Meet Mama Mawusi. She is part of a group of ten Mamas running the Seaweed Center cooperative in Paje - Zanzibar's east coast region. With the seaweed farming she earns four times as much the average local salary and provides for her family of four.
The Mamas go out daily to the seaweed planation during low tide and harvests the seaweed after about 2 months. Mama Mawusi comes from a long family tradition of seaweed farming as everyone else in the cooperative.
While seaweed is Zanzibar's second largest export, most of the time it's used in the kitchen. However at the Seaweed Center the seaweed is used for high-end beauty products which are sold both, locally and internationally.
The Mamas dry the seaweed and grind it. The dried seaweed gets mixed with spices and some local scents and finally gets transformed into soaps, scrubs and other organic beauty products.
Another Mama cuts, stamps and packages the soaps. Just last week an order from NYC was received which will keep the Mamas busy for a while: it's an order of 17.000 soaps!
Not only are the Mamas making a decent salary and are able to provide for their families and send their children to school, they also have shares in the company and benefit directly from the sales.