We Find Out How Essence of Humanity is Making a Difference
What is Essence of Humanity?
We created Essence of Humanity (theessenceofhumanity.com) out of a desire to make a change. To create a successful business that was 100% invested in returning all surplus profits to funding streams that support the poorest and most vulnerable children around the world. Natural Skincare is our first range of products utilising ethically sourced native ingredients from New Zealand and Africa and providing enjoyment, health and happiness to the consumers. When you pick up your Essence of Humanity product it grounds you, reminding you of what you have and what you are contributing to….a social conscious movement
How did Essence of Humanity get started?
Experiences in Africa at the So They Can projects connected us all together. Cass and I always had a dream to create a successful business that could make money to “give away” and also connects us all with human kindness. We then connected with 2 amazingly successful Angel Investors who believe in us and in “giving back”.
Tell us about the communities you've been working with in Africa.
Cass has been working with communities in Kenya and Tanzania for the last 9 years through So They Can, the Not For Profit she established in 2009. She says the communities constantly provide her with emotional wealth. Teaching her to be generous, courageous and grateful for what she has got rather than focusing on what she does not have.
So They Can began after Cass visited an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Nakuru, Kenya where 7000 people were living on 16 acres of land as a result of the 2007 Kenyan election violence. So They Can focuses on education to break the poverty cycle in Africa. Across Kenya and Tanzania, So The Can supports over 10,000 women and children partnering with the local community and national government to alleviate poverty.
Since beginning in 2009, So They Can have created, in partnership with the communities we work with and their governments the following projects that support close to 10,000 children and their families:
In Kenya: Aberdare Ranges Primary School, educating 1080 children predominantly from the Pipeline internally displaced persons camp established as a result of the 2007 Kenyan election violence; Miti Mingi Children's Village providing a family, home and security for 120 orphaned and vulnerable children, all who attend Aberdare School; a Micro Finance Business School for Women; a medical clinic for the community of 20,000; Sew Women Can, providing employment for vulnerable teenage single mothers and a Farm. In Tanzania: a National Teachers' Training College; an Education Collaborative with 26 very poor rural schools; Farm and Bike shop social business.
Who are your charitable partners and what kind of work are you doing with them to alleviate poverty?
Essence of Humanity is 100% owned by a Charitable Trust which will select charities initially in both New Zealand and Africa for the distribution of surpluses once we achieve that goal. As with all start-up companies there is a period of investment before surpluses are made so the more consumers support us the quicker we will be able to start distributing to charities such as So They Can.
Tell us about your recyclable packing and the ingredients you are using in your skincare?
Being in Natural Skincare for over 15 years it’s a given that all packaging must be recyclable, using PET plastic and cardboard cartons. We all work remotely and as minimal as possible, saving on overhead costs.
There are amazing exotic ingredients found in New Zealand and Africa. Hidden gems or ingredients that are not mainstream yet, but will be. I love the idea of Mafura Butter it is a central part of Southern African domestic life and is renowned for its cosmetic and healing properties.
We located it through a Phyto-Trade Africa contact, but what an adventure getting it here. Lots of emails from Nyarai and Laster, payments to unknown bank accounts in Zimbabwe, delayed paperwork out of Africa, then Customs red tape in NZ, all of which was extremely new to us, but EOH has had such support from the industry and both our manufacturer and local ingredients supplier came to our rescue sorting out the red tape and having it delivered.
The other new ingredients in the Essence of Humanity products are Mongonogo, Kalahari Melon Seed Oi, Baobab (The Tree of Life) and Kigelia Extract, (the sausage tree) not only do they play a big role in the domestic life of Africa, these plants are strong, hardy and sustainable proving their efficacy, and I love their names.
From New Zealand, we have native Poroporo and Koromiko extracts, Flaxseed and Kiwi Seed oil and the fragrance is a beautiful natural fragrance called NZ Fresh/African Happy which is a blend of Violet, Raspberry, Cedar wood, Patchouli and Sandalwood to sooth, calm and balance.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
To create a ripple effect that hopefully flows through to the people who care, who understand the change that is needed in consumerism, if we spent our money on conscious consuming what an amazing difference we could make.