All Posts Archive

  • Yes, it is possible to make paper out of poo. Elephant poo to be exact. What’s even better is it’s possible to train and employ people living with disabilities to make this paper into crafty gifts, the income from which provides them with a decent wage. In fact, these elephant dung creations are just a fraction of the products and services pumped out by Neema Crafts in Tanzania. This social business has grown into a mini empire where, under one roof, every imaginable spin off project is pursued.

    Paper made out of poo

    Yes, it is possible to make paper out of poo. Elephant poo to be exact. What’s even better is it’s possible to train and employ people living with disabilities to make this paper into crafty gifts, the income from which provides them with a decent wage. In fact, these elephant dung creations are just a fraction of the products and services pumped out by Neema Crafts in Tanzania. This social business has grown into a mini empire where, under one roof, every imaginable spin off project is pursued.

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  • If you met Paul Joynson-Hicks (or ‘Hicksy’ as his mates call him), you wouldn’t believe that he’s heir to the title of ‘the Fifth Viscount, Lord Brentford’! But don’t be fooled by this potentially pompous name. Paul lives by the sea in Tanzania, takes photos for a living and is rumored to only wear shirts with a floral design (we can testify to that!). Having founded several fascinating social ventures across Uganda and Tanzania, Paul is also a bit of a legend!

    Not all Viscounts live in Castles

    If you met Paul Joynson-Hicks (or ‘Hicksy’ as his mates call him), you wouldn’t believe that he’s heir to the title of ‘the Fifth Viscount, Lord Brentford’! But don’t be fooled by this potentially pompous name. Paul lives by the sea in Tanzania, takes photos for a living and is rumored to only wear shirts with a floral design (we can testify to that!). Having founded several fascinating social ventures across Uganda and Tanzania, Paul is also a bit of a legend!

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  • “We don’t think outside the box in the NGO sector, we just piggyback on what works”, Rakesh told us. A Harvard research fellow, Rakesh Rajani is an intellectual mastermind who openly criticises commonplace approaches to development. “Lots of the official development stuff is crap, it’s not working”, he said candidly. Rakesh believes that real change comes when people stop looking to God, the government or the good-old international development community to solve all their problems, and start looking to themselves.

    Power to the People

    “We don’t think outside the box in the NGO sector, we just piggyback on what works”, Rakesh told us. A Harvard research fellow, Rakesh Rajani is an intellectual mastermind who openly criticises commonplace approaches to development. “Lots of the official development stuff is crap, it’s not working”, he said candidly. Rakesh believes that real change comes when people stop looking to God, the government or the good-old international development community to solve all their problems, and start looking to themselves.

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  • At the bottom of the Uluguru mountains in Tanzania, a team of African Giant Pouched Rats are being trained how to sniff out landmines.  If your first thought is, like us, that blowing up rats can’t be right, then panic not. These creatures, fondly known as ‘HeroRATs’, are not being sent on a suicide mission. They just sniff out the explosives and then we humans do the detonation job. Who ever knew rats were that clever?

    Giant rats to the rescue

    At the bottom of the Uluguru mountains in Tanzania, a team of African Giant Pouched Rats are being trained how to sniff out landmines. If your first thought is, like us, that blowing up rats can’t be right, then panic not. These creatures, fondly known as ‘HeroRATs’, are not being sent on a suicide mission. They just sniff out the explosives and then we humans do the detonation job. Who ever knew rats were that clever?

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  • Kitwe, a dusty industrial city in a region of North West Zambia known as ‘The Copper Belt’, isn’t much to look at.  At the end of a burnt out corridor in a half empty office block, Peter Sinkamba’s office is in keeping with its charmless surroundings.  If someone told you there was an internationally-acclaimed NGO working inside, you’d laugh out loud. But this set-up epitomised our experience of Peter – as one unlikely scenario unfolded, another would follow.

    Playboy Millionaire Turned Environmental Activist

    Kitwe, a dusty industrial city in a region of North West Zambia known as ‘The Copper Belt’, isn’t much to look at. At the end of a burnt out corridor in a half empty office block, Peter Sinkamba’s office is in keeping with its charmless surroundings. If someone told you there was an internationally-acclaimed NGO working inside, you’d laugh out loud. But this set-up epitomised our experience of Peter – as one unlikely scenario unfolded, another would follow.

