For 5 years Novicell has been supporting the Danish association Eventure and their development projects. For 5 years we have been part of an inspiring journey as we have watched the association's work materialise. Project Zambia has grown from being "simply" an after school programme for local young people to now including a successful nursery for young children from the neighbouring village and a Living Library, which brings play and learning to the local areas.
It is exciting to be able to follow this project closely and to see the impact it has and the opportunities it brings children, young people and adults alike in a remote area of northern Zambia.
I visited Projekt Zambia in both 2015 and 2016, and both visits were positive experiences. That's why I didn't hesitate to go over and see the latest development in Eventure and so recently made the journey across the Atlantic together with my travel companions. The new project is in Nicaragua in a stunning location that lies right down to Lago Apanas. Just like the project in Zambia, this new project will branch out to the local community with a focus on developing through sustainable initiatives.
Every year, an entrepreneur and a business school will offer 24 young people a development year, which will prepare them to, for example, start companies, process fruit and vegetables from the area and sell it in their own shops. As well as the school, the project in Nicaragua will also have a Community Care programme, which works with the neighbours. Here volunteers meet with the local children through sports activities, for fun and exercise. The programme has been planned together with the local school and a mutual language exchange is one of the positive outcomes.
The third branch of Project Nicaragua is about coffee - and sustainability. Because the area is brimming with coffee beans. But local farmers aren't making the most of their products as these are often bought up by large national companies for far too little money. Eventure wants to help farmers convert to biodynamic production over a number of years. This will enable farmers to demand more money for their beans - which can also be husked and roasted on Eventure's machines.
The meeting with the wonderful coffee farmers gave me an idea: Why don't we (Novicell) buy quality coffee directly from the farmers, pack them in locally produced wooden crates and give them to our customers as Christmas presents (spoiler)? I think this is a great way of linking our business with our commitment to Eventure's projects. I spent a couple of days at the project, and it was exciting to see and hear the thoughts behind it. It looks like Glenn and his family have once again started a project that will make a tangible difference in the local area. It's a journey I look forward to being a part of.
One of the most important things to me following our long collaboration with Eventure, is that we are present in the projects - that we are part of them. We don't just want to be a logo on a website. That's also why we have been sending groups of colleagues to Zambia in recent years.
In 2016, the job was to set up an IT department with tablets, computers, servers etc. at the after school club and in 2017, it was the internet project that needed developing. 2018 will be no exception and this year we are actually planning two trips - one to each project and, as always, a specific goal for each one. In the office there is plenty of enthusiasm for the trips and I can feel how the energy from previous participants is rubbing off on colleagues. This makes me really happy.
If you're currently thinking about whether you company should be supporting Eventure's projects in Zambia and Nicaragua, I can only recommend you come along on one of the trips and see for yourself the impact the projects have. You are welcome to contact us if this sounds of interest.
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