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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.

the innocent sow and grow - how's the growing going?

As we mentioned last week, we’ve just brought the innocent sow and grow back to schools across the country to help 200,000 kids learn to love healthy food by growing their own in class. This week, we’d love to show you how their growing is going.

We’ve got these already impressive looking runner beans from Miss Ward’s Class at Pope John Paul II school in Ireland.

In Pine Class at St. Margarets decided to put their cress to good use by making it available in their school’s salad bar.

And Holme Valley School discovered that they had a rarely spotted ring of cress growing. Is this down to a rare astronomical event? Or some sort of woodland sprite? Or maybe they just sprinkled their seeds around the edge of the pot? Whatever the reason may be, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on it and let you know.

the smoothie's new clothes

Recently, we realised we hadn't updated our kids smoothie packaging in a long time. so, we decided to give it a bit of a makeover. Basically, we made it all colourful and put some really big fruit on it. Fancy.

 

While the new look has been a hit with most little ones, a lady called Jo got in touch to say that her autistic son, Zac, was struggling to adjust to the change. This was a big problem as our drinks had been the main source of fruit & veg in his diet. 

We wanted to help Jo and Zac, so we put our heads together and created a little pop-up book to explain things to him in an interactive way (which you can see in the photo above) . Jo got back to us to say that Zac loved the book, and was happily drinking our smoothies again. Absolute music to our ears.

We've since heard from a few parents of autistic children that their little ones are also finding it hard to adjust to the drinks' new look. If you think the book is something that could help them understand things a bit better, you can print out a copy from this pdf which also includes a few instruction on how to put it together.

We hope that helps but if you do have any more problems please drop us a message at hello@innocentdrinks.co.uk or call our bananaphone on 020 7993 3311

you think you know someone

You think you know your colleagues. You say hi to them in the morning. You chat about the news or the sport or the latest TV drama. Maybe you talk about something a bit more personal and, over time, you really get to know them. But, on the whole, they don’t often surprise you. You know them, they know you, everything carries on as normal.

You definitely don’t expect to one day find out that they’ve spent their time outside work carving miniature fruit sculptures for their pets.

And yet recently we’ve discovered that Paul does exactly that for his two tortoises, Gary and Alan, who he makes intricate presents for out of food. Such as these recreations of the London Olympics:

Or these carol singers at Christmas:

Or this tortoise friendly jubilee street party:


Each tortoise even has their own Facebook page (where there are more pictures to enjoy from Halloween to Easter). You can find Gary here and Alan here.

the innocent sow and grow 2017

Last year we launched our sow and grow campaign across the UK and helped over 100,000 kids learn to love healthy food by growing their own in school. This year we thought we’d go even further by doubling it to help 200,000 kids learn the fun of growing their own veg.

We’ve sent out growing pots, seeds and soil to over 6,500 schools across the UK and Ireland so kids across the country can get growing. By growing their own food, kids are much more likely to enjoy eating fruit & veg and continue eating healthily as they grow older.

You can get involved too. We’re also giving away 5000 seed packs to anyone who wants to start growing their own veg at home. Simply head here and fill in your details for a chance to win.

We’ll be popping back here pretty regularly to check in on how everyone’s going (it took all our willpower not to type ‘growing’ there), as well as giving you tips on how to get growing at home.