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Topic: soap recycling - I love this  (Read 3053 times)
madpiano
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2011, 12:25:28 AM »

what is a CIC?
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Lindy
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 12:36:05 AM »

Sometimes the receivers are areas that have just been devastated like in the US where a town was laid to waste by a tornado.  They even requested soap for those there.

People's nature is to help those with less, at least most people, and I do like what they are doing.  I do have to admit I went ewwww when I heard it was used hotel soap being sent and that factor still exists a bit for me, but the thought and the intent are good.
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soaphappy
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2011, 01:51:45 AM »

That is such a great idea!!!
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Esby
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2011, 05:48:04 PM »

That is wonderful!
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Denice
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2011, 08:47:42 PM »

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what is a CIC?

Sorry MP - I should have explained

A CIC is a Community Interest Company.  In the UK charities aren't allowed to trade, so what many have done is have the charity and then a trading company alongside it (like Oxfam etc).  This means they can accept donations etc as a charity and also sell goods to make some more money.  This business side can be publicly owned or limited.

CIC's were introduced a few years ago as a sort of hybrid - a charity that can trade.
A CIC is regulated by both Companies House and the Charities Commission.  Lots of checks and rules are in place to ensure that some profits are used to benefit the community.  A lot of people don't really know much about them as there still aren't very many.  I think it was probably a response to the rising interest in Social Enterprise.

So as a company (this is our policy not necessarily that of other CIC's) we will trade in Ghana and Scotland with Shea Butter and soaps etc, the people we work with are paid a fair wage and then as much profit as possible will go back into the communities we're working with .  Those communities will tell us what they want the money to be spent on, and where they want it. So currently the community in Ghana want a 'proper' school built, the children currently have classes under tree.  Our goal is to enable people to manage and help themselves so that they aren't dependent on handouts and being given what others think they need.
Sorry that it's a bit of a long answer :mwaha:
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Lindy
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« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2011, 03:48:13 AM »

Denice it's a good answer - thank you  :buttrf:
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madpiano
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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2011, 06:26:37 AM »

hmm - I might give that some thought. I am not good at repairing PCs myself. At least not complicated problems. But it seems like a brilliant idea. I might speak to the company when I am over in Germany to see how they operate and if they can give me any hints and tips (and I also have 2 PCs to drop off to them which have been clogging up the house for ages).

Hey - maybe I am a Geek after all - do you think Guys that repair PCs need soap?
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Denice
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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2011, 07:07:36 PM »

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do you think Guys that repair PCs need soap

Of COURSE :mwaha:

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thought and the intent are good.

That's where it all gets a bit difficult, people mean well and do things with the best of intention, but they fail to look at what the end result actually is.  So much money is poured into schemes and ideas which are thought to be good, but in reality aren't what the people who are 'being helped' want.
It's really hard to do it right, but seeing the waste/damage that is around simply because a project hasn't been thought through properly makes me sad because there is a huge need for it to be done in an effective way

« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 07:12:33 PM by Denice » Logged
corrie
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2011, 07:43:38 PM »

There's an African proverb - 'give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he'll eat fro life'
Denice, my brother was a VSO volunteer in Cameroon. He was a salmon farmer here with many years experience in the west coast of Scotland in fish husbandry. He went to Cameroon with just that attitude, teach a man to fish.....well, you know for the first months everything went well, the local men dug ponds enthusiastically, the fry were introduced (telapia) then everyone lost interest and headed back to the bar!
In the end Gregor set up a group of people, many who were disabled and with the help of a young lad known locally as Farmer Tantoh who had a great interest in horticulture & environment and the dream of "teach a man....". This group had far more sucess than the able bodied who lost interest really quickly.
Gregor paid for Tantoh to go to college, realising the dreams and ambitions of this keen young lad. This is Farmer Tantoh today http://www.africasyfa.org/ perhaps the only one who "got" that vision.
Sadly my brother never returned from Cameroon, he died there (aparently poisoned) by his wife.

