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Thoughts from category: the innocent foundation

bearing fruit

Every now and again we have a chatwich here at Fruit Towers. (A chatwich is a lunchtime chat accompanied by sandwiches.)

Anyway, today's chatwich was given by Charlotte Garratt from Care International. She's just come back from one of the projects that we support via the innocent foundation, working with indigenous tribes in Ecuador. Here are a few interesting facts that I picked up:

- Care is the world's third largest NGO. They were also at Fruitstock this year.

Promesa_fruitstock_1

- the innocent foundation is supporting Care on a project named PROMESA (promise), working with 300 families to help them to produce and sell local fruit and vegetables to generate income and support themselves. This involves practical stuff such as helping these families get their produce to the market, which in the past has been hindered by poor roads and transport in this remote area.

Promesa_farm

- in Guadelupe village the Shuar and Mestizo people are working together to preserve their traditional way of life, protect their human rights and lift themselves out of poverty. Charlotte told us that the Shuar and Mestizo concept of time is different to our own, in that they don't store things for the future. Not being naturally capitalist, the Shuar are vulnerable to exploitation by developers and illegal loggers.

Promesa_village

- fruit grown in the area includes tamarillos, guanabanas, cherimoyas, guayabas and naranjillas (a cross between a tomato and an orange).

Promesa_fruit

- the Shuar tribe is famous for the ancient practice of Tsantsa (head shrinking).

We'd probably better stop there. Anyway, it was a fine chatwich. Nice to know that the money you spend on our drinks ends up somewhere good.

doing good things

innocent donates 10% of its profits each year to charity, primarily to the innocent foundation, which is a separate registered charity we set up a couple of years ago.

The foundation in turn supports a number of community based projects and NGOs. One such organisation is called Find Your Feet. We've been working with them for 2 years and have just agreed a further 3 years funding from this year. Good news.

Savitri manages all their work on the ground in India and she came over for a visit the other day. She gave us an update on how the money that you spend on our drinks is being put to good use.

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Savitri at Fruit Towers

One thing Find Your Feet are doing is funding an organisation called Pepus – working with 30 villages and over 550 disadvantaged people in Uttar Pradesh, helping them to set up stable livelihoods and increase crop yields. Hundreds more people are benefiting from Pepus’ work in the villages to promote education and raise awareness of health related issues.

An example of someone we've helped is Babata. She's from one of five families living in Ramnagar village who came together to take a joint loan from Pepus to buy an irrigation pump and pay for labour costs. The pump has now been installed and the families have been trained in maintaining the equipment.

Before, the men from the five families had to migrate in search of work. However, they now plan to stay in the village as they are able to farm all year round and earn a good income.

Babata
Babata (left) and crops

Babata says “Before, we weren’t able to grow anything in this season because it was too dry. With our small plot of land, we could only grow one harvest of pulses a year. And that was it. Now, we can grow crops all year round and we have a variety – vegetables, paddy and fodder. We are now growing enough to sell part of our harvest to earn a profit.”

I don't know about you, but I feel genuinely good knowing that the money we make helps people's lives get a bit better. The fact that the men don't have to leave the village and so can stay at home with their families...that's a very very good thing.

Anyway, we'll carry on updating you with bits and pieces as we get them. In the mean time, large thanks to Savitri, pictured below with some of the villagers.

Savitri_shg
Savitri and the villagers

the magic of ebay

Ebay_1
I didn't know that ebay did this, but I guess lots of you might. Anyway, there's no harm in sharing. We got an email yesterday saying that someone has put a mobile phone up for auction and has chosen to donate 10% of the auction proceeds to the innocent foundation (our charity).

What a great thing. What a great person. Apparently it's all very easy - you just select the option to give a bit (or all) of the auction proceeds when entering details of your item. And there's a third party company called Missionfish who make it all possible.

Thank you ebay. Thank you Missionfish. And especially well done anonymous ebay seller.