The Party’s Over…

…but Eden’s Pajama Project is still in full swing.

Below you’ll find a video update from Eden about what’s been happening with the donations. We thought she’d collected 41 pairs by the end of the day of her party, but many of the packages contained 2 pairs together! So there were well over 50 pairs for sure. Many thanks to the friends and family who were so generous. We were so glad that you could celebrate with us in this way!

Saadia has been receiving packages in Essaouira, too. Thanks again to those of you who are donating directly. She was particularly excited about one that arrived from New York City!

So far, the plan is to give many of the donations to school kids in the countryside, and there is another small town where there is already an existing charity to kids in need — many of them orphans. As we will be in Morocco in October, we plan to be visiting at least one of these two locations to give out your donations personally. Eden is really looking forward to meeting all of the kids.

I also want to take this opportunity to offer special thanks to some of our dear friends for helping us get the word out about this project.

Veronika at Veronika’s Blushing

Stephanie at Stephanie Snowe: The Blog

Yvonne at My Halal Kitchen

Anyway, here is the video… And don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about how you can help make bedtime better for Moroccan kids this year – joel@saadiaorganics.com. And please do continue to spread the word about this project. We really want to reach Eden’s goal of 300 pajama packages.

j~

 

 

 

UPDATE on Eden’s Pajama Project

First, we’d like to thank everyone who has been donating. The corner of my bedroom is piling up with bags of very cute and cozy PJs for Moroccan kids. Many have included some great little toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste, too. Thank you so very much! The Big Shipment will be sent by courier after Eden’s birthday party next weekend.

And over in Morocco… Saadia has been receiving packages, too! I’m sure she has quite a pile accumulating in her little living room. She said most of them have been from the United States. Thanks so much to our marvelous American friends. Your generosity is much appreciated.

There is still plenty of time to donate. We’ll continue this well into the fall. You can see the details of the project here.

If you have yet to purchase any PJs, please consider buying for a boy!

Eden is thrilled that so many of you have viewed her blog post and is quite shy that people are actually watching her You Tube video! Again, please share the information about this project on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever! Help Eden reach her goal of 300 packages

“My Mom and my Grandma Saadia give jobs to Moroccan Mommmies. I make bedtime better for Moroccan kids.” Eden, Almost 5 years old

Help us continue to gather little “luxuries” for these little Moroccans this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eden in windy Essaouira, March 2012

Presenting…. Eden’s Pajama Project

Hi everyone!  My name is Eden and I’m going to be five years old on August 15th.

I am very lucky.  I have lots of clothes, toys, books and I even have my own room.  But I have been to Morocco where my Grandma Saadia lives.  Lots of the kids there don’t have very many things.  No toys or art stuff.  And not very many clothes to wear. Some kids smaller than me have to sell tissues on the streets for money.  It makes me feel sad.

I was surprised when my Daddy told me that hardly any poor Moroccan kids have pajamas.  I have lots and lots and lots of pajamas.  I wear a fresh pair every night.  But not Moroccan kids.  They just wear their school clothes when they sleep.

I don’t like bedtime very much.  I’d rather stay up and play or do fun things.  Sleeping is boring.  But I am happy that I have nice pajamas to wear.  I put them on and then I brush my teeth and then I go to bed.  I want Moroccan kids to have these things, too.

My birthday party is on August 11th this year. I am asking my guests to bring presents for kids in the countryside of Morocco instead of presents for me.  My mom asked me how many pairs of pajamas I’d like to collect.  I said 30.  Then I asked her how many poor kids there are in Morocco.  She said a few million.  Then I changed my mind. I would like to collect presents for at least 300 kids in Morocco.  Wouldn’t it be crazy if we got 3000?

If you would like to help you can send a package directly to my Grandma in Essaouira.  In the package, please put:

  • 1 pair of brand new pajamas (for hot weather or cool weather) for a school-aged girl or boy (size 5-12)
  • 1 new kids toothbrush (most kids don’t get to go to the dentist in Morocco)
  • 1 new tube of kids toothpaste

And take it to the post office and mail it to:

Saadia Sabour
Rue Chbanate No. 118
Essaouira, Morocco

tel: 0666 25 20 84

After my Grandma gets these packages, she will give them to my Uncle Omar.  He is a teacher in a poor school in the countryside.  If he gets lots and lots of pajamas, he will give them to other schools with kids who need things.  If you want to add some school supplies in the package for the kids, that would be nice, too.  But I really want lots of kids to get new pajamas this summer.

