This blog is long overdue! I promised to provide more details and pictures about my company’s first ever initiative in India. My sincere apologies for the delay, but I hope you enjoy what I am about to share:
To get you up to speed, I co-founded a company called Seleste Lipsticks. These lipsticks are unlike any other you find in a beauty store! Seleste Lipsticks are handcrafted with natural and organic ingredients designed to make women feel and look beautiful. But I wanted Seleste to be more than just a lipstick company.
Simply put, I wanted to create Beauty With A Purpose.
I have always been an active advocate for education and the role it can play in empowering young girls. Thus, Seleste Lipsticks was reinvented as a social enterprise – a company focused on using its profits for the betterment of the society. Every year, a portion of Seleste profits will be used to educate and empower women.
Our first ever initiative took place this year on April 16th, in a small village in India. A small government funded school in the village of Gopineni Palem was in desperate need for help. Many children attending the school were severely weak and suffering from anemia. Anemia is a health condition that is resulted from lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is crucial for your body to function normally as it binds oxygen to the cells in our body. Anemia caused by iron deficiency can cause fatigue, loss of energy, dizziness and headaches. Along with this condition, the children were also malnourished and lacked many essential vitamins. Due to this, many students were missing school and getting behind in classes, especially girls! My grandparents informed me about their situation and requested to see if I can assist the children.
Many students were missing school and getting behind in classes, especially girls!
I was heart-broken when I heard their stories. Most of the students come from low income families who barely have enough income to eat three meals a day. I personally suffered from severe anemia due to iron deficiency during my first year in university. I had no energy to wake up in the morning, pay attention in lectures and study long hours. I went from graduating with 92% average to barely passing many of the engineering courses.
Living in Canada, I was fortunate to have access to free public health care. I was diagnosed immediately and prescribed the appropriate medication to recover my health. But the children in this village are not as fortunate! The nearest hospital is an hour commute. Most of the children cannot even afford the transport to get to the hospital let alone the medical assistance.
So I decided to use some of our profits from our sales to help the children at this school. With the help of my mom, I got in touch with a teacher at the school and informed him about my interest to send assistance to these children. He was absolutely thrilled with the idea!!
After endless phone calls and messages, we finally gathered the appropriate medications needed for the children to immediately increase their iron level. We didn’t stop at that! There were a lot of cases were the children and their parents were unaware of their health condition. With the help of the teacher, I got in touch with the local doctors and asked them to give a presentation about the symptoms of anemia and the measures they can take to maintain adequate health.
Ever heard the saying, kindness is contagious? Local grocery stores were so moved by our initiative that they also donated toiletries such as soap, shampoos etc to the children at the school. The children were full of smiles when they received the aid. God bless their hearts for smiling even through the greatest adversaries.
With the support of many volunteers and family, I was able to help 175 children get the medicines and food they needed to recover their health.
Getting access to basic education is a fundamental human right ! No child should ever be denied an opportunity to a better future. Through Seleste Lipsticks, I hope to create a world where there are no barricades for children to access education and thus a successful future.
A special thank you to the doctors and the teacher for taking their valuable time and helped make this event a huge success.