As most of you know, I have been working within communication in China, and CSR is a big part of that. I am currently looking into CSR projects to implement in Angola, in the rural areas, not in the capital. There seems to be so much to do and so many projects to be done, but it takes time to find the right channels and the right people and the right projects of course. I'm not talking about charity. Charity is good. But I could argue that in developing countries like Angola, charity could, at the end of it, be more damaging than helpful.
A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend's dad was going out of Luanda for a couple of meetings; one of which was to pop by a farm of a close friend of his. He asked me if I would be interested in tagging along, which of course I was!
Very excited to see other regions of Luanda- we drove around the "VIA Expressa" to Luanda regions called "Cacuaco" and "Funda". We went to see an old relative, and it was very very interesting to see how majority of Angolan's live. I have visited expats in Luanda and wealthy angolans, but this was my first visit to a house where the hardworking peoples' salary does not exceed $400/month. I did not dare take photos of course, but the house was simple, thick walls of clay "adobe", small windows but clearly placed with precision for the ventilation was good. No air-conditioning, but the the thick walls kept a lot of the heat away, open doorways, a small courtyard in the middle of the house, scarcely any furniture. There was state electricity but no running water. Some chicken in the yard and small piglets.
Here are some photos from the way:
|Primary School, check out the black piggy running in front|
|everyone is building something here|
|markets by the road|
|Cumpapatas i.e. motocycle taxis|
But back to my CSR story; we were heading towards the farm, and to my surprise it is quite vast!
Right now he had tomatoes, onions and corn, which was just starting to get ready. Of course the fields were very different from European, or at least Finnish crops. First of all the tomatoes were growing on the ground, with no support. The earth was dry and clay-like and there was no shade, just the burning sun, which meant that the lush green leaves of tomato plants were dry and brown more or less, but the tomatoes do look good and taste good!
|fields of tomatoes|
|hang in there little tomato|
But this where I come in; my boyfriends father was telling his friend about the preserves of tomatoes I made the other week and he had never heard of such a thing. Sun dried tomatoes regretfully are out of the question because of the moisture and humidity of the air, but one can make quickly oven dried tomatoes, throw in some garlic and perhaps fried onions into the jar with some peppers and voila! back home as the summer is short, we always used to make preseves of cucumbers and beets and jam out of berries and apples.
So let us see if we can start local preserve business in here, starting with delicious tomatoes of course!