Please help my birthday wish come true!

Eden


~~

Thanks for reading and watching!  Please share this on Facebook, Tweet this link, and tell your friends and followers to do the same. I’d really like to hit Eden’s goal of 300 pajama packages.  Please leave a comment below if you plan on donating!  We’ll be giving regular updates as to how many packages are sent to Morocco for Eden’s Pajama Project.

Joèl
Eden’s Mom
Saadia’s Daughter in Law
Co-Owner of Saadia Organics Argan Oil

An Interview with Saadia

Saadia with a handful of fresh Argan fruit. Just south of Essaouira, Morocco.

 

Saadia Organics isn’t just a random name our company chose for itself. Saadia is the mother in law of co-owner, Joèl, and is also our Production Manager.

Here is a little interview with Saadia conducted and translated by her son, Greg. (Joèl’s husband).

How long have you been making Argan Oil?

I have being making Argan Oil since I was 15 or 16 years old.  I helped my mom make it for us to eat or for my father to sell in the market.

How do you, personally, use your Argan Oil?

I grew up using Argan Oil in my hair.  I’d put some through before washing it.  I still use it in my hair now.  I also use it on my skin.

What makes your Argan Oil so special?  It really is different than other brands available?

I make sure to get only the BEST quality Argan fruit pits from farms that have no goats.  I have to pay a lot more money for pits for our oil, but it’s worth it.  The kernels inside are always fresh.  They are from healthy trees.  If a goat is climbing all over a tree, branches break.  The tree is unhealthy.  How can you get healthy fruit from an unhealthy tree?  I am very picky about choosing my materials.  Also, my Argan Oil is made by hand.  No machines.  Machines can warm up the oil while it’s being made.  Argan Oil for beauty should not be made with any heat at all.  So yes, this oil is different.  Very different.  Most brands don’t really care about the farms where the fruit is picked from.  They don’t care about the freshness of the pits.  They just want a cheap price when they’re buying them.  They also want the oil to be made quickly.  So they use machines.  It takes us a long time to make a litre of oil for Saadia Organics, but it’s worth it.  The quality is the best.

What did you think when Joèl asked you about creating a company to sell your oil?

I though it was a great idea!  We want to share this special oil with others.  It’s so rare to be able to find Argan Oil that is of the best quality.

How has Saadia Organics made a difference in your day to day life?

It so good to know that you have your own income.  Women in Morocco feel proud when they are able to support themselves.  And I am very proud to now be able to support not only myself, but also the other women who work for Saadia Organics.  This company has meant a big change for them and their families .

Any plans on how you would like to spend your new income?

I plan to buy a different apartment in Essaouira.  My current building is not in great shape and in need of some big repairs.  I want to find a “new” place – probably outside of the medina – that is safe and secure.

As the company grows, your need for more people to help make the oil grows. What kind of women would you like to hire?

I would like to grow the company and hire a lot more women.  And I also would like to do after work programs that teach these women – as most of them have never had the chance to go to school.  I particularly want to hire single moms, single women, and women who are supporting their families.  It is not easy for a woman to support herself and her children in Morocco alone. 

What has been the biggest challenge in becoming the Production Manager for Saadia Organics?

For me?  None really!  As we get busier I will be able to hire more women.  But that won’t be difficult.  It’s easy to find women who are willing to work in a safe, private place for good wages. 

What is your ultimate dream for Saadia Organics?

I would be excited to see this become a famous, international company.  Known for the best quality Argan Oil available.

How else might we help the women of Morocco?

Know that buying this oil is really helping change our lives over here.  And I want to say thank you – it means a lot to them.  And to me. 

Saadia and Greg on an Argan farm – March 2011

A Review of Saadia Organics Argan Oil – by: Jennifer Madigan

Hi Joèl and Ainslie!

My son was suffering from a very bad rash while he was teething. I tried everything that the doctor recommended but nothing worked. I finally tried your awesome Argan Oil and the rash went away in TWO days. His skin looks awesome and I don’t have to worry about him ingesting the product because it is edible. Love, love your product!

Jennifer Madigan
L2 Accent Reduction Centre
www.l2accent.com

Jonah Madigan – rosy cheeked and rash free!

