This is a photo of my new desk at the national office of Send A Cow in Uganda, where I'm lucky enough to be spending the next couple of weeks. It took five and a half minutes to upload, so I'll be picking my photos more wisely in future. I'm thinking more cows, fewer desks.
Send A Cow are one of the innocent foundation's partner organisations, and our funding helps them to help people out of poverty and hunger by teaching them a combination of essential life skills and sustainable farming techniques. I'm here on behalf of the innocent foundation to meet some of the families that have been helped by Send A Cow, and to help tell their stories.
It's day one of a two week trip, and as I write this I'm sitting at my new desk, drinking a cup of very milky tea, listening to the rain hammer down and occasional blasts of Wannabe by The Spice Girls through an open window. So far, not so different from home, but I have a feeling tomorrow will be a completely different story.
Our Craig and Rio are in Peru working with the Crees Foundation and they've managed to send us a little update. Read on to find out more.
So we made it. After 3 days of travelling we arrived in Salvacion, Peru where the foundation is supporting the Crees Foundation with their GROW project.
It's pretty remote here. We had to drive high up into the Andes before descending down into the lush green of the rainforest. We've seen some amazing sights, including monkeys, rare birds and as many species of butterfly you can shake a stick at.
We've spent the last couple of days visiting as many of the beneficiaries of the project as possible, and we've seen the incredible work that the farmers do here to protect the rainforest (putting many of us to shame in our efforts to save the planet). We've also been chatting to women about their biogardens and how having them has substantially improved the amount of fruit and veg their children are getting in their diets. 30-40% of children in Salvacion are malnourished, so the biogardens have really helped tackle this issue.
Right now the diet that these women and their families have, consists mainly of rice, meat and eggs, so we're spending the next couple of days teaching them how easy (not to mention, tasty) cooking with vegetables can be - in the hope that they'll start to include them in their daily diets. We'll be building a biogarden at a school down the road too, to help educate the local kids.
So adios for now. We'll have more of an update soon.
P.S. we're sending this from the middle of the rainforest. Technology these days - incredible.
From time to time, we like to visit some of our innocent foundation partners to say hello.
In the past, you may have seen stories from innocent people like Helen, JT, Emilie, Andrew, Clover and Emma, all of whom have visited foundation projects all over the world to share their skills and expertise where possible. Now, it’s our Craig’s turn. He heads off to Peru to work with the Crees Foundation this weekend and we’re really excited that someone from innocent is having the chance to work with this really remote project.
The innocent foundation agreed to support the GROW project set up by the Crees Foundation in 2010 for 3 years. The aim of the project is to boost local income and improve child and adult health by diverting activity away from environmentally damaging sources of income, and working with local people to develop family biogardens and community plots and promote agroforestry.
Since 2010, things have gone really well and produce is being grown in the biogardens (see photograph of Senora Rebeca Paccori in her biogarden below). Tasty, fresh veggies have really helped to improve diet and health, and the surplus crop can be sold for income. That’s where Craig will come in handy. Craig works in our commercial team selling our veg pots so he’ll be putting his skills to good use – working with the GROW project to investigate ways to market the surplus produce, so that the growers can make as much money as possible.
We’re hoping Craig will be able to send us an update from Peru* so watch this space for more.
*worry not, Craig, we know that’s probably easier said than done when you’re in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest.
For over twenty years, Send a Cow has been helping thousands of African families and orphans out of poverty, working with them to grow enough food to eat, sell their produce and develop small businesses that last. Send a Cow provides cows in Africa, but it’s more than that: it revives sustainable agriculture techniques that have been long forgotten
And, after a successful project in Uganda, the innocent foundation is now funding a new, three-year project in Kenya. Five new groups have been set up, covering 120 families and over 300 orphans, mostly in the west of Kenya. Training has been carried out in development values; sustainable, organic agriculture and basic skills for self-governance, mutual support and democratic working.
Send a Cow works closely with the families it supports, teaching them the skills they need to build new lives free from poverty and hunger and encouraging them to pass on the skills, seeds or livestock they’ve acquired to others in the community. This “Pass it On” principle not only builds stronger communities, it allows Send a Cow to help even more people to develop the skills, confidence and self-respect needed for a happy, healthy life.
If you'd like to know more about Send a Cow, click here.
Last month we blogged about the Innocent Foundation and how we use a portion of our profits to help build sustainable futures for some of the world’s poorest people.
One of the project partners we fund, Find Your Feet, are running a fun initiative throughout June called "Curry for Change". The aim is to help farmers fight hunger, like those we support in the village of Rahava in Northern India. The simple concept is Eat Curry, Save Lives.
Everyone loves a good curry, so visit the Curry For Change website to see how you can help build a future free from poverty by hosting your own curry night or eating out at an Indian restaurant. Sounds like a fair trade to us.
Help tackle poverty by hosting your own curry night.
We recently heard from Georgie, a member of the Find your Feet team, who visited Rahava Village to witness the impact of the work being done. She saw how the money used to set up the Vegetable Growers Association (VGA) had helped one lady, Usha, and her family.
Usha (far left) and her family
"Through the project I have received agricultural training. I am now producing and using organic pesticide and fertiliser which is saving me money and increasing the fertility of my soil. I have also learnt about the importance of multi-cropping. I now plant five crops using this method including traditional crops such as parwal and kundru. I used to have crops for only six months of the year and now I have crops all year round which I can sell. I can now earn as much as 500 rupees (£5.82) a day which is four times as much as I used to make. With this extra money I have been able to build a brick house for my family and send my children to school."
A Vegetable Growers Association supplied van, allowing farmers to transport crops for less.
So go on, poppadom (ahem) down to your nearest supermarket and get your Jalfrezi on. We'd love to hear what you've done to help.