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Thoughts from category: the innocent foundation

yam must read this

Feedback Madagascar is one of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that we support.The project we support promotes yam farming with training on yam cultivation techniques, the creation of demonstration plots and household plantations. Working with twelve community forest management associations, over 250 people are already producing and yams are taking off.

Famous for providing the fuel for Usain Bolt’s sprinting successes, the yam is commonly confused as a sweet potato (they are un-related), they are similar in properties.

“Anyone for yams?”

Yams

The project is based around the Malagasy rainforest, where people are reliant on inadequate rice and cassava harvests; the cultivation of yams reduces the impact of the annual famine and dramatically ups people’s nutritional intake.

And yams are fun. To raise awareness of yams and their benefits, alongside rainforest conservation, there are now yam festivals. Associations take stands, organise competitions, cook offs, speeches and full-on carnival singing and dancing.

Feedback madagascar

As part of the project, training on culinary techniques is included to make the most of the yam.

Here are 6 of their suggested recipes:

  1. Yam Pudding
  2. Yam Crisps
  3. Yam Pizza
  4. Yam Soup
  5. Yam salad
  6. Baked Yam.

Here in Fruit Towers, we think they all sound delicious and the soup sounds like a great defence against winter.

If you fancy trying your hand at Yam Pudding, here is an embellished Western version:

Ingredients:

800g grated uncooked yams

300g milk

120g golden syrup

3 eggs

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

120g brown sugar

1tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 160˚c
  • Grease baking dish (approx 8”x8”x2”)
  • Combine all ingredients
  • Bake until a knife comes out of mixture clean, approx 1 hour.
  • Serve warm with cream or ice cream

For more information on Feedback Madagascar, please visit our foundations page: www.innocentfoundation.org/ or their own website: www.feedbackmadagascar.org

walking for water...

Did you know 80% of the Indian population live on less than $2 a day?

Jeevika Trust (http://www.jeevika.org.uk/) is one of the amazing charities the innocent foundation supports to fight poverty in rural India. Jeevika Trust has touched more than 100,000 lives over the last decade and continues to work with people on the margins of rural society – low-caste and tribal people, especially women – to help them build and sustain their individual, family and community livelihoods.

Last week, Jeevika Trust organised a sponsored walk to raise money to support their water projects. This is the event Geraldine and her boyfriend took part in. The route is roughly 6 miles (10 km) long, which was harder than she thought it would be. Incredibly, millions of women and children walk this distance every single day, sometimes twice a day, to find and carry back water for their family.

To start the walk, they were warmly welcomed by Rosemary and her boyfriend Matt in Hampton Wick. Rosemary discovered India during her gap year, teaching English and drama classes to children and fell in love with the country. She is now Jeevika Trust’s Communications and Fundraising Officer.

Rosemary and Matt - Jeevika Trust

After a quick chat with Rosemary and Matt, they were off to Bushy Park. It lies North of Hampton court Palace and is full of stags and deers roaming freely so they made friends on the way…

Stag in Bushy park - Jeevika Trust
The route itself offered diverse landscapes, lovely paths, bubbling steams, and kept them entertained watching old and young alike on sport pitches and cycle paths. The last part of the walk was along the Thames…

Walking along the Thames - Jeevika Trust
Ending in a private garden on the river, where they over-indulged with tea and lemon drizzle cakes. They enjoyed meeting with Andrew (on the picture below with Rosemary), Jeevika Trust Director, to learn more about their projects in India: http://www.jeevika.org.uk/whatwedo/CurrentProjects.htm.

Andrew and Rosemary - Jeevika Trust
So a big thanks to Jeevika Trust for organising such a great event. May they continue the fantastic work they do in India.

homeward bound...

Foundation_blog_emma

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

power to the people

Foundation_blog_emma
As some of you will know, I'm currently in India working with one our innocent foundation partners, disability charity ADD. I've been here for 10 days now, and it's been quite the adventure.


We had our innocent foundation day yesterday so I sent across a little video across of some of the things I've seen and learnt this week, which we thought we'd share.

Pop the kettle on, stick the headphones in, and learn about some amazing people. What they are doing is truely remarkable.

India bound...

Every year, innocent gives one or two lucky employees the opportunity to go and work with one of the charities we support through our foundation, using some of our work skills. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while may remember tales from Andrew in Malawi, JT in Kenya, or our Emilie in Ethopia.

Em in Ethiopia
Emilie in Ethiopia showing the bees who was boss

On Friday, I'll be following in their illustrious footsteps, lugging my camera and a notebook with me, as I head to India to work with disability charity ADD gathering materials for their fundraising and training needs. I'll be penning a few posts while I'm away but it sees only right that I do some introductions first...

ADD supports disabled people in 11 different countries across Africa and Asia to challenge disability discrimination. Their vision is to create a world where disabled people can enjoy their rights and participate in society as fully as they choose to, and we've been supporting the work that they do in India since April 2009.

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Three quarters of the disabled population in India live in rural communities, and less than 2% receive any form of vocational training. ADD India works to educate people in the skills they need to earn a livelihood, and offers financial support through microloans- these are frequently used to boost incomes in India, but disabled people are generally excluded from these schemes.

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The project that we're funding has so far delivered loans to over 200 people, enabling them to gain independence through their livelihood, and to participate more fully in the communities in which they live. Over the next few weeks, I'll be meeting a few of the people who have benefited from these loans, and be able to see first hand the impact that it has had not only on their lives, but on the lives of their families, who are often marginalised as well.

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So there you are. Introductions done. I'd definitely recommend that you get to know them a bit better here, but if not, I'll be in touch shortly with some more info from the other side of the world.