So whilst I think it's admirable to help in disadvantaged countries, it really does need willing people to help themselves too!
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madpiano
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2011, 07:50:50 PM »

Sadly my brother never returned from Cameroon, he died there (aparently poisoned) by his wife.


 hide hide hide Egad!! Egad!! Egad!!
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Lindy
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2011, 09:40:14 PM »

Actually Corrie I agree.  A company I used to work for was very involved in setting up schools in Haiti and once a year they would have some of the volunteers go down with some donated clothes for people.  They had to have an armed guard to protect them even walking around in the part of the village they worked in helping the children and adults learn to read and write as well as study further if that is their desire.  When they would first arrive everyone would fall upon the packages of clothing and they would simply toss the ones they didn't like and the clothes would get trampled.  They would end up with a pile of clothes that were now unfit to be used by anyone else.

It was a worthy cause and our desire to help was real, but sometimes that helped is neither appreciated nor desired.  I think we need to quit assuming that everyone wants to live just like us, in the same kind of society, because I truly don't believe that is the case.

If we would spend our funds and energy on those who truly want the assistance we would do more good than trying to spread ourselves too thin with those that don't want us... or maybe I should say they want our money to do with as they please.... sorry a bit of a soapbox for me....
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Denice
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« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2011, 11:46:31 PM »

Corrie, I'm so sorry about your brother, that must be really hard

I looked at the website and Farmer Tantoh and what he's doing, it's really encouraging.  He seems to have grasped an opportunity with both hands and is making a difference in his community. I think what your brother was doing is the right way to approach 'aid', but yes, finding the right people to work with can be difficult.
Quote
our desire to help was real, but sometimes that helped is neither appreciated nor desired.
I think we often go into situations and cultures with our own agenda and miss what is really needed in a specific situation and culture.  We work with women in the upper north of Ghana - they live in poverty and work long and hard hours.  What we're doing is trying to make that a bit easier/safer for them and encourage them to work together.  We meet with the women's groups and their 'queen mother' (the woman who is seen as their mentor) to see what we can all do to enable the women to go about their work - at the moment they want boots, raincoats and gloves so that collecting shea nuts will be safer.  When the rains come there is a real danger from snakes and scorpions in the bush and these items would protect them while they work (a woman died last September from a snake bite, so a very real fear).  They have also asked that during the 'hungry months' (mar/april/may) we would buy small quantities of nuts from them - the 'big' companies only want to buy full sacks, but when there's not enough growing they can't collect enough, sometimes they only have a bowlful.
It's so important to listen and to hear what's being said - there's a huge lack of trust re help from NGO's as they've been let down so much in the past - a lot of NGO projects run for 6months, or maybe a year and then stop.  So they watch and wait to see if people from the west are there for the long term or if it's yet another waste of their time and effort. 

Most people mean well and hope that they are making a difference, but when people in poverty see westerners come in with big ideas, lots of money, living in big houses in gated communities, it doesn't seem to instill much faith in what they're trying to do and so many look on with suspicion.

Of course, the easiest thing for us all to say is that they didn't want help when we offered it so why bother, but of course that's not the reality of all.  It's more a case of working together for solutions, rather than us telling them what OUR solution is - Culture wherever it is, is an important aspect of life, it may be different, but that doesn't make one more right or wrong.

I'll get off my soapbox now  Grin

« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 11:51:03 PM by Denice » Logged
Lindy
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2011, 06:09:12 AM »

Denice I totally agree, we (westerners) need to start listening to what the people need rather than assuming we know what's best for them.  This group that I was talking about did the assuming they knew what the people wanted and needed without ever sitting down and talking to them or helping them find ways to get it themselves.  It's not sustainable.

Corrie what your brother did truly was the right way to do it, his gift lives on through Farmer Tantoh, his living legacy.  I am truly sorry you lost your brother, that's a tough one to have to go through.....
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