Interview with Dr Auma Obama
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Organic raw materials, sustainable sourcing and ecological management are key issues of the organic and natural cosmetics industry. The industry is gathering for the 10th time for Vivaness, the International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care, from 10 – 13 February 2016. Dr Auma Obama, the half-sister of the US President Barack Obama is committed to ecological, economic and social sustainability and will give the keynote speech at the official opening ceremony of BioFach and Vivaness, on 10 February 2016 from 13:30. Vivaness talked to Dr Auma Obama before the trade fair about her personal commitment and her core message.
VIVANESS: Dr Obama, you have campaigned for children and teenagers, in particular, with a wide variety of relief organisations over the course of your life; you are successful with your own foundation, the Sauti Kuu Foundation; and you are fighting for more sustainability. How would you describe your main concerns yourself?
Dr Auma Obama: The focus at Sauti Kuu is individual responsibility. We show children and teenagers that they can take their lives into their own hands. The aim is for the young people to understand that they have to create their own destiny. They learn to recognise their potential and are built up in terms of their character and personality, so that they can confidently take part in decisions which determine their lives. It is a matter of discarding the victim role in which many see themselves.
Why are organic farming practices and sustainable raw materials sourcing important for future generations?
Both are healthy and important for people and the soil. The soil remains fruitful for longer and the people have a healthier diet. This enables us to secure a living environment for future generations.
What benefits does organic farming have for the disadvantaged regions of this earth and with regard to social sustainability?
Organic farming is the best farming practice in disadvantaged regions. It is generally smallholder families who are engaged in farming here. They cannot afford expensive fertilisers or genetically modified seeds. They are, therefore – and fortunately – dependent on the original manner of cultivating their fields. From their revenue, they can put aside some of the seeds, which thus never run out, and always take care of the next season. In order to guarantee social sustainability, it is necessary to help them to increase their yields and revenue through the use of compost and generally better know-how.
What message will you have for the organic and natural cosmetics industry when you meet it in February at BioFach and Vivaness 2016 in Nuremberg?
I am looking forward to the day on which organic and natural cosmetics will be part of daily life for everyone.
You are the guest of honour at the 10th anniversary of VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care. What relationship do you personally have with the natural cosmetics sector and its values?
When I use cosmetics, I prefer natural cosmetics. I sleep more peacefully when I know that I am not exposing my skin and my body to any synthetic chemicals.
A curriculum vitae and other information on Dr Auma Obama can be found at: www.aumaobama.de