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  • Just imagine if the line you found yourself humming after every Coca-Cola advert was no longer “Always the real thing” but “Always saving lives”.  Coca-Cola’s shameless marketers might not get away with it, but thanks to the work of Simon and Jane Berry, this strap line is not as farfetched as it might seem. Born out of an idea dreamt up over 25 years ago, ColaLife is delivering medical aid to rural communities in Zambia by utilising the excess space in Coca-Cola’s crates.

    Coca-Cola Saves Lives

    Just imagine if the line you found yourself humming after every Coca-Cola advert was no longer “Always the real thing” but “Always saving lives”. Coca-Cola’s shameless marketers might not get away with it, but thanks to the work of Simon and Jane Berry, this strap line is not as farfetched as it might seem. Born out of an idea dreamt up over 25 years ago, ColaLife is delivering medical aid to rural communities in Zambia by utilising the excess space in Coca-Cola’s crates.

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  • Kufunda Village sits on a rocky plot of family farmland just outside Harare, Zimbabwe’s bustling capital city. It could easily be mistaken for a collection of African mud huts, but look a little closer and you’ll see something out of the ordinary… a community of Zimbabweans brewing up herbal tinctures, growing organic veggies off arid land and planting trees in compost toilets. The brainchild of Marianne Knuth, Kufunda Village is a living demonstration of self-reliance. Together the community is learning how, instead of relying on others, they can rely on themselves.

    Much more than a backyard social experiment

    Kufunda Village sits on a rocky plot of family farmland just outside Harare, Zimbabwe’s bustling capital city. It could easily be mistaken for a collection of African mud huts, but look a little closer and you’ll see something out of the ordinary… a community of Zimbabweans brewing up herbal tinctures, growing organic veggies off arid land and planting trees in compost toilets. The brainchild of Marianne Knuth, Kufunda Village is a living demonstration of self-reliance. Together the community is learning how, instead of relying on others, they can rely on themselves.

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  • “Betty you know I love what you do, but just get up and go”, said a government sympathiser who admired Betty's work, “They are finding a way to get rid of you”. After numerous arrests, this was the last warning for Betty Makoni from Mugabe's not-so-merry men. Her crime? Empowering a movement of girls across Zimbabwe to stand up for their rights and speak out against the injustice of abuse.

    Exiled for empowering the abused girls of Zimbabwe

    “Betty you know I love what you do, but just get up and go”, said a government sympathiser who admired Betty's work, “They are finding a way to get rid of you”. After numerous arrests, this was the last warning for Betty Makoni from Mugabe's not-so-merry men. Her crime? Empowering a movement of girls across Zimbabwe to stand up for their rights and speak out against the injustice of abuse.

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  • “I can sell that,” were the first words of Trevor Field when he struck eyes on an ingenious water pump solution which he now uses to bring fresh water to thousands of communities across Africa. Never more animated than when his pitter-patter is in full swing, Trevor is a thoroughbred salesman who has proven that a sales mentality can accelerate social change.

    “I can sell that!”

    “I can sell that,” were the first words of Trevor Field when he struck eyes on an ingenious water pump solution which he now uses to bring fresh water to thousands of communities across Africa. Never more animated than when his pitter-patter is in full swing, Trevor is a thoroughbred salesman who has proven that a sales mentality can accelerate social change.

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  • “NGO’s are easy to set up and hard to kill off. That’s the definition of a cockroach. You see so many of them doing the same old thing, it makes me want to vomit! God, would one of you think of a fresh approach for doing something?”. Meet Charles Maisel. As controversial as he is kind hearted, this is one man whose view point shakes up charity thinking.

    “F**k that was innovative!”

    “NGO’s are easy to set up and hard to kill off. That’s the definition of a cockroach. You see so many of them doing the same old thing, it makes me want to vomit! God, would one of you think of a fresh approach for doing something?”. Meet Charles Maisel. As controversial as he is kind hearted, this is one man whose view point shakes up charity thinking.

    Continue Reading...