Thursday, 28 May 2015

Organisation of the Month: Integra Foundation, Slovakia

In March 2015, Ten Senses received a prestigious award Via Bona Slovakia of the Pontis Foundation in the category “Fair player in the market” for its macadamia nuts project. Ten Senses was founded and is co-owned by the Integra Foundation, a member of the Slovak NGDO Platform. Sixty one companies from all around Slovakia competed for the awards.

Ten Senses Africa is one of the Integra’s key social enterprises. It owns and operates a macadamia and cashew nuts processing factory in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and employs almost three hundred women from a nearby slum. They purchase nuts from local farmers and process them for export to Europe and the North America.

The aim of the macadamia nuts project is to enhance living conditions of the farmers in Kenya. Ten Senses has achieved it by adopting Fair Trade principles. Kenyan farmers often used to sell their products at very low prices, because they were not aware of the market conditions. Various brokers misused their lack of knowledge which resulted in existential problems of the farmers. Fair Trade has improved their situation by securing higher income and long-term contracts. As a result, the farmers have more money for food, healthcare and education for their children. The macadamia nuts project secures a stable income for more than 1500 farmers in Kenya. In average, one of them takes care of four other people. Thus, thousands of Kenyans benefit from this project.

The Integra Foundation also focuses on education for African children. Slovak donors support almost four hundred children and orphans in Kenya and Ethiopia with the ‘Long Distance Adoption’ project. This enables them to attend school, cover living costs and healthcare.

The Integra Foundation carries out a public collection to help people in need in Iraq and Nigeria as part of its humanitarian aid activities. It cooperates with partner humanitarian organisations (MedAir in Iraq, Tear Fund in Nigeria), which have emergency teams on the ground in the partner countries; deal with all practical issues and inform regularly about the situation. Integra is an active member in the Integral Alliance, which allows it to respond to humanitarian crises wherever in the world they happen.

More information about the Integra Foundation can be found at 

Photo Description: Children from St. Anna´s School in Kenya. Photo: Peter Vrbinčík, Kenya, 2012 

Information provided by Slovak NGDO Platform and Integra Foundation.

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