The Karma Cola Foundation helps cola growers from the Tiwai community of Sierra Leone. Proceeds from the sale of every bottle of Karma Cola go into the Foundation.
Because of the Ebola crisis, 2015 was a tough year for the people of the Tiwai community. Miraculously nobody in the villages has been harmed by the virus, this has to be the best Christmas news we could wish for.
The Karma Cola Foundation is busy helping in other ways.
There’s no school in Boma so children have to travel a long way or live with relatives. This is hard on families and if they have to make a choice, boys get preference. That’s why the Foundation funds only girls, and supports 50 of the poorest families.
One of these girls, Fatmata, goes to school in Kenema three hours from home. The Foundation pays for her fees, a uniform, books, food and some of her daily needs. Fatmata passed her secondary school exams and wants to be a nurse, a brave dream after seeing the effect of Ebola on the medical staff in Sierra Leone.
All schools are now open again.
Cola grows wild in the rainforest but since the ten-year civil war many farms have been ruined. The Foundation has rehabilitated 50 forest farms over the last two years and now farmers are seeing results, receiving more income from their land.
During Ebola there was high risk of a food crisis as movement was limited. We funded community traders to set up small businesses to fill any shortages.
We also supported a seed bank which has been a life line for 150 local farmers. Seeds are stored away for tough times and it runs like a proper bank where farmers borrow seeds, plant them, and repay with a % of seeds after harvest so the bank’s never dry.
All our initiatives foster independence rather than dependence or straight charity, which is why we don’t do food parcels.
After Ebola, everyone’s positive and life seems normal. There’s Christmas parties, weddings, and Santa’s coming. What goes around comes around. Merry Christmas.
Chair of The Karma Cola Foundation