Al and I are very aware from our travels that we live a blessed life in the West. So where we can, we seek to put something back. Over the years we have raised funds for different projects in a rural Indian village called B. Kothakota in the province of Andhra Pradesh. Our association with this remote part of southern India goes back to 2008 when I took a "grown up gap year" and found myself living with the Kumar family and working as an English teacher in the local primary and secondary schools. We've remained in touch ever since and continue to support the incredible work of Saravan and Nirmala Kumar with various initiatives including schools books and sanitary suppliers for local children.
CUSTARD AND COWS
Our latest projects in India
Our latest Project is all about native cows. We're supporting one parent families with the purchase of a dairy cow that they can keep for a regular source of milk and also create a second income. We've chosen native breeds because they are better suited to the dry climate and require no antibiotics to thrive. Part of the agreement is that the first born calf will be given to another family in need so it's a project that will ripple out over time.
In 2019, we asked Saravan for a project idea that would have long term environmental and social benefits - and so the Custard Apple Plantation idea was born. Saravan identified a barren hillside near two small villages and engaged the locals with the idea. Once the monsoon rains arrived in the summer of 2020, the villagers planted 250 custard apple trees. The trees will take about 3 years to mature and produce their first harvest. The locals will derive an income from the fruit and the local micro climate will be improved by the vegetation.
If you've never tried a Custard Apple, you can sometimes find them in late summer in Asian grocery stores. They have creamy flesh that does taste like custard!