Beeyo Maal's First AGM
The Annual General Meeting – A year of positive outcomes
On Thursday 21st December 2023 we celebrated the first anniversary of our cooperative Beeyo Maal. Hundreds of members from the harvesting community (land/tree owners, labourers and women sorters) attended the first Beeyo Maal Annual Conference organised and led by the women leaders of Beeyo Maal. Beeyo Maal cooperative members were given the opportunity to talk about their experience, opportunities and challenges since joining the cooperative. The conference also invited the Chairwoman of Togdheer Women Sorters, Burco.
Today we see the fruit of our positivity and resistance. We are in control of our lives. We have managed to make a huge change with little resources. With sales from very supportive buyers from the UK, US and New Zealand and donations from our gofundme page Fundraiser by Amina Souleiman : Empowering Women, Fighting Corruption: Somaliland (gofundme.com), we achieve the following:
- We paid for the Fair Wild application fees, and are looking forward to being Fair Wild certified soon.
- We contributed to Farxiya’s nursery in Siraadley to house rescued frankincense trees and food crops.
- We bought mobile phones and provided Internet access for women sorters.
- We paid the rent for centres and offices in six different locations for harvesting communities and women sorters to meet and empower each other.
- We furnished and equipped centres and offices.
- We bought binoculars for Fatima. Fatima is a young woman from the harvesting community in Siraadley, Sanaag region of Somaliland. Her family owns thousands of acres of land of frankincense trees and her duties include keeping an eye on the trees. The new binoculars will replace the old monocular that belonged to her great grandad.
- We contributed towards Beeyo Maal AGM costs.
- and most importantly; we achieved fair pay to harvesters and sorters of the frankincense resin!
This is a huge success that is made possible by the fact we took control of our lives.
We wouldn’t have done this without Vice News, The Fuller Project and The Guardian who freed us from the trap of the exploitative corporations. Thanks to exposure worldwide in these brave and amazing media outlets we halted the exploitative corporation’s operations in our country, and this has given us the opportunity to take back control of our livelihood.
There is always a worry that they will return with their dirty tactics of corruption, bribery, exploitation and abuse to destroy what we have built so far. However, this time the eyes of the world are on them. Therefore, we trust that the money will run out, as big corporations see that these practices don’t go unpunished.
We congratulate Vice News for receiving the Amy award for the documentary. Additionally, we hope Rachel Fobes from the fuller project will receive awards for her bravery and stunning work with us.
What’s next – How can you support the cause?
We invite you to support us in our struggle to stop these exploitative corporations, and build a positive future allowing us to produce and distribute the amazing Frankincense of our region, far and wide – maintaining quality, sustainability and fairness along the way.
Whether you are a buyer, investor, human rights activist, charity worker, environmentalist, journalist, writer, film maker, photographer or just someone who believes in justice; please stand with us and join our cause.
You can do this by:
- Buying resin and/or essential oil from Beeyo Maal.
- Sharing this story and by inviting your network to subscribe to our mailing list.
- Share our social media posts and invite friends to follow us to raise awareness.
- Becoming a distributor of our products in your country.
- Getting involved. Contact us with your ideas!
The only way we can stop these exploitative corporations is to make our stories heard. Please share our stories so that it reaches all corners of the world. We all have responsibilities to protect our environment and for a fairer world. Our livelihood is in danger, our ancient forest is disappearing and our majestic frankincense trees are on the brink of extinction. Today, many people are enjoying the benefits of frankincense and myrrh but the children of tomorrow may not know and only read it in history books. Our forefathers did everything in their powers to protect our God given forest and trees to pass down to the next generation, now it is our time to do the same.
All of us at Beeyo Maal are grateful for your readership, wishing you well and a Happy New Year.