The “WHY” Behind Our Campaign
For the past 20 years Nioma Sadler, Traditional Medicinals Co-Owner, has been traveling to Traditional Medicinals source communities. In that time, she has built a deep and lasting relationships with communities around the world but her relationship with our senna farming community in Rajasthan, India is especially deep. And in 2006 she founded the nonprofit WomenServe to address gender inequities for women and girls in this community, starting with access to water.
Nioma’s goal is “equity in opportunity.”
She says, “Water is a scarce resource in the Thar desert. To support their family and livestock, women and girls walk up to 10 hours a day, carrying metal pails of water on their heads to bring home enough water for their families. Because they need to support this most basic of needs, girls are pulled out of school at a young age.
As the Goodwill Ambassador for Traditional Medicinals, I believe that every community has the innate ability to heal themselves, so I sat down with the with this community to build a relationship with them that would allow me to understand what resources they needed to build their own solutions. What came from every conversation I had was the need for water, the daily life of women and girls was bound by the capacity to provide water.
The community shared with me traditional rainwater harvesting techniques that used underground cisterns of stone or concrete, to collect and store rainwater. These Taankas provide year-round drinking water for humans and livestock, substantially reducing the time women and girls spend gathering water — allowing them to focus on education, health, and economic initiatives. Through the years we worked on more projects for the communities where the senna farmers lived, desilting community water ponds, building schools community resources centers, and supporting agricultural and economic training programs.
Traditional Medicinals sources from over 37 countries, and partners with many of these source communities to support their needs. I knew that it was time for our team focus on other communities beyond Rajasthan, but I knew I wasn’t ready to move away from this community. There was still so much work to be done. But I also didn’t want to take away from other communities that Traditional Medicinals works with — so, I founded WomenServe with the mission to unlock the potential of women and girls by increasing access to water, education, health, hygiene and economic empowerment.
And for the last 16 years we have continued to build on that work.”
So how can consumers help? We invite you to explore the WomenServe website, to learn more about this work, or visit the WomenServe store to shop items from the Thar Artisan Collective.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for helping to make a difference in our sourcing communities.
Want to learn more about how your purchase is helping to make a difference? Read our 2022 impact report here.
*Between 12/1/2023 and 4/30/2024, Traditional Medicinals will donate up to $25,000 CAD to WomenServe to support water programs in India.