October 2018: Investing in training and employment opportunities

On our last night in Nepal we ate at Sarangi restaurant in Kathmandu. The restaurant runs under the Sarangi Social Enterprise, set up by Australian Sandra Fiedeldy, and committed to empowering communities through partnership and social enterprise.  

The food was amazing and the kids had a great chat with the young waiter who was from Chitwan, where we’d just come from. We later found out from Sandra that the waiter was Sudesh and that he had been involved with the restaurant project since he was a boy.

As well as the restaurant, Sarangi Social Enterprise partners with local organisations to create training and employment opportunities, with fair pay and fair working conditions. Think manufacture of chef’s clothing and fabric shopping bags.

Our October ‘donation’ allows Sarangi Social Enterprise to purchase the fabric for 373 shopping bags, with profits from the bags sold to pay for further training and machines. Creating a sustainable business for the Nepalese people involved.

I use the term donation lightly, as the model employed by Sarangi favours an ‘investment’ over a ‘donation’. So the money is accepted as a one to five-year interest free loan.

Personally, when the loan is repaid, we intend on reinvesting it straight back into Sarangi if it’s still needed.

Find out more about Sarangi Social Enterprises.

February 2018: Give a man a rod

Probably fair to say a lot of us have heard the proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’

Too true, but our February donation goes to an organization that takes it one step further. Because sure it’s great to know how to fish, but honestly it’s still pretty useless if you don’t have a rod or a hook or any bait.

So the One Acre Fund, a program run by Evidence Action, provides smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa, not only with the knowledge and training they require but with access to the tools and resources that go along with that.

Why farmers? ‘When farmers prosper, their communities prosper too. Children who have enough food to eat attend school more often and have better performance. They’re also healthier and are less likely to suffer from stunting and other developmental delays. When farmers have extra income, they invest it in education, they build businesses in their communities, and they help neighbors in need. And when they practice sustainable farming techniques, the environment around them benefits as well, so that future generations can continue to grow nutritious food from the land.

These are some of the poorest farmers in the world. More than 50 million smallholder farmers in the regions serviced by the One Acre Fund are unable to grow enough food to feed their families.

Our February donation provides 23 families of six, with the tools to increase farming and food production and profits by 50 per cent in a single season.