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Thoughts from category: ethics

finding your feet and currying for change

We had some cool visitors today. Savitri, Lynn and Hannah from Find Your Feet have been here for a meeting about the latest project that the innocent foundation has been funding. Here they are giving rather good pose with Kate, innocent foundation manager, and our Catherine. 

The innocent foundation and Find Your Feet are old friends: they’ve worked together for 10 years now, ever since the innocent foundation began in 2004. After the meeting Savitri, who heads up Find Your Feet in India, gave a talk updating us all on the project. It’s helping over 300 women in a remote area of Northern India to address the root causes of their poverty and empowering them to build secure futures for themselves and their families. Development is a long journey, as Savitri explained to us, but the results so far are hugely impressive.

Thanks for coming in, ladies, and for being brilliant. It was great to see you as always.

PS Keen to do your bit to help? How about hosting a Curry for Change evening with your friends or family? Or anyone really. Workmates or neighbours or those people you met on that internet forum for canal and barge enthusiasts. You can eat in or out, and just need to ask guests to make a donation, which will go to support the brilliant work that Find Your Feet do. Sign up online and you’ll receive a pack containing recipes and free spices from Natco Foods. Every pound you raise will be doubled by Natco, and the host who raises the most will win a masterclass with Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar. If even the thought of free spices doesn’t spur you into wanting to cook, you can head to a restaurant or get a takeaway, and ask everyone to thrown in a few extra quid for charity. What a curry on. 

£98,000 for a big yellow bear

You might remember that last year our co-founder Rich (on the left in dashing pink-purple trousers) led a BBC3 series called Be Your Own Boss, in which he tried to uncover and support a new wave of British entrepreneurs. 

At the very start of the series he gave 500 budding entrepreneurs £100 each (of his own money) and challenged them to come back a week later with a profit. They did, turning Rich's initial £ 50,000 investment into £98,000. 

Rich, along with Adam and Jon (his fellow co-founders) decided to donate the money to BBC Children In Need, which earnt us a visit from Pudsey Bear himself. We asked the boys to hold their cheques up nice and clearly but it turns out that being around a 7' giant yellow bear makes following simple instructions impossible. 

Our thanks go out to all of those people involved in raising the money, and to BBC Children in Need for doing such amazing work.

will you shower with me?

It's World Water Day today. We waste too much water. Wasting water isn't cool. Here are three ways you can do your bit and save a bit of water:

1. Don't shower for a day (enjoy the musty odour)

2. Take a shorter shower

3. Share a shower with someone (preferably someone you know)

world water day

 

homeward bound...

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How to try and sum up 14 pretty incredible days in a single blog post...

I've met over 50 rather special individuals who have benefited directly from our innocent Foundation

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Drunk about 20 cups of hot milk, straight from the yard

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Been given one jack fruit

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Had 2 delicious coconuts from the tree

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Been lucky enough to sit in on 3 of the monthly meetings run at local village level by disabled people for disabled people, where the big decisions get made.

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And almost been launched through the roof of 1 Indian bus (note to self: never, ever sit on the back row).

Trying to give a picture of all the people that I've met is a lot more difficult. I've been totally blown away by the sheer determination to drive change that I have witnessed this past fortnight- but one of the most striking examples I've seen is a man I met called Poundurai.

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ADD met Poundurai at a Federation meeting for disabled people that they attended about 5 years ago. He wasn't in a leadership role at the time, but they noticed his potential and began working with him more closely over the years to support the work that he was doing.

5 years on, and he now represents over 2300 disabled people in a block of over 40 villages in his area. He's the elected President of the Disability Development Trust, a co-ordinator of the governement disability programme, and Leader of the National Federation for the Blind, fighting tirelessly to make sure that disabled people get a fair deal. He and his team have helped more disabled people get bank loans than any other group in the area, they've taught parents of severely disabled children how to teach their children to wash and dress, and they've ensured that when things aren't right, they're addressed.

When I was there, we spoke to a lady whose postman had been skimming 500 rupees for himself off the government benefits that he was supposed to be delivering her in full each month. Apparently this is rather common.

From the look on Poundurai's face, I suspect the postman might think twice about it next time.

www.add.org.uk