What does your charity do?
Food Ladder is the world’s first not-for-profit organisation to use hydroponics and environmentally sustainable technologies to create food and economic security for communities otherwise reliant on aid and affected by poverty. For the past five years we have used custom designed systems to grow commercial quantities of nutrient-rich produce around the world; from rural towns in India and Uganda to the most remote parts of the Northern Territory. Each Food Ladder system is able to supplement the diets of up to 250 people and is five times more productive than traditional farming methods when operating at full capacity.
What is the most rewarding part?
Empