Helping villages in Sri Lanka, world’s tea giant

Hello from Sri Lanka, one of the world’s tea capitals.

I’m in the central highlands with our GHNI.org Sri Lankan staff, and I’ve brought employees of a company (The Wedding Cafe, in Honolulu) who just partnered to help a poor village through GHNI’s Adopt-a-Village program.

We’re in the village of Nallathaniya… and we’re all falling in love  with their warmth, their smiles, their attitude, and their hunger to learn ways to lift themselves out of their severe poverty with a little hand up.

GHNI is just getting started with Nallathaniya [...]

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Cool water and growing businesses in Ola Nagele

I’m in central Kenya now.

The destructive tribal fighting here has been calm for several months, so it was safe to go out and visit each of the four villages we’ve been helping.

Ola Nagele is one of our villages that’s still on track and  applying our TCD training.

Despite the fighting, the 1.5 kilometer fresh water line and tank we helped them install is still working beautifully. The women of the village can still save hours of walking each day and get cool, refreshing water right in the village.

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Connecting villages, by football of course

What better way to have fun and connect two villages we’re serving, than to serve up a friendly competition of football (American soccer)?

We arranged for this fun day of football between two villages we’re serving in here in east Ethiopia — Garmaam and Megaladi. Megaladi had home field advantage.

We played with the kids from Megaladi while we waited for the Garmaam team to arrive. When they did, we handed out uniforms we’d purchased for all the players (perspective: it’s now probably the only other clothes they have). Then [...]

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Visiting Harrar coffee farms

Today we made the climb from our dry flatlands villages, up into the Harrar area hills, to see the current crop of world-famous Harrar coffee beans, newly growing on the coffee trees.

It was a bumpy, jarring ride up to almost 10,000 feet above sea level. This is truly “highlands coffee!” But the beauty of the scenery and the kindness of several coffee families made the arduous journey totally worth it.

Coffee across Ethiopia is mostly grown by small, family farmers, who have anywhere from 50 to 200 trees. Our [...]

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Garmaam village, “Water is #1″

Today we visited Garmaam village. We’re thrilled to help such a hard-working village!

We began working with Garmaam over a year ago, and made great initial progress. But then we suffered an almost 1-year delay in receiving our regional permit (we received the national permit in January 2011). The disruption was painful on our progress and our relationship with Garmaam.

Finally the regional permit went through last month. And now we are all eager to resume our partnership.

Today we met with the leaders of our “Transformational Community Development” program [...]

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