Our mission is to empower the people of Mauritania, West Africa, who live in one of the most arid and impoverished regions in the world. Our work promotes the cultivation of the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss), one of the only plants known to thrive in this sub-Saharan environment as it exists today.
Our team regularly travels to Mauritania where we collaborate in a Neem tree planting program initiated in 2007 and centered upon an orchard in the southern village of Kaedi. Since the establishment of this orchard, a solar-powered water pump and well have been built, and over 2,000 Neem trees have been both planted within the orchard, and distributed locally to community members.
The communities we work with are learning to better use this resource, generating income through the harvesting of Neem components while improving both the health of their land and community members. Since Neem is capable of revitalizing the nutrient-stripped lands in the desert, sustainable crop development with multiple plants is now a possibility.
Among the Neem trees in the orchard, fruits and vegetables are planted to provide both a food source within the community as well as raw goods to sell in local markets. We have also recently added mango trees and are currently experimenting with Jatropha, another drought-resistant plant that is rich in oil for bio diesel.
Another aspect of this project is centered on teaching local soap-making workshops to women. These workshops provide people with skills that allow them to build small enterprises that further utilize Neem trees as a local natural resource within the African market. In light of government regulations, our JustNeem body care products must be produced in the United States in order to be sold here; however, we acquire our Neem raw materials exclusively from our Mauritanian partners.
We are constantly learning from this project, and are always looking for ways to expand its reach both locally and internationally. With each trip to Africa, we bring with us college students and volunteers to help teach soap-making workshops, experience the environment, and contribute new ideas.
It is our mission not only to increase customers’ awareness of the personal health benefits of our Neem products, but also to educate them about the region and communities that produce our Neem.
Now, with each purchase of a JustNeem product, consumers contribute to the economic development of these communities by funding further cultivation of this miracle tree where it is needed the most. In addition to purchasing our Neem supply from Mauritania, a portion of our sales (currently 10%) is reinvested in our collaborative orchard project.
“Delivering the Wonders of African Neem”