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Located in the remote region of Northern Benin, Batammaba women in the Atacora Mountains produce bracelets, oils, and baobab products within their co-operatively owned facilities. With few other economic alternatives, their fair-trade partnership through Atacora Essentials ensures access to costly health care and education. This partnership helps persevere their cultural heritage and traditional handcrafts as well as their way of life.
The collective mission of Atacora Essential is tied directly to the clan and village. Their mission is to aid in the fight against poverty and inequality in the region by supporting locally designed programs in the fields of education, health care, and environmental sustainability.
The founder and president of Atacora Essential is David Goldman, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Benin from 1992-1994. But, as Goldman tells in his blog, the work and benefits really go back to the women in the co-op, women like Mama Colette, who is the President of Atacora's Women's Producer Co-op.
Through their efforts, these women earn above-market income and are direct stakeholders in the success of the business. You can find their products here.
More On Benin
Officially known as the Republic of Benin, this country is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso, and Niger to the north.