Local Businesses Unite to Empower Young Lives in West Africa
“Bicycles for Education” Bike Drive co-sponsored by Alaffia and PCC Natural Markets
(Seattle Wash., September 9, 2013) – Olympia-based Fair Trade natural body care company Alaffia is collecting bikes for their Bicycles for Education program at two PCC Natural Markets (PCC) locations this weekend. Members of the Seattle community can drastically change the lives of young students in Togo, West Africa by bringing adult sized bikes and bike parts to the View Ridge PCC, Saturday, September 14 or the Kirkland PCC, Sunday, September 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. at both locations. Since 2004, Alaffia has distributed over 4,500 used bicycles to secondary school students in need of transportation.
Students in rural Togo must often walk 5-15 miles a day to get to school. Because of this, 91% of girls and 48% of boys drop out of school before the 6th grade. In contrast; 95% of the students who receive an Alaffia bike stay in school and graduate.
Alaffia was founded in 2004 by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and his wife and partner Rose Hyde as a means to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality in Olowo-n’djo’s native Togo. They established a Certified Fair Trade Shea butter cooperative in Togo that focuses on traditionally extracting and handcrafting premium quality Shea butter. Alaffia soon after began as a ‘cottage industry’ operation in Olympia; both partners working together to create and promote the Alaffia natural skincare line. By meeting and exceeding rigorous Fair Trade standards and investing sales back into Community Empowerment Projects, they were embraced in local food co-ops.
Today, Alaffia can be found in over 2,000 stores nationwide and has greatly expanded their natural body care lines and community empowerment work. In March of this year, Olowo-n’djo was publically recognized when he received a Washington State Jefferson Award for public service.
PCC has hosted Alaffia bike drives annually since 2008, collecting more than 1000 bicycles. With the longstanding support of PCC’s members, shoppers and staff , Bicycles for Education is making a lasting impact and reducing poverty in Togo communities.
“PCC really values our partnership with Alaffia on these annual bike drives,” says Sara Walsh, PCC’s community relations manager. “Our members and shoppers always respond with an outpouring of generosity and truly believe in this program.”
Those donating a bike will be entered to win an Alaffia gift basket. All donations are tax deductible.
For more information on Alaffia’s Community Empowerment Projects visit Alaffia’s website at www.alaffia.com, call 1-800-664-8005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About PCC Natural Markets: Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retailer with annual sales of $180 million and an active membership of more than 49,000. PCC operates nine locations in the Fremont, View Ridge, Greenlake, West Seattle, Seward Park, Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond and Edmonds neighborhoods. www.pccnaturalmarkets.com