I've been spending the past 2 days in Addis mainly wrting up my
recommendation on honey marketing, eating injera and tearing my
hair out because of internet bugs / power cuts - not very good or
new blogging material or photos.
However today we drove 45 minutes outside Addis to visit a
project the innocent foundation funded from 2007 to 2009,
appropriately called the Apple Project.
To cut a long story short, we supported the introduction of
apple trees in Ethiopia to help smallholder farmers diversify their
income by growing and selling apples: a rare, and therefore high
value crop here.
Here is Gonfar, the farmer we visited, proudly standing by his
apple trees (it was quite surreal seeing an apple orchard just
behind banana plants.) He's got about 85 of them now.
3 years ago, this was where he and his 9 chldren lived, a cute
but quite rustic little mud hat.
Thanks to the money he's made from selling his apples, and I'm
not joking here, he's built himself a brand new colourful house
just next to the old one.
By this point, I was completely in awe of this entrepreneur but
things didn't stop there.
He's also constructed a new latrine, which happens to be one of
the cleanest ones I've seen here.
When I went in, I realised the old exercise books (bottom right)
weren't meant for passing time on the loo: he'd even thought of toilet
He's also set up an ingenious mechanism to irrigate the land
whilst washing your hands so no water gets wasted.
This man had by now become my hero, and then I realised he was
officially a hero, as you can see from the medal in the bottom
The dashing young man with the sexy sunglasses eyeing up Barbie
is his eldest son who works at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis. Not
really my kind of place but I might go in and say hello if I walk
past on my daily evening wanders through the city.
Not only was I in awe of this man (and made everyone laugh by
constantly repeating 'this is A-MA-ZING' during the visit) but on a
more serious note, I felt really proud of being a member of the
innocent oundation. There are 225 other Gonfars in the region who
have all directly benefited from our grant and are selling more and
more apples each year. I felt nearly as proud as Gonfar in the
photo. Just missing the medal.
Now, back to the honey.