Between September 2021 and September 2022, we have supported organisations and projects who focus on female education and renewable energy – Practical Action and Room to Read.
Our donation to Practical Action will help with providing solutions to a series of climate crisis related problems faced by the farming sector in Rwanda. Mahama is Rwanda’s largest refugee camp and the land around the camp is shared with farmers from the local Rwandan community. These two neighbouring communities are finding farming increasingly difficult due to droughts and soil degradation, causing crops to fail.
Practical Action’s climate action-plan to combat these issues is based on three main solutions:
- Installing solar irrigation and training farmers and refugees to manage and maintain this process so they can plant their crops, even during dry spells.
- Introducing regenerative and sustainable farming techniques (such as increasing vegetation cover and organic fertilisers) to restore the ecosystem in the surrounding area of the camp.
- Improving access to markets, so farmers can sell crops in the refugee camp and to markets further afield, maximising their income.
Once these solutions are in place, the lead farmers will continue to coach other farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices, scaling up the solution to more communities, helping to improve food security and increase income generation.
Denyse Umubyeyi, Practical Action’s Country Director for Rwanda says: “By making solar irrigation accessible, farmers will be able to improve their harvests, feed themselves and make more money with crops that can survive droughts.”
Room to Read
Following the 2014 tsunami and the end of the civil war in 2019, Room to Read had notable success in improving the quality and accessibility of education for children in need across Sri Lanka. Not only this, after the terrorist attack in 2019 and the economic crisis that reached its peak in 2022, Room to Read have stepped in to help adolescent girls in Sri Lanka, from under-resourced communities, continue with their education despite the economic challenges.
The donation we have made to Room to Read will be used to support an initiative whereby a team of mentors provide remote life skills lessons along with essential coaching and counselling to help adolescent girls overcome hardships and remain engaged in their education.
Room to Read’s Sri Lanka Country Director, Shevanthi Jayasuriya, explains: “These young women need support more than ever and we are committed to keeping them focussed on learning so they acquire the skills they need to persevere, graduate from school and create a future that they choose.”
See Room to Read’s website to read about how this mentoring service has helped Chathurika.
Looking to the future
As we move into our 2022/2023 financial year, we are partnering with causes a little closer to home – The Long Table in Stroud and Seawilding in Scotland.
The Long Table
One third of all food grown and produced is never eaten. This was the spark that lit the fire and led to the creation of The Long Table; a community based, social enterprise based in our local community, just outside Stroud. Their aim is to make locally sourced, wholesome food available to everyone. Their founder, Tom Herbertm says, “We put food at the centre of the community. We want to make sure that everyone has access to great food and people to eat it with.”
The Long Table focuses on four main areas:
- Community resilience – strategically placing community food hubs and freezers around the community for people to pick-up home-cooked ready meals, paying what they can afford.
- Food resilience – shortening the distance between farm and plate and teaching people how to grow great food.
- Community Canteen – a long table at the centre of the room provides a place for people to congregate, eat great food and find companionship.
- Training and work opportunities – the Teenage Kitchen gives young people a foot up in pursuit of a career in catering.
At a time of climate emergency and a cost of living crisis, the goals of food resilience and creating a community that looks out for each other have never been more vital. That is why we have chosen to support The Long Table.
In May 2022, our Product and Sustainability Director, Jarrod Kyte, escorted a group of Fauna and Flora International supporters to look at the conservation work being undertaken by the Coastal Community Network on the west coast of Scotland. One of the projects they visited was a marine habitat restoration initiative called Seawilding, located on the peninsula of Craignish. The overarching goals of Seawilding are sequestering carbon, restoring lost biodiversity and creating green jobs, which they do through restoring seagrass beds and native oyster beds on the Argyll coast.
“I met with Philip Price, one of Seawilding’s dynamic founders and was immediately struck by his vision but also his pragmatism”, said Jarrod. “Here was an individual who could see the bigger picture but had a no-nonsense approach to getting things done.”
Seawilding have a target of restoring one million native oysters to the coastline of Argyll and are currently one-third of the way to achieving this goal. Their seagrass projects are also gathering momentum, trialling different methodologies of planting and creating sea grass nurseries to increase germination. They are now providing support and advice to other coastal community seagrass restoration projects, scaling up the success of their innovative techniques.
We are delighted to support a grass roots project that makes a positive difference to their local environment and community, but also has a global impact through the sequestration of blue carbon.
Supporting partners who are working towards the same goals as us is only part of our positive impact approach. We believe in the power of travel as a force for good. This has guided how we curate our holidays and we have chosen to focus on three pillars of sustainability: conservation, community and carbon. We fully acknowledge that travel creates harmful emissions, but we also believe the benefits of travel are far-reaching when done right. Read more about the progress we have made towards our sustainability goals in the last 12 months here.