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Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2011

Peace Corps Volunteer Spotlight: Rahama Wright

Country of Service: Mali
Sector: Health
Time in Country: 2002-2004

As a first–generation Ghanaian American, Rahama Wright knew from a young age that she wanted to work in Africa. After graduating from SUNY Geneseo, she began her Peace Corps service as a health Volunteer in Mali, supporting a community health center and teaching porridge cooking demonstrations. As a secondary project, Rahama helped organize the first women–led shea butter cooperative that began with 12 members and now numbers 120.

After returning from her Peace Corps service, she relocated to Washington, D.C., where she now runs Shea Yeleen International, supporting Peace Corps Volunteers in organizing shea cooperatives and training women on quality shea production. Last year, she began the process of building the first shea production facility in Dio, where she served as a Volunteer.

Smithsonian FolkLife Festival: Three women from Ghana will be part of an exhibit sharing shea production knowledge and their stories as small scale producers with Shea Yeleen International. Rahama and the women will set up a shea butter production display and demonstrate how they produce shea butter, the difference between natural and unrefined shea butter, and the benefits of shea butter.

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Last updated Nov 20 2013