Mama Biashara - Helping the poor in Kenya

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The bad news is yes, Mama B wants your money!

The good news is that we will do more with it than you could ever imagine was possible.

We hear a lot of things about the problems in the developing world ... TV nowadays is full of ads voiced by mournful sounding celebs - Stephen Tomkinson has it down to a fine art - and cut to the accompaniment of rock ballads from the big hair era of pop. But where is the line between information about the appalling plight of people in, for example, Africa, and advertorial for the charity paying out your money for the glossy ads ? These ads tell us about the enormous problems, the vast needs, the nasty diseases and the terrifying statistics. They tell us that they are the ones who are solving these problems "with your help". Each one vying for our sympathy and, more importantly, our money. It is a dog eat dog business, charity. So there is probably a charity somewhere that rescues half eaten dogs.

But really, it is all very simple. The problems are tiny - each individual is a small, easily fixable problem. And they deserve to be seen as individuals and not as an invisible statistic in some amorphous mass because the statistics look better that way. And the diseases do not have big scary names, they have two simple names - poverty and ignorance. They say money can't buy you love, but here, in Africa, it can most certainly buy you life ... leaving you time to work on the love thing once you are healthy and fed, with a roof over your head.

Mama Biashara gives people in the developing world, people with nothing except illness, hunger, homelessness and a family of children who need help that they cannot give a business grant - sometimes as little as £5.00 - to set up a business that will give them a life. A hand up, we say. Up out of poverty, disease, starvation, homelessness and ignorance. Not just a hand out.

And we do this with 100% of the money we make (see info about our lovely shop in Shepherds Bush) or that we are given. 100% - we pay no rent (thank you Land Securities) and we pay no salaries. We pay no travelling expenses and we pay no accommodation. 100% goes to the people for whom it can do most. 100%

From the archive: 22/12/2014

A huge thank you to the excellent Toby Stokes

A huge thank you to the excellent Toby Stokes, a whizz with a Z1, as creative in the kitchen as he is with his facial hair And unbelievably generous when he finds good fortune. Thanks to The Tobester there are 80 - yes 80 - young men will be rescued from the streets of the slums of Nairobi and set up in the very profitable MAma Biashara business of sugar cane juicing. Thanks to him they will be able to feed their families and build a good life for themselves. Four groups of 20 young men (most of them in their twenties) will each recieve a brand new cane juicing machine (as een here) paid for by T. Stokes & shipped direct from Our Girls In China - who get them at a reduced rate because they work for the manufacturer. Thank you Mr Stokes, sir. There is a chilled JAgermeister and a pint of cooking lager waiting for you ... I am so happy I felt the need to post another picture of Doris who is thrilled to tucks to be able to help another EIGHTY young men.