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Thoughts from category: innocent foundation

Becky's visit to Cambodia

In December, our Becky went on holiday to Cambodia. Here she is on holiday, wearing a nice hat.

As well as going over to Cambodia to catch some winter sun and try on local hats, she also paid a visit to one of the projects the innocent foundation is working on with ADD International.

ADD International are a UK based disability rights organisation  who work as a major ally to the global disability movement. They partner with disability activists in Africa and Asia to help them access the tools, resources and support they need to build powerful movements for change.

ADD International is currently working to help women with disabilities in Cambodia, through providing loans and grants for farming training as well as advising on income management and talking to families and communities about disabilities to increase understanding. People with disabilities in Cambodia are often the poorest of the poor and are highly discriminated against. Disability has its own stigma present in every society but in parts of Cambodia discrimination towards disabled people can be particularly oppressive. Disabled people are often considered weak, worthless and in some cases, subhuman. Women with disabilities are marginalised and excluded to an even higher extent, discriminated against for both their gender and their impairment.

As part of this project, disability activists supported by ADD International run self-help groups where women meet weekly to share tips and get help if they need it. Becky went along to one these meetings so she could listen to any problems that might be having and they could ask her a few questions. The local chief even turned up, and asked how people with disabilities are treated in the UK. They found it inspirational that disabled people are integrated into society, and hoped that that could become a reality for Cambodia one day.

After the meeting, Becky went to meet a lady called Kem De. During the Khmer Rouge regime, Kem De was injured and, as a result, she can’t walk or dress herself. Her husband left her after she sustained her injuries, so she now lives with her elderly mother. Before the project, Kem De would lie on her wooden bed, alone for most of the day, saying she felt like a burden to her family.

Now that she’s involved in the farming project, her mother does the physical farming much closer to home, with Kem De directing her and looking after their finances. She is now on the third cycle of pig rearing and has more money than she did. She’s also been made a role model for the project within her community, meaning that other people come to her for advice. She’s much more included in the community and is much happier and more empowered as a result.

This three-year project with ADD International is funded by the innocent foundation, whose main mission is to help hungry people around the world. Most of the women Becky met in Cambodia were living on one meal a day before the project but now, with the money they’re earning, they can afford to eat much better. The innocent foundation hopes to reach many more hungry people so that they can take control of their lives and access enough food for themselves and their families.

pia went to Africa

We’ve always wanted to leave things better than we find them. That’s why we give 10% of our profits charity every year. Most of that money goes straight to the innocent foundation which we set up to help hungry people around the world.

Each year we offer three people here in Fruit Towers a chance to leave their day jobs behind for a bit and work with the charities our foundation helps. Last year, Pia went to Uganda and Kenya to help Send a Cow and see the innocent foundation funding in action.

We've been supporting Send a Cow since 2004, helping them work with vulnerable farming families to equip them with the knowledge, skills and self-belief to change their lives for the better. We could go on, but we’ll let Pia tell you about it herself:

We can only donate to the foundation because you lot buy the things we make. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for making it all possible.

Nepal - a year on

Since innocent started, we’ve had a mission to leave things better than we find them. We know that, as a business, we have a responsibility to do right by the planet and the people in it. So, while we’re not perfect, we go some way towards helping the people that need it most by giving 10% of our profits to charity. Most of that money goes to the innocent foundation which exists to help hungry people, and has so far funded 65 projects around the world.

A year ago today the innocent foundation donated £50,000 to Oxfam to help people affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Nearly 30,000 people were injured or killed, and hundreds of thousands more were left homeless and cut off from supplies. The money the foundation donated meant that 3,128 households could buy seeds and tools to help them restart the kitchen gardens and farms that had been destroyed. The money also helped local traders and store owners get back on their feet.

Photo credit: maheshwor rijal/oxfam

Photo credit: Maheshwor Rijal/Oxfam

The innocent foundation’s donation to Oxfam was our first project in Nepal, but it won’t be our last. The foundation has just begun a longer term project in the remote Himalayan mountain villages of Nepal working with a charity called PHASE Worldwide. The foundation’s project with PHASE is focused in Mugu in the Midwestern region of Nepal (which is a 2 day drive followed by several days walking from the nearest town). During winter and monsoon months the road is often cut off due to snow or landslides.

Phase worldwide - nepal

The project will help the people of Mugu to grow more food, and provide them with health education for the next 3 years. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on its progress.

We’d just like to finish by saying that we can only donate money to the innocent foundation because you guys buy the things we make. We literally couldn’t do it without you. So thank you for making this possible.

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.