On July 5th, 2017, I visited India to gift another round of shoes. It was my second time visiting India and one which would deliver very new learnings for Moeloco. This mission was for the sole purpose of gifting 730 pairs of shoes to children living in poverty. I was blessed to be part of our latest partner Nalu’s giving trip.
The Business of Giving
Nalu is a social enterprise, fashion brand and like us, firmly believe that education is for all. With the sale of every 4 Nalu products, they gift much needed school uniforms to children in poverty; allowing them to go to school, stay in education and improve their future opportunities. Indeed how Moeloco even came to be partnering with Nalu on this trip was another ‘Dream Crazy’. Through one of our Moeloco community members, Janine Finney in Arizona, I was connected to her friend, Karen Doerflin who introduced me to Nalu’s operations in Bali.
As well as the synergy of our products, and our missions, our connect was furthered by the reflective inspiration that Nalu was founded by Dali and Finn Schonfelder aged just 11 and 14. They are now inspirational teenage entrepreneurs and leaders at just 13 and 16.
Many of you will know that Moeloco has evolved into working with the growing next generation of change makers, like Dali and Finn. They help to inspire the creation of social enterprises which will build a world where everything we purchase will have a positive social impact on the world.
Dali & Finn (the Nalu team) and me
After 3 months of getting to know Vismai Schonfelder, Dali and Finn’s dad through correspondence, we would be meeting with the Glowaski and Quenell families at Mumbai airport. Before heading out to our base at Fire Mountain Retreat, a 2 hour drive from Mumbai started. It was an exciting time for us to finally connect. On the morning of July 5th, I began a long and tiring journey towards the beginning of a beautifully developing and unfolding relationship.
Meeting at the airport after many months of planning was an amazing connection that would continue to flourish during our time together. Everything about this trip flowed so easily and organically. The cooperation, the sharing between our two enterprises continued to confirm the value of collaborations; and that we are one, regardless of age, gender, country or status. If values align, spirits connect and openness is present, then how can any form of collaboration not work out?
Social enterprises need to continue to unite even more. This way greater impact in the world can be delivered quicker and more efficiently through the right collaborations.
In giving to causes, the social entrepreneurs and teams that work tirelessly to support those most in need, receive too. We possibly receive much more or just as much as those we are giving to through spiritual wellbeing.
The outpouring of love we received from all three schools we attended was incredible. Every school had a procession of entertainment, speeches; they gave us food, tea and felicitated us with flowers. The best part of our experience was being greeted by so many happy children and it seemed many of them knew the word “selfie” and insisted on having these taken. Another joyous moment of sharing.
After formal proceedings at each school, which included talking to the principal and teachers there was plenty of time to play after handing out the shoes and uniforms. To be part of so much joy was at times overwhelming.
Government schools in the area we visited offer very little funding with funding only provided for teachers’ salaries. Two of the teachers at one of the schools visited, have been there for several years and never been paid. Through the selection process, Nalu ensured that the schools visited were those needing most assistance.
A student with her new pair of shoes
Whilst many of these children did have shoes they were simply a pair of cheap flip flops or sandals; which some schools don’t allow. In some cases when a child breaks their only pair of shoes and cannot afford another pair they will be denied access to the school for fear of spreading disease. That’s where our shoes are most appreciated and impact swells.
The issue of cyclical poverty is complex. Moeloco believes in long term solutions and the shoes we give are part of this solution; through supporting direct access to education and breaking poverty cycles. Seeing the impact we are making on this giving trip we are even more motivated to find further ways we can help.
How You Can Help
We would like to thank our valued community for making this gifting possible. It’s because of you, these children can now have the opportunity to change the course of their lives. Through education made possible through your Moeloco purchases.