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Thoughts from category: the innocent foundation

From London to Peru

Our Craig and Rio are in Peru working with the Crees Foundation and they've managed to send us a little update. Read on to find out more.

london to peru map

So we made it. After 3 days of travelling we arrived in Salvacion, Peru where the foundation is supporting the Crees Foundation with their GROW project.

It's pretty remote here. We had to drive high up into the Andes before descending down into the lush green of the rainforest. We've seen some amazing sights, including monkeys, rare birds and as many species of butterfly you can shake a stick at.

We've spent the last couple of days visiting as many of the beneficiaries of the project as possible, and we've seen the incredible work that the farmers do here to protect the rainforest (putting many of us to shame in our efforts to save the planet). We've also been chatting to women about their biogardens and how having them has substantially improved the amount of fruit and veg their children are getting in their diets. 30-40% of children in Salvacion are malnourished, so the biogardens have really helped tackle this issue.

Right now the diet that these women and their families have, consists mainly of rice, meat and eggs, so we're spending the next couple of days teaching them how easy (not to mention, tasty) cooking with vegetables can be - in the hope that they'll start to include them in their daily diets. We'll be building a biogarden at a school down the road too, to help educate the local kids.

So adios for now. We'll have more of an update soon.

P.S. we're sending this from the middle of the rainforest. Technology these days - incredible.

Craig's trip to the Crees Foundation

From time to time, we like to visit some of our innocent foundation partners to say hello.

In the past, you may have seen stories from innocent people like Helen, JT, Emilie, Andrew, Clover and Emma, all of whom have visited foundation projects all over the world to share their skills and expertise where possible. Now, it’s our Craig’s turn. He heads off to Peru to work with the Crees Foundation this weekend and we’re really excited that someone from innocent is having the chance to work with this really remote project.

The innocent foundation agreed to support the GROW project set up by the Crees Foundation in 2010 for 3 years. The aim of the project is to boost local income and improve child and adult health by diverting activity away from environmentally damaging sources of income, and working with local people to develop family biogardens and community plots and promote agroforestry.

Since 2010, things have gone really well and produce is being grown in the biogardens (see photograph of Senora Rebeca Paccori in her biogarden below). Tasty, fresh veggies have really helped to improve diet and health, and the surplus crop can be sold for income. That’s where Craig will come in handy. Craig works in our commercial team selling our veg pots so he’ll be putting his skills to good use – working with the GROW project to investigate ways to market the surplus produce, so that the growers can make as much money as possible.

Senora rebeca paccori in her biogarden

 

We’re hoping Craig will be able to send us an update from Peru* so watch this space for more.

*worry not, Craig, we know that’s probably easier said than done when you’re in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest.

 

Say hello to Send a Cow

Feeding time, send a cow

 

For over twenty years, Send a Cow has been helping thousands of African families and orphans out of poverty, working with them to grow enough food to eat, sell their produce and develop small businesses that last. Send a Cow provides cows in Africa, but it’s more than that: it revives sustainable agriculture techniques that have been long forgotten

And, after a successful project in Uganda, the innocent foundation is now funding a new, three-year project in Kenya. Five new groups have been set up, covering 120 families and over 300 orphans, mostly in the west of Kenya. Training has been carried out in development values; sustainable, organic agriculture and basic skills for self-governance, mutual support and democratic working.

Send a Cow works closely with the families it supports, teaching them the skills they need to build new lives free from poverty and hunger and encouraging them to pass on the skills, seeds or livestock they’ve acquired to others in the community. This “Pass it On” principle not only builds stronger communities, it allows Send a Cow to help even more people to develop the skills, confidence and self-respect needed for a happy, healthy life.

If you'd like to know more about Send a Cow, click here

eat curry, save lives

                              curry for change logo

Last month we blogged about the Innocent Foundation and how we use a portion of our profits to help build sustainable futures for some of the world’s poorest people.

One of the project partners we fund, Find Your Feet, are running a fun initiative throughout June called "Curry for Change".  The aim is to help farmers fight hunger, like those we support in the village of Rahava in Northern India. The simple concept is Eat Curry, Save Lives.

Everyone loves a good curry, so visit the Curry For Change website to see how you can help build a future free from poverty by hosting your own curry night or eating out at an Indian restaurant. Sounds like a fair trade to us.

  curry evening  
Help tackle poverty by hosting your own curry night.

We recently heard from Georgie, a member of the Find your Feet team, who visited Rahava Village to witness the impact of the work being done. She saw how the money used to set up the Vegetable Growers Association (VGA) had helped one lady, Usha, and her family.

  Usha (far left) and her family

Usha said:

"Through the project I have received agricultural training. I am now producing and using organic pesticide and fertiliser which is saving me money and increasing the fertility of my soil. I have also learnt about the importance of multi-cropping. I now plant five crops using this method including traditional crops such as parwal and kundru. I used to have crops for only six months of the year and now I have crops all year round which I can sell. I can now earn as much as 500 rupees (£5.82) a day which is four times as much as I used to make. With this extra money I have been able to build a brick house for my family and send my children to school."

                      VGA vegetable fan
A Vegetable Growers Association supplied van, allowing farmers to transport crops for less.

So go on, poppadom (ahem) down to your nearest supermarket and get your Jalfrezi on. We'd love to hear what you've done to help.

the innocent foundation

innocent foundation

 

We are really proud of the innocent foundation which was set up as a registered charity in 2004. The company had supported community organisations from day one, but as profits grew it felt right to make the commitment to charity more formal.

  pragya village - snowed in for 7 months of the year

(Pragya, Indian Himalayas - residents are snowed in for 7 months of the year) 

How does it work?

The employees, shareholders, EBT and company of innocent drinks give 10% of profits to charity, the majority of which goes to the innocent foundation. In practice this means that the foundation gets a minimum donation of £250,000 each year and the donation gets bigger the bigger the company profit is.

Just like all charities there is a Board of Trustees who are responsible for the charity’s management. They decide how and where the money is spent and make sure the foundation is doing the right things. Our Trustees are the three founders of innocent plus the lovely Christina Archer who has lots of experience of working with the sort of projects we support and brings an external perspective to things. Alan, who also works for innocent, acts as Treasurer for the foundation.

find your feet project

(Vegetable growers, Project Find your Feet - we've been partners since 2004) 

Then we have a team of innocent staff who volunteer their time to keep everyone in touch with what's going on with the projects we support. There are 17 people involved this year.

Finally, there is a foundation guardian whose job is to make sure everything goes smoothly, find great projects to fund and manage the relationships with our amazing partner organisations.

How do we decide what to fund?

The foundation Trustees review the strategy each year and decide how we will work and what we will fund.

In 2012 the focus is on sustainable farming for a secure future, working in the developing countries where innocent sources fruit (we use the UN Human Development Index to decide where the greatest need is).

send a cow - one of our first projects

We like to keep things simple and for the time being the foundation is funding projects run by experts – UK and European based small and medium sized NGOs.

We are really proud of what has been achieved to date. We have had the opportunity to support over 40 projects so far and invested over £1.5 million in projects which have had an impact on over 360,000 lives.  This wouldn't have been possible without you, our drinkers.  Thank you.

We like our funding to be used for leverage where it can be, and our partners have used it to generate a total of almost £6.9 million, which has impacted 530,000 people’s lives.

There are some really exciting new projects coming up, and two of us from Fruit Towers will soon be preparing for visits.  Keep your eyes peeled as we're going to bring you more info in the coming months.