What is Afya?
In short, Afya is one big family. From the Kenyans who go out every day and wild harvest our Baobab pods, to the UK based admin people who help deliver it to your doorstep. Afya most importantly, is built around a strong family spirit with everyone involved working together towards a common goal; to promote health. Health and being healthy in body and spirit is at the core of our social business.
Afya means ‘health’ in Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya. This is reflected throughout Afya, from providing a super healthy product, to helping to support along the way, other families like ours who promote healthy principles.
What does the business mean to you?
Some time ago now, in my final year of university, I visited Kenya with my dad on a random trip to explore a new place. It was in a small makeshift school in a small village within the Kibera slum, that I experienced my most inspirational and important life experience to date. It began with an incredible musical performance by the children on homemade instruments, followed by a meal of steaming ugali and sakuma wiki (cooked maize dough and kale). It was cobbled together by some of the pupils and teachers to feed over 500 hungry mouths, including a spare plate for me. Within the walls of the school, nestled in the centre of a bustling, chaotic and somewhat dangerous urban slum, there was a powerful family spirit and atmosphere of genuine happiness. With the children’s big cheeky smiles all round and enthusiastic volunteer teachers making the best of the limited resources. This to me was health – a coming together of people to form one big family and promoting healthy minds, body’s and spirit.
It was this experience that drew me back to Kenya to live for the next 6 years of my life. And along the way, meet other inspirational people with similar ideas and spirit, who would come together and form Afya.
What makes Afya different to the rest of the market?
It is in this family spirit that we have been inspired to team up with and support the Kenya Society for the Protection of Animals. KSPCA work tirelessly with limited resources to protect all animals across Kenya and educate people on animal welfare. Their work includes everything from spaying and neutering campaigns for stray cats and dogs, to rescuing and treating animals that have been abused, and educating local farmers on the humane slaughter of livestock. Afya believes this is vital work and pledges it’s support by providing donations made possible through the sale of Afya Baobab Superfruit Powder.
As the Afya family includes everyone from the people who harvest the pods to the London based office team, this chain enables Afya to ensure an income is returned to the people involved at the very beginning of the process, and in turn provide an income to rural households.
The areas where our Baobab is wild harvested are some of the most fertile soils across Africa. Kenya is known for growing the best tea and coffee in the world, and the same is true for its Baobab.
Research looking at the nutritional content of Baobab across East, West and Southern Africa found that Baobab in East Africa is nutritionally superior. Kenya specifically, produces Baobab with the highest fibre, iron and manganese content of all African countries.