Our goal is to be sustainable in the long term. We don’t want to keep asking for aid, applying for aid via large NGO’s & government funding.
The motto we have is: ‘Give a hand up & not a hand out’
So, we’ve come to the conclusion that there are two ways of doing this, both creating local employment.
1. Commercial farming, we would like to buy land (not necessarily in the vicinity of the centre) to work on a commercial basis to grow crops; there have been a variety of ideas amongst our Ivorian board members as which would be more profitable. Rubber, cocoa & general fruit & vegetables are all under scrutiny for long term profitability & initial start-up investment.
However, this will be managed locally on a larger commercial basis with adults and without any children. The crop(s) will need to give an annual return which will cover the never-ending list of expenses such as doctors fees, sacks of rice and other necessities to keep the centre running & the children in good shape.
2. Our other idea is to have a workshop, to clean up the local area, rid it of the endless plastic sacks for shopping & the small water sachets that everyone uses.
This won’t be so commercially enterprising at the outset. Our mindset is to persuade the local authorities to BAN the use of plastic bags that litter all over.
The bags are also rife at causing disease and with stagnant water; malarial mosquitoes can be prevalent.
By cleaning up the local area, we’re helping to reduce disease & give some adults a job; creating objects, particularly shopping bags for the local community who can then understand the ban we would like to put into place!
Both projects are hoped to run at a profit, to be away from the centre & the children’s educational & vocational skills. Any profit will be driven back into the centre to ensure its sustainability!
Can you help us please?