Moroccan Argan oil and social change for women

Argan Oil: A Moroccan Craft
Argan Oil: A Moroccan Craft

My fourth annual visit to the women coop in Arazane

In late September, I traveled to Morocco to visit the Tirizite cooperative in Arazane for the fourth time in as many years. In addition to my support of the New York Women’s Foundation and of Turning Point for Women and Families, I try to help the cooperative Tirizite as much as I can as part of the KENZA International Beauty socially responsible mission.

My fourth annual visit to the women coop in Arazane
My fourth annual visit to the women coop in Arazane

After an 8hr bus ride from Casablanca to Agadir and another 2hr car drive, I arrived to Arazane. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot of Latifa’s house, I could hear the women singing a welcoming song in their Berber language. It brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart.

Every year the coop makes some progress. Latifa, the coop Director, informed me the coop has joined a union of cooperative in the Taroudant area (this will allow it to pool some resources, to share best practices, and to have a stronger market presence); has been certified NormaCert which guarantees the Argan oil origin and quality; successfully underwent an inspection by the Moroccan department of Health; and it will be showcased in a fair in Germany representing Moroccan products. These are all great news, but have expenses attached.

Cooperative Tirizite Arazane Morocco

On the other hand, new challenges always arise. I also learned the women had not been working for some time because the coop had run out of Argan nuts and it could not afford to buy anymore. Therefore, this year KENZA International Beauty donated the coop a lump sum to buy about 3,000 lb. of Argan nuts and to cover other expenses. This aid helps the coop provide jobs for the women so that they can be more productive and financially independent.

Argan oil Social change

My assistant and I spent the day with the women to learn more about their work and responsibilities at the cooperative. Here are two videos that we hope you will enjoy and see how the Argan oil process is not as easy as it seems. We value the hard work of all the women working in cooperatives in Morocco producing many products that we all love.

We are grateful for your continuous support, for being loyal to our brand: KENZA“be generously beautiful”™ and for allowing us to spread more LOVE-BEAUTY-GENEROSITY

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Human generosity

1040i Playground Project in Arazane
1040i Playground Project in Arazane

On my last visit to the cooperative in Arazane, Morocco in October, I was happy to see what 1040i, a great non profit organization in Oklahoma, had built for the children and the community.

Watch this video:

Visiting the Women Cooperative in Arazane, Morocco - Oct 2014
Visiting the Women Cooperative in Arazane, Morocco – Oct 2014

I am glad that other organizations from the United States are helping this community in Arazane.

Here more on their project:
Today’s mission was to begin building a playground for the children in the community of Arazane. Nothing like this has ever been built in this community, and the people are so excited to have a safe place for their children to play and grow up. The memories that will be made swinging on the swings with friends are waiting with anticipation. Today was only step one. The foundation has been laid, and our plan has been put into action. Tomorrow the playground will begin to take its shape.

Playground built by 1040i Non Profit Organization Arazane, Morocco
Playground built by 1040i Non Profit Organization
Arazane, Morocco
Playground built by 1040i Non Profit Organization Arazane, Morocco
Playground built by 1040i Non Profit Organization
Arazane, Morocco

Read their blog to see all the amazing, life changing projects they are involved in:

A full documentary on our third visit to the women cooperative in Arazane is coming soon. Stay connected and see how we helped them this year.

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KENZA International Beauty’s second visit to the women cooperative in Arazane, Morocco – April 2013

On the way to Arazane - The Argan forest
On the way to Arazane – The Argan forest

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since I first visited the women of the Tirizite cooperative in June 2012, a memorable experience I shared with all of you (see article here).

Since then, and thanks to your support, we have successfully launched our KENZA International Beauty enterprise to promote positive social change for women in the United States and Morocco. Thus, I felt it was time to return to the Tirizite cooperative to share our progress with the women and to make a donation.

After a final five hour drive from Ouarzazate, I arrived to Arazane where the lovely ladies welcomed us (I was with my son and a cousin this time) by singing traditional Berber songs.

Welcomed by the Cooperative Director
Welcomed by the Cooperative Director
From  Ouarzazate to Arazane.
From Ouarzazate to Arazane.
Welcome songs for us.
Welcome songs for us.

I was overwhelmed by many emotions: happy to see them again, touched by their hospitality, but also sad to see not much had changed for them since my first visit.

Still, they expressed gratitude, hope, and joy for our mutual success. We discussed our concerns, projects, and plans over some lovely food they prepared and I showed them the video and pictures we took during my first visit. They laughed, sang, danced, and for one short night they were able to forget their difficult lives.

Meeting with the women at the cooperative.
Meeting with the women at the cooperative.

We had Moroccan tea, tagine, couscous, and pastries at a dinner hosted by Latifa (the cooperative Director) with all of the women and their kids.

Dinner party at Women Cooperative in Arazane
Dinner party at Women Cooperative in Arazane

After the delicious meal, came the time to share some donations we brought from the US: money, new clothes for the women and their children, and t-shirts graciously donated by The New York Women’s Foundation that KENZA International Beauty also support (see articles here).

Gifts from the New York Women's Foundation.
Gifts from the New York Women’s Foundation.
Distributing the gifts
Distributing the gifts

At this time, the emotions filled the room quickly as I could see joy in their eyes. They all loved the gifts but, most of all, they loved the fact that others generous people cared about them, were willing to help them, and give them hope for a better future.

The tearful goodbyes and long hugs were touching as they insisted in giving me a beauty treatment with Argan oil the next day before my departure.

From nuts, kernels to Argan oil. At women cooperative in Arazane
From nuts, kernels to Argan oil. At women cooperative in Arazane

Video: Argan beauty treatment at the cooperative in Morocco

I was happy to have returned to Arazane; this visit motivates me to redouble my efforts to help these women and the women and girls in New York City with the help of all my generously beautiful friends.

KENZA International Beauty supports social change for Women in the US & Morocco
KENZA International Beauty supports social change for Women in the US & Morocco


“Generosity is giving more than you can, pride is taking less than you need”
– Khalil Gibran