Thoughts from category: the innocent foundation

a jaunt through the city

On Monday morning, Ben H and I ran to work.

10 kilometres to be precise.

We started at St. Paul's. We gave the Queen a wave at Buckingham Palace. We blazed along with the wind in our hair and nothing to stop us - aside from 200 traffic lights, London's entire workforce on foot, and a scenic loo break two thirds in when Ben got caught short.


Our one man technological guru, Kamal, accompanied us by bike to record the whole thing and update the whole office live as it happened.

Why did we do this?

We did it because 10km is the distance that people in the village of Ajiek in Sudan used to have to walk, every day, to get to a borehole for the water that they needed to live. And whilst we chugged along the Strand, struggling with the weight of the Oyster cards in our pockets (unused, might it be noted), these formidable ladies used to carry up to 21 litres of water for the 10km walk back.

For those who aren't sure how heavy 21 litres is, here's a pictorial representation:

10 07 26 the race start

Ben and I ran in to celebrate the fact that this is no longer the case for these ladies.

Working alongside an incredible NGO called FARM Africa, our innocent foundation has funded the development of a borehole in the village.

This means these women now have an extra 6 hours every day to sell their crops and generate a secure income for their families.

Their children no longer have to stay at home alone waiting for food to be cooked on Mum's return, and they are now able to wash more than once every 10 days because there is sufficient water to do so.

In simple maths, water = the ability to make life changing choices.

Here's the little video that Kamal made about our adventure:

A massive thank you to FARM Africa.

And a huge thank you to all of you who have bought our bottles, cartons, pots and wedges over the years.

In doing so, you've been a part of changing people's lives.

foundation day

Since being set up in 2004, the innocent foundation has donated £1.3m and helped improve the lives of over 500,000 people across the world through the various projects it supports.


As it's such a brilliant thing, Linda and the foundation guardians thought it was high time there was an dedicared day in the Fruit Towers calendar dedicated to the foundation to remind everyone here of all the good stuff the innocent foundation does.


So the 21st July is officially the first ever innocent foundation day.

10 07 26 FoundationOS

To mark the occasion, we had special smoothies in the big fridge.

10 07 26 PAss the potato 2

Everyone came to work dressed in green and at lunchtime, Helen from Practical Action came in to talk about the eco loo project that the foundation has helped support in Peru.

As well as improving sanitation and not polluting drinking water, eco loos mean that waste produced can be used to fertilise crops.

Eco loo

So the loo in reception was turned into 'Pootato Loo' for the day (complete with more Peruvian tunes, hessian sacking and a grow bag full of spuds as these are the main crops being grown from the eco loo waste).

10 07 26 potato loo

After the talk, there was a quick game of Pass the Potato with woolly llama finger puppet prizes

10 07 26 pass the potato

And throughout the day, there's been a whole lot of interesting exercises which we'll tell you a bit more about tomorrow once we've finished editing the videos.


So, as they say on the moon, watch this space...

eco loo

We all know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night, needing the loo, not wanting to leave your warm bed and head downstairs to a cold bathroom.

So imagine there are no lights, it's -14°C and instead of quickly nipping down the stairs, you have a 20 minute trek along a rocky track ahead to your toilet - which happens to be a riverbank.

Family - eco loo

Oh and that same riverbank feeds into the river where you get all your drinking water, wash your clothes and so on.

Well, for Doris and hundreds of other families in the high Andes of Peru, that's how it is.

However, thanks to the work of the innocent foundation and Practical Action, that is all about to change.

My loo

Practical Action are introducing 300 'eco loos' to families living at 5000m (about 4 times as high as Ben Nevis). These dry toilets are ideal in an area where water is scarce.

Helen from Practical Action has just got back from visiting Peru and has been blogging about the eco loos here.


As well as improving sanitation conditions and not polluting drinking water supplies, these new loos mean that the waste produced can be used to fertilise crops.

Now that's what I call recycling.

linda's hats of the world: part 2

Last year, Linda (who looks after the innocent foundation) knitted a myriad of hats for the Big Knit to represent all the countries in the world where the foundation supports projects.


For this years A/W 09 collection however, Linda has outknitted herself by whipping up hats to represent the type of projects the foundation supports.


From watering cans and garden tools (to represent projects like rainwater harvesting and sustainable agriculture training)


Through to fruit, veg and bees to represent crop production, income generation and setting up honey farms in Africa.


Hats off to Linda again for another stunning collection.

The deadline for all hats for this year's Big Knit is this Friday 30th October. So if you're sitting on a hoarde of hats or are just adding the finishing touches to your bebobbled creations, make sure to get them in the post quick sharp to hit this year's target.

excellent development scoops another award

Veg plot next to sand dam

The innocent foundation has been supporting Excellent Development on a three year programme helping community groups in rural Kenya to develop water and soil conservation projects. Last year Graham took time out from his spreadsheets to visit the innocent-supported project in Meka and earlier this year JT swapped Shepherd's Bush for Kola to set up a computer network for the ED office in Kenya.

As the programme drew to end it's been really exciting to look back and see that the Meka community group had smashed the targets they set at the beginning of the project - we were expecting them to build 5 sand dams, plant 9,000 trees and dig some terracing, but they have managed to build 6 dams, plant over 12,000 trees and dig nearly 18km of terracing. Life in rural Kenya revolves around the availability of water so the lasting impact of these achievements will continue to benefit the community for years to come.

Dorcas Nzioki - Miamba Mitamboni 4

And as if that wasn't enough Excellent Development has just been recognised at the Third Sector Excellence Awards by winning the "Small Charity, Big Achiever" category. The judges were impressed by how much has been accomplished since the organisation was founded in 2002 and the support given helping communities to build sustainable futures.

Well done from everyone at innocent.

(This blog post was written by our Graham).