read Africa The Good News

Visit http://www.africagoodnews.com and read Swazi Secrets – the type to be shared, written by Tracy Hammond after her recent visit to us. Read on as well – its good to share such positive optimism for Africa.

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Our third Annual General Meeting

The 3rd Annual General Meeting of Swazi Indigenous Products on 23rd June was a great success, with about 90 % of Member Groups attending.

After hearing both the previous Executive Director, John Pearce, and the current one, Chris Dlamini, presenting the Annual Report, the meeting moved on to elect the Company’s Board of Directors. Khumbuzile Tsabetse of Siphofaneni, Yvonne Patequana from Kalanga and Thulani Dlamini from Mpolonjeni were elected as Community Representatives, while Senator Thuli Dladla and  Dolores Godeffroy of eDladleni were elected as Professional Representatives.

Chairperson Futhi Mdluli said she was delighted at the turnout and thanked delegates for ‘our best AGM yet’.

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Swazi Secrets retailer wins 3 African Women in Europe awards

Our warmest congratulations to Akua Wood of Sheabutter Cottage in UK for a treble triumph at the African Women in Europe (AWE) Awards in Berlin. Akua (on the right of the picture) carried off the innovative person of the year, company of the year and AWE awards. One of the prizes was a flight to Africa and while most thought she would fly to her native Ghana, we are delighted that Akua is taking the opportunity to come to Swaziland and visit Swazi Secrets. Akua will also take the opportunity while here to visit Vele Maziya, a young student that she sponsors at St Joseph’s School.

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Ximenia oil wins Green Parent award

Having received lots of recognition for our marula oil, we are delighted that Swazi Secrets ximenia oil is now getting in on the act by being Highly Commended in the Best Body Oil section of the Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards 2011.  The Green Parent is the UK’s leading green lifestyle and natural parenting magazine.

Our thanks in organising the submission once again go to Eileen Murphy at Scotia Fair Trade following her success some months ago in helping Swazi Secrets marula oil’s selection in Elle UK magazine’s Beauty Awards 2010.

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