Review of Saadia Organics Argan Oil – by: Joyce Keller

Saadia and Joyce – Essaouira, March 2011

I guess I will start at the beginning about how I began using Saadia’s Argan Oil. My daughter, Joèl, called me one night in January 2011 and asked me if I would like to go to Morocco with her. It was a deal we couldn’t refuse. Since I had never been anywhere in Africa before, and with the encouragement from my husband, I decided to accept the chance of a lifetime to go.

The most exciting part for me was to meet Saadia, as what we had in common was the love for our granddaughter Eden. There was a language barrier between us, but we had no problem at all communicating with each other. We shared some great laughs together, even though we couldn’t speak the same language.

We soon found ourselves on a horse and buggy ride to the new store that had just opened in town. I bought a few things to bring home, and bought some gifts for Saadia.  I can honestly say that was the best shopping trip I have ever been on.

We spent the next couple of weeks together just being a family. I have to say, I loved her cooking. I have never had Moroccan food before, but couldn’t help indulging in her carefully made dishes.

Joyce, Joèl and Eden, in the medina in Essaouira, March 2011

I also fell in love with Essaouira. We were treated so well, and the people there couldn’t do enough for us. Our holiday went so fast, and soon it was time to leave. As a parting gift, Saadia presented me with a half litre of Argan Oil that she had made just for me.  I didn’t know too much about it at the time, other than what my daughter had told me. But I thought I would give it a try.

In the year 2000, I had gone through a very stressful time in my life. I found myself being the caretaker of my mom who was suffering with dementia. I was finding it hard to accept the changes that were happening. Needless to say, I aged very quickly in the 6 years to follow.  It really took a toll on me. And all of the tanning I did in my youth probably didn’t help either – it really seemed to catch up with me.

So I started using Saadia’s Argan Oil regularly as nothing else was helping. The skin on my cheeks was sagging, and the wrinkles were very noticeable. I used to compare my neck to a turkey’s neck.  And the vertical lines on my chest were that of an old woman. Needless to say, I would turn the other way when I would see someone I knew. That was not a nice feeling at all. I could sense the stares that I would get from old friends, knowing what they were thinking of me after I had aged so quickly.

I told Joèl I would give Saadia’s Argan Oil a review, but only an honest one. It has been over a year now that I have been using this liquid gold, as I like to call it. The difference in my skin is amazing. The skin on my face is now at least 80% better. I also used to have black heads on my nose and they have disappeared.  I always disliked my deep pores and they have also have been minimized a lot.  I would say by 90%!

I no longer have that turkey neck, and my chest is now nice and smooth. People can hardly believe the difference. I use the oil on my nails as well. I was always picking at the dry skin around my cuticles, but that doesn’t exist anymore. I use it in my coarse hair as an overnight treatment, and my hair is now soft and silky.

As I said, I would only write a review on this after I had some honest results. I noticed a big difference after 7 months of use.  Give it a try!

Review for Saadia Organics Argan Oil – by: Andrea Shillington

I carry my Argan Oil with me wherever I go! It’s a super healer and it works on all of my skin’s ailments including dry cuticles, ingrown hairs, dry skin patches, eczema…. you name it!

The most memorable time using this product was when I introduced it to my best friend the day before her wedding.  She had just had her eyebrows waxed and they ripped a layer of skin off leaving her brows with a red scab! Ack! We used this Argan Oil on it the night before her big day and by the next morning it had healed enough to apply make up over top of the redness. Phew!

I also love that this product is so natural you can eat it. It’s not made with anything but pure goodness. Not to mention that the women behind this miracle brand are helping the lives of Moroccan women. The product is amazing and the company is making a positive difference!

With gratitude,

Andrea Shillington
Founder & Owner
Brands for the People

http://www.brandsforthepeople.com

 

What is the Best Argan Oil?

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again. All brands of Argan Oil are not created equal. It’s sad, but true.

There are three things to look for as you decide on which brand of Argan Oil to spend your money on.

Beautiful Argan pits ready for cracking.

First, it needs to be authentic. If it’s not real Argan Oil, it’s not worth buying. There is a lot of junky stuff available that is trying to pass for Argan Oil. Some of these products contain as little Argan Oil as 2% or less.  Argan Oil is amazing, but if 98% of what’s in the bottle is something else? The Argan Oil’s best properties cannot be enjoyed or benefited from.

But what about brands that say “100% Pure Argan Oil” on the label?  Well, if you see this in Morocco, you can be pretty safe to guess that the oil is fake.  Much of what you can buy in the souq in the medina will be grossly diluted, or perhaps will just be pure sunflower oil instead.  (Sunflower oil is far cheaper than Argan Oil.) It’s not worth the money.

If you are in Morocco visiting an Argan Co-op you probably will be getting pure Argan Oil, but is it ethical?  Is it eco-friendly?  More on those things later.

As for what you can find online and in shops where you live, it will be a mixed bag.  Even if a brand hasn’t diluted their Argan Oil, many of them will have been manufactured by machines and will use chemical solvents to pull the oil out of the kernels of the Argan fruit.  Also, the oil might be deodorized.  That sounds like it might be a good thing if you aren’t a fan of pure, raw Argan Oil’s green, nutty scent!  However, it means heating the oil to 400 degrees for 30-60 minutes.  The nutrients are all but obliterated by that point.  It’s better to tolerate a scent that you don’t love for the few minutes it takes for the oil to sink in.

So with this in mind, how will you know that you are getting the best, most effective and most authentic Argan Oil on the market?

First, do your research.  If they make it hard for you to learn about their brand, perhaps they have something to hide?  If they do make information available, read their stories.  Are they transparent about where they get their oil from?  If they say from “a co-op”, that really isn’t good enough.  There has to be more to it than that.  Do they give information on the particular co-op that they use?  Is it cold-pressed?   Or deodorized?  Is it hand made?  Or machine made?  If it’s machine made, have chemical solvents been used?  Does the company seem intent on getting the best, quality Argan Oil out into the market, or are they just trying to make some fast cash?

At Saadia Organics, we know our oil is authentic.  Saadia and her relatives have been making it for themselves for decades, now they are making it for this company.  We have absolutely nothing to gain by selling fake or impure oil.  You’ll definitely see the difference in the results.  One woman we know ran out of our oil while in the United States and she picked up an expensive, high profile brand of Argan Oil in a high end store.  She said “It was nothing like yours!  It made me break out!  I really didn’t like it at all.”

So that’s #1.  Make sure it’s real!

As for #2, try to find a brand that is eco-friendly.  Argan trees are protected by UNESCO. They are endangered and the oil that can be gained from the fruit is a lucrative commodity.  We are so glad that it is now illegal to chop Argan trees down and use them for firewood.

However, with the demand for Argan Oil rising, harvesting is becoming more aggressive.  And once a farmer enjoys his payment for his Argan fruit, he most often invests in goats.  And those goats climb the Argan trees and eat the fruit.  There is no comparison between a tree that has been climbed by a herd of goats versus one that is on a goat-free farm.  The former is ugly with many branches broken, the latter is lush and beautiful – all branches in tact.

Does this tree look healthy and happy to you?

Saadia only buys fruit from goat-free farms for our brand.  She also only will buy from a farm that uses the most gentle of harvesting practices.  The fruit is not picked from the tree, but is picked off of the ground after it falls naturally.  (Don’t worry about cleanliness!  Argan Oil is made from the kernel from the inside of the pit of the fruit, so it doesn’t matter if the outer layer got a little dusty at one point.)

In addition, Saadia inherited a farm a few years back.  And last year she began to plant Argan trees on it to help with the survival of the species.  In October of 2012, my business partner Ainslie and I are going to Morocco to look at purchasing a mature Argan farm for our oil to exclusively be made from.  Then we can be sure that our materials will be secured and eco-friendly for years to come.

And finally, #3, the best brands of Argan Oil are ethical.  Argan Oil co-ops have been romanticized to high degree.  They seem to be these wonderful utopias where women in need are given work and education and ample money to support their families.  This might have been true at one time, but many of the co-ops are depressing little places.  Wages are as low as 5 Euro or 50 dirhams per day.  The women are made to work in a place that makes them visible to the curious eyes and cameras of tourists.  Moroccan women are modest by nature.  Their Muslim faith and culture makes them uncomfortable with being on display.

Our company prefers our workers to be able to do their hard labour in privacy.  When Saadia and her team get together, they make it fun.  They can talk and laugh freely and they don’t have to worry about having strangers watching them.  They also get to enjoy excellent wages.  Their hourly rate is higher than that of a man working in many professional jobs in Morocco.  That is something we are very proud of.

So there you have it friends!  Be sure that any Argan Oil you buy is Authentic, Eco-Friendly and Ethical!

Happy shopping!

joèl~