Lorna Young Foundation http://www.lyf.org.uk Thu, 13 Feb 2020 10:16:17 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 A LAUNCH FOR FARMERS’ VOICE RADIO! http://www.lyf.org.uk/2020/02/a-launch-for-farmers-voice-radio/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2020/02/a-launch-for-farmers-voice-radio/#respond Thu, 13 Feb 2020 10:16:14 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2364 The LYF is pleased to announce the launch of our new website – dedicated to our Farmers’ Voice Radio initiative!

Coinciding with World Radio Day, we are revealing both our fantastic new – FREE – resource-based website, along with our new ‘brand.’ We thought that a funky little clay coloured radio would be just the ticket!

So – what are you waiting for? Scoot on over to www.farmersvoiceradio.org and have a look at the enormous amount of work that our small team has put into ensuring that smallholder farmers – ANYWHERE – can now access, in order to lift themselves out of poverty.

You can also join us in our latest ventures on Twitter with: @farmersvoiceradio and on Facebook with: farmersvoiceradio

PS – a very special thank you to Sally Davidson for her stunning design work. Talented person indeed.

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Bond Achievement http://www.lyf.org.uk/2020/01/bond-achievement/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2020/01/bond-achievement/#respond Fri, 31 Jan 2020 13:05:06 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2349 As a small charity, it is often very difficult to get our voice heard and our work recognised, so we were over the moon to learn that we have made the long-list for Bond’s ‘Small NGO Impact Award’ for 2020.

Bond is well-known amongst anyone who works in the international development community. It provides support, advice and campaigning activity for a huge number of UK-based NGOs. The LYF’s Farmers’ Voice Radio initiative was selected as 1 of just 13 NGOs who Bond feel are demonstrating excellent examples of high impact through their work. Terrific stuff!

It goes without saying that we wish all of the best to the other chosen NGOs and thanks to Bond – for this vote of confidence in our work.

You can find out more, at the link below:

https://www.bond.org.uk/small-ngo-impact-award/longlist-2020#LYF

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Zakat – to Support Muslim Farmers and Communities http://www.lyf.org.uk/2020/01/zakat-to-support-muslim-farmers-and-communities/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2020/01/zakat-to-support-muslim-farmers-and-communities/#respond Sat, 25 Jan 2020 08:49:33 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2341 The Islamic faith has a long tradition of peaceful and respectful trading activities. Justice, compassion, honest work and enterprise are key components. Did you know, for example, that the Qu’ran has more written on the subject of trade and commerce, than any other subject?

The largest portion of the world’s poor, are the 800 million who live in rural areas; great distances from the nearest markets and basic health and social services. The majority are ‘subsistence’ producers or farmers; barely able to make a living beyond feeding their families enough, just to stay alive.

Making enough money to cultivate and then sell a crop for a fair price, so that they can access better health, education and housing is simply a dream for most.

poor-farmers
Smallhold Farmers working with the LYF in Harar, Ethiopia

Muslim supporters of the LYF are keen to spread the word about this small but mighty UK based charity.  Unlike many of the other ‘household name’ charities, the LYF focuses entirely on helping poor communities both in the UK and overseas, supporting them to become effective, ethical entrepreneurs. We now work with many Muslim communities in various countries across Africa through our Farmers’ Voice Radio initiative.

Not content with providing ‘a hand-up, rather than a hand-out’, the LYF also uses its programmes to bring together different communities and people of faith. Several years ago the charity set up the ground-breaking Oromo Coffee Company  – a Fairtrade coffee company designed to support Oromo refugees in Greater Manchester.

Oromo coffee

Then the LYF set up ‘Not Just A Trading Company’ across the north of England – helping youth from different backgrounds to overcome divisions by forming their own ethical trading enterprise. The charity has also worked to support Arab producers in Palestine/Israel and continues to develop new approaches to bring communities together in the name of ethical trade.

Our first ‘Not Just A’ ethical enterprise group, West Yorkshire

Most recently, Christina Longden, Director for the LYF has been a key driving force for our work to help poor Muslim communities both overseas and in the UK. You can find out more about Chris’ own personal passions to challenge negative perceptions of Muslims here.

The LYF is a very unusual, small charity. Based in Huddersfield, UK, the organisation has minimal overheads. No expensive offices or salaries and there is certainly no feathering of our own nests! We work to keep the vast majority of our funding with the people who need it the most and who can only dream of the privileges that we have.

See www.lyf.org.uk and watch out for our brand new Farmers’ Voice Radio website – soon to be launched!

PLEASE consider donating zakat to The Lorna Young Foundation this year and share our work with your mosque and community groups.

Wasalaam and Peace to all this Ramadan.

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Phew. What a year! http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/12/phew-what-a-year/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/12/phew-what-a-year/#respond Tue, 24 Dec 2019 12:55:02 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2312 Most of us will be having a wee rest now … as we flip over our old-fashioned calendars and head into 2020.

This marks a chance for us to draw breath and to – collectively – say WOW. What an incredible year we’ve had here at the LYF.

Thanks to the galloping pace of our Hannah Davis and Hannah Clark, plus the back-up support of Christina and Cristina (hmmm – what IS it about duplicate names at the LYF…) and of course the hands-on dedication of our Board, we are in a great place and looking forward to an exciting and successful 2020. 


We now have projects underway or in the pipeline in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Ethiopia. Our wonderful new website will be launched in the early New Year and we have forged some fantastic partnerships, from our firm support on behalf of DFID / UKAid relationship and with new partners; household names that we will soon be able to tell you about!

Women working working with the LYF – shea butter farmers, Ghana

As always, we have some potential exciting opportunities bubbling away in the background for 2020 and we very much welcome comments, ideas and suggestions from you – our readers and supporters.

More than anything though, we need to tell people about who we are, what we do – and why. You will already know that we are a tiny charity, making a massive impact globally – but we lack slick marketing teams and budgets. So we really do need YOU to sing our praises and to donate to us – as and when you can.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has contributed to our work this year.

Keep in touch – and let’s continue to work together in order to tackle the root causes of poverty for farmers in developing countries.

Onward – and skyward – for 2020!

Ian Agnew (Chairman)

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Christmas Change? http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/12/christmas-change/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/12/christmas-change/#respond Fri, 13 Dec 2019 14:53:40 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2299 It might seem to have gone a wee bit quiet on the ‘news’ front from all of us here at the LYF but rest assured that we have been working our socks off!

We have SO much to tell you – but being the sneaky lot that we are, we wanted to burst forth will all of this in the New Year. We have a spanking brand new website for Farmers’ Voice Radio to launch and reams of exciting project news to give you.

Most readers will know that we are a tiny team and that we truly do our best to keep every penny ‘in-country’ so that farming communities gain maximum benefits.

With this in mind – we’d be delighted if any followers of our work want to DONATE to us in order to support our work further.

Just head over to our ‘Support Our Work’ pages to see how you can help. And whatever you can give, rest assured that we will spend it more wisely than even a Wise Man would.

Thank you. And have a peaceful festive season.

Kenyan smallholders – LYF project group
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Farmers’ Voice Radio: Ghana & Shea Butter – NEW project! http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/10/farmers-voice-radio-ghana-shea-butter-new-project/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/10/farmers-voice-radio-ghana-shea-butter-new-project/#respond Thu, 10 Oct 2019 15:05:31 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2248 In May the Farmers Voice Radio (FVR) team travelled to Tamale in northern Ghana to launch a new FVR project. The project is working with female farmers involved in the harvesting of shea nuts and the production of shea butter; a highly desirable ingredient used in many food, cosmetic and hair products, as well as being a staple in local cooking.

Members of the Tungteiya Shea Butter Association processing the shea butter by hand

Northern Ghana is one of the principle areas where shea nuts are grown, but deforestation and climate change are decimating shea tree parklands. At present, demand for shea butter outstrips supply – representing an excellent business opportunity for women, who desperately need to improve their household income.

In Ghana, women gather the shea nuts from the trees and process the shea butter (a very labour-intensive process). However, most do not have the knowledge or information they need to generate a quality product and find a buyer who will give them a fair price. Radio is the most effective way of sharing knowledge with the farmers; it is trusted, inclusive and quickly reaches thousands in their fields or in their own homes. FVR is bringing these shea nut gatherers and butter producers together, along with local agricultural experts and community radio stations, to produce radio programmes that provide exactly the right information needed by the women, at the right time of year and in the language that they understand.

Hannah D and Hannah C (nicknamed Hannah Squared by the team!) conducted a training and planning workshop with the amazing project team, hosted by our partners CARE International in Tamale. The participants included our two fantastic radio presenters, Kate and Osman from GBC-URA FM; Listener Group leaders and farmers from Jawani and Tariganga, Sahada and George; agricultural extension officers from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Titus and Fausta; and Gladys and Agnes from CARE International. We also welcomed Shani, an associate of our BRAVE [HD2] partner, the Walker Institute, and expert in RAINWATCH; and Madam Fati and Thomas from the Tungteiya Shea Butter Association.

One of the key outputs of the workshop was identifying the targets for the Farmers Voice Radio programmes, which are:

  1. Improving the quality and volume of shea nut and butter production
  2. Improving market information and access for collectors and processors
  3. Improving the health and safety of collectors and processors
  4. Improving the environmental sustainability of shea in target communities

A cross-cutting theme of improving access to relevant and downscaled weather and climate information and supporting adaptation was also identified.

We also developed a Radio Programme Plan that laid out the priority issues that the radio programmes will address over the coming year. These included how to avoid snakebites when collecting shea nuts; when and how shea nuts should be collected to get the best quality; how to protect shea tree seedlings; finding alternative wood fuel strategies to deforestation; the process for producing high quality shea butter; and the different markets for selling shea nuts and butter.

One of the highlights of the week was a visit to Mbanayili, a shea butter processing centre, hosted by the Tungteiya Shea Butter Association. Tungteiya supply shea butter to The Body Shop  and have remained true to their values of promoting women and the development of the producer communities.  During the visit the team were guided through the full shea butter making process, which is all done by hand and is focussed on making the highest quality butter. The radio presenters interviewed some of the association members and the Executive Chair, Madam Fati, and links were made between the communities of Jawani and Tariganga and the Association.

Sahada is a farmer from the community of Jawani and the Listener Group Leader. Sahada really enjoyed the visit to Tungteiya and she was very keen to report back to her community everything she has learnt, and to include it in the radio programmes.  She told us ‘I like so many things about Farmer Radio because I hear what is going on in farming and I am ready to put it in to active work as a farmer, who is picking shea nut’.

This project is funded by UK Aid’s Small Charities Challenge Fund, Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, the Gibbs Trust, Edith M Ellis 1985 Charitable Trust, Ashworth Charitable Trust and the W. F Southall Trust. We want to thank all our generous donors and supporters for enabling this important work, which is strengthening the livelihood of thousands of shea nut gatherers and butter producers and their families across northern Ghana.


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WE WON! ‘BIG IMPACT’ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/08/we-won-big-impact/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/08/we-won-big-impact/#respond Tue, 06 Aug 2019 20:10:00 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2210 The Lorna Young Foundation officially have a BIG IMPACT! We’ve been awarded the ‘Big Impact for a Small Charity Award’ by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI).

As part of the award, we won a professional video … made just for us – and showcasing our Farmers’ Voice Radio project. As a small charity, we are lean (but not mean) and consequently, we don’t have a marketing budget or money to spend on PR. So, this award will truly make a massive difference to us. We have had our excellent new video edited – and will get this out to you in a future blog post. But we thought you might like to read the acceptance speech, written on behalf of our very own, Hannah Clark:

Hannah Clarke with the FSI Award

“Winning this award has been fantastic! It has been amazing to get recognition for the hard work of our small team, and our wonderful partners across Africa. So, thank you FSI – for your tireless campaigning, support and encouragement for small charities.  

Thank you too, to Dale the filmmaker who has made our LYF Farmers’ Voice Radio film – he has been so patient and generous with his time. 

I work in a small, but mighty, team at the Lorna Young Foundation. We are home-based and are spread across the country – but my colleagues, Hannah Davies, Christina Longden and Cristina Talens are awesome. Our Board too – led by Chair, Ian Agnew. And, I must say thank you to our families too. They who put up with a great deal – particularly holding the fort while we travel! 

We feel very proud to have won this award, but the real heroes and heroines – the true impact-makers – are the farmers across Africa. They work tirelessly, in extremely difficult and often precarious conditions, to produce high quality produce and tp provide for their families and communities.

So, I am accepting this award today, on behalf of all the farmers who contribute to and listen to Farmers Voice Radio programmes. Together we are lifting the voices of farmers and transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of smallholders. 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR WORK! ESPECIALLY NOW THAT YOU CAN *SEE* THE HUGE IMPACT THAT OUR SMALL CHARITY IS HAVING!

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Film-Win! http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/06/film-win/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/06/film-win/#respond Tue, 25 Jun 2019 09:42:52 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2180 Small charities suffer from a lack of funding and the personnel needed to get our incredible stories out there. Often, here at the LYF, we’re so intent on ensuring that every penny is kept ‘in country’ – helping desperately poor smallholders – that we lack the opportunity to get a ‘hand up’ ourselves.

So, thank heavens for the likes of The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI). This UK based organisation supports small charities like the LYF. They design ideas, courses and approaches that are aimed at the smaller charitable sector.

So – it is with enormous pride – that we can announce that WE WON! Yes! The LYF won an FSI Small Charity Award 2019 … and best of all – our prize was having a professional video of our Farmers’ Voice Radio work with poor African smallholders – made for us!

If you would like a first glimpse at the video – much of which was taken on our recent trip to work with Ghana shea farmers – please do click on the link and enjoy! https://www.thefsi.org/fsi-small-charity-big-impact-awards/fsi-small-charity-big-impact-awards-4/

We’d be really happy too, if you can share our win – and our video – with the sort of people, companies and organisations who ‘get’ what we do ie. those who care about supporting smaller organisations like the LYF – charities that possess the drive and the determination to make a difference, without being cushioned by enormous reserves and salaries!

But very importantly – to all of the team at the FSI and the FANTASTIC filmmakers. THANK YOU! You are already making a great difference for our African farming friends.

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Ugandan Floods: Help LYF Help! http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/06/ugandan-floods-help-lyf-help/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/06/ugandan-floods-help-lyf-help/#respond Fri, 07 Jun 2019 11:10:45 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2156 This week’s terrible floods in Uganda are a timely reminder of how much support this part of the world needs. Desperately poor farmers in the country have yet again been struck by disaster; with lives being lost and livelihoods ruined.

The LYF had already decided to work in this region with our partners – supporting farmers to put in place flood prevention measures. This week’s terrible news is a timely reminder of the important of this work. PLEASE HELP US BY DONATING TO THE LYF! You can find out more about our work in Uganda – where we use our Farmers’ Voice Radio approach here

From East African News – please help us to support the poorest farmers of Uganda!

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UK Govt Backs LYF and Ghana Women Farmers. Via Radio. With Shea Butter http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/05/uk-govt-backs-lyf-and-ghana-women-farmers-via-radio-with-shea-butter/ http://www.lyf.org.uk/2019/05/uk-govt-backs-lyf-and-ghana-women-farmers-via-radio-with-shea-butter/#respond Tue, 14 May 2019 15:31:25 +0000 http://www.lyf.org.uk/?p=2120 Great news! We’ve been awarded a grant from UK Govt’s Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) – led by DFID’s UK aid team with the aim of boosting the impact of small charities in their work to reduce poverty overseas.

‘Farmers Voice Radio’ (FVR) is the LYF’s flagship radio initiative, working with farmer organisations and community radio stations in Africa to disseminate much-needed information to the continent’s most isolated farmers. FVR uses the power of radio to positively improve smallholders’ farming, sell their produce for a good price and preserve their natural environment.

Ghana is amongst the poorest 50 countries in the world, and northern Ghana is particularly vulnerable to droughts, failing harvests and few livelihood choices. Our new Farmers Voice Radio project will work with female farmers working in shea butter production; a highly desirable ingredient used in many moisturisers and hair products, as well as in food. Northern Ghana is one of the principle areas where shea nuts are grown, but deforestation and climate change are decimating shea tree parklands. At present demand for shea butter outstrips the supply – providing excellent opportunities for shea producers who desperately need to improve their household income.

Ghanian women are generally responsible for gathering the shea nuts and processing the butter (a very labour-intensive process). However, most do not have the information needed to generate a quality product and sell it for a fair price. Radio is the most effective way of sharing knowledge – as it is trusted, speedy, inclusive and reaches thousands in the fields or ‘at home’. LYF will work with butter producers, local agricultural experts and community radio stations to create radio programmes that provide the information needed by the women, at the right time of year and in their preferred language.

Baroness Sugg CBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development said that the LYF is:

“Empowering smallholder farmers in Ghana with access to the information and advice they need to grow their business and boost the income of themselves and their communities. UK aid is supporting the Lorna Young Foundation to help farmers improve the value of their business and lift themselves out of poverty.

Small charities do not allow their size to limit their ambitions and UK aid’s Small Charities Challenge Fund is there to make sure they get the support they need to help us end poverty once and for all.”

LYF’s chairman, Ian Agnew, was thrilled to see this highly-competitive funding being granted to the LYF and said:

“The LYF’s approach is simple and incredibly cost-effective. The Government’s SCCF will enable us to support some of Africa’s poorest female farmers. We are looking forward to working with the team from DFID we work together to create a resource that can also be used in other regions with many other products grown by smallholder farmers.”

LYF will also be offering their expertise and experience in how to deliver Farmers Voice Radio projects through a new free-to-access online platform (watch this space!). This want to enable any farmer organisation or cooperative that works with smallholder farmers – anywhere in the world – to design and implement a Farmers Voice Radio project, as we have done.

The LYF would like to thank the Government for their vote of confidence in our work and to emphasise that this work is being funded through UK aid from the British people.

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