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Thoughts from May 2008

charles

andrew in malawi

This is Charles Hussain.

Charles

Charles is the chairman of the Chigwirizano juice co-op. This is quite unusual for Microloan projects as the Foundation tends to only work with women and Charles is quite clearly a fine figure of man. He got involved in the project because his wife is in the loan group and thought he could help. Charles' story is typical of many people in Malawi. His parents couldn't afford to keep him in school so he had to leave early and work on the land.

Charles has been a great source of information and help in the business planning process and has had some brilliant ideas, especially around the cooling of the product as we have no electricty or fridges at the factory. He also has great business awareness; for example, he sorted out the PR in the next blog. He's one example of the countless other people who are touched by Microloan's work. Since Charles is not directly a loan recipient, he works on the project in his spare time, juggling this with his six kids and farming. It's been so good to meet him and share in his passion for juice as well as meeting yet another hardcore fan of flowery shirts.

Andrew D

cooler than david schwimmer's beard

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It says so in Heat magazine. Our new big thickies are cooler than Gwyneth's shoes and various beards. What greater recommendation could you need?

(In case you need to know, uncool things to avoid at the moment are Rihanna's neck tattoo, bath oil, high waisted trousers and Britney's furry boots. Especially when all worn at the same time.)

save the children

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We sent some drinks over to Save The Children last week, and as part of their Save The Children week, they sold them and raised £400.

Save The Children have just launched an emergency appeal in response to the Burma cyclone. They've already got 500 people on the ground and tonnes and tonnes of food and other aid being delivered. So if you feel like donating your lunch money to some people who really need it, click here.

not tonight, Darling...

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Back in March, we were told that the government weren't going to be taking VAT off fruit juice and smoothies when Alistair Darling came out outside to wave his briefcase.

Just in case we hadn't got the message, they also said 'No' to our petition to drop this silly tax (as 22,045 of you who signed up will already know from the rather standard email No. 10, Downing Street sent last week)

Don't worry though. Like Madonna, we're not ready to chuck in the towel just yet. We've drafted a stiff letter to Mr. Darling, copying in Mr. Brown, to let them know just what we think of their response.

As ever, we'll keep you posted.