Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Sole of Africa

The Sole of Africa is a campaign created by the Mineseeker Foundation. The Foundation works to remove landmines from old battlefields; thus, returning killing fields to agricultural use. The Mineseeker Foundation is also working to end hunger and generate sustainable economic development in 70 areas around the world. Its list of patrons and supporters is impressive. The list includes: Nelson Mandela, Queen Noor, Sir Richard Branson, John Paul DeJoria and many other notables (check its website for a more complete list).

Given the campaign's good work, I was delighted to find that The Sole of Africa campaign has posted the following comment about Nourish the Children (NTC) on its website:

The Sole of Africa is thrilled that the mega food agency, Nourish the Children, together with its worldwide empowered distributor team has joined forces to continue this quest to Make Poverty History. A child dies every 6 seconds from malnutrition, no food and dirty water.

For those of you that do not know Nourish The Children, SOA believes that it is the most complete Social Marketing program working in the world. So do a lot of other people. Since their unique business model was birthed, their growing "Force for Good" under the Chairmanship of legendary Lee Iacoca have now donated over 75,000,000 especially formulated and enriched Vitameals.

75,000,000 in only a few years!!!!!! Donated not by large fund raisers or governments but by people just like you.

Let us hope that we soon see an end to the scourage of both landmines and hunger. If NTC's teams continue to work with entrepreneurial zeal, this goal is definitely within grasp.

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Blogger Sandy said...

"Social Entrepreneurialism" is a term that is much bandied about these days and seems to have been hijacked by every "not for profit" organisation that has found a means of tying up with a commercial entity.

Indeed, many seem to take the view that they have earned the title of "Social Entrepreneur" if they fund raise from corporate bodies and use the monies for social good.

The problem here is that the "Entrepreneur" part of the equation is missing. There is no element of risk involved in getting handouts from corporate bodies and thus no entrepreneurial skills are required.

Having visited "The Sole of Africa" website you certainly get the impression of a highly organised campaign of International standing and importance. The impressive list of Patrons and Sponsors stand testament to this.

Like many such campaigns they are underfunded and have been employing fund raising techniques similar to most other "not for profit organisations".

It therefore comes as a breath of fresh air to read that Sole of Africa are aligning themselves with Nourish the Children(NTC).

This should result in a double whammy.

NTC will ensure that many children who would otherwise die from malnutrition will grow up to lead fulfilling lives, and The Sole of Africa will take steps to prevent them from being blown up.

NTC is a true "Social Entrepreneurial". organisation whose business model is highly successful. (75,000,000 meals supplied to children in 5 years using 100% entrepreneurial methods.)

This model, is one which, unfortunately, many who would call themselves "Social Entrepreneurs" try to distance themselves from; apparently under the mistaken belief that the entrepreneurial part of the equation is somehow tainted.

That profit is evil and hand outs are good.

Now that The Sole of Africa has broken the mould, lets hope that it is a crack in the dam and that there will follow a flood of similar joint social entrepreneurial ventures.

9:02 pm  
Anonymous Elizabeth Laskar said...

Encouraging to see that NTC has established a link with The Sole of Africa to further their good work. Working in parthership is a strong strategy.

The Social Entreprenuer, as Sandy suggested, has indeed been embraced by many not for profits and I feel that is indeed ok. In an arena that is barely recognised, acknowledged and seen as "unkool" we finally had a term that praised, celebrated and gave a respected profile to a social entreprenuer.

However, I am in agreement with Sandy that there is a lack of sustainability and this is where we perhaps should start to acknowledge and praise "sustainable enterprise" - this is the partnership of business with innovation to creatve sustainablility - effectively this could make aid sustainable.

Of course there will be enterprises that will continually need aid but lets start to encourage sustainable methodologies that can be replicated - the answers for the moment I suggest begins in recognising innovation - people with new ideas that can effectively break the old models and introduce organic models that perhaps can be continually enhanced.

Well done NTC. It is all about loosing our own ego, realising partnerships and new ideas, bringing in sustainability - and ultimately saving lives.

6:13 pm  
Anonymous Julia Dunn said...

It was heartening to read that The Sole of Africa has teamed up with Nourish the Children, recognising not only the quality and quantity of the Vitameals already provided, but also how this entrepreneurial opportunity, open to everyone, will bring them in much needed income. Whether people simply donate Vitameals or set up their own social enterprise business, this is a situation where everyone wins.

As someone who is in the process of setting up an integrated health centre for those unable to afford private complementary therapy, it’s encouraging to see this idea in action Although presently seeking start-up costs, my eventual aim is to fund the project by signing up and supporting Nourish the Children businesses, thereby feeding starving children as well as helping our local community.

Let’s hope this initiative between SOA and NTC will go a long way to eradicate childhood starvation.

10:25 am  

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