Image via WikipediaWhile we're not big on upping commercial enterprises, we will make exceptions for the exceptional. One such organization is Alaffia, which recently set up shop here in Olympia, WA, and is becoming known regionally for high quality products and a progressive business model.
A fair trade company that works in partnership with a women's cooperative in Togo, Africa, Alaffia is run by Olowo-n'djo Tchala and his wife Rose. Their story is told well at their spiffy website www.alaffia.com.
Along with great products made from the shea butter and other products they get from Togo, there's a return benefit. Alaffia folks gather and repair bicycles and send them to kids in Africa.
This isn't an ad. I won't tell you to buy their stuff, even I'm happy with several of their products that are lingering around our home. Naw, I just wanted to point out something good going on, a positive contribution being made (by an immigrant!) to both this country and his land of origin. Alaffia is making money, employing Americans, and making a difference. And maybe a few more stories like this in the mainstream media would help re-frame the current immigration debate.
Listen to a KAOS radio interview with founder Olowo-n'djo Tchala.
Watch a trailer for an upcoming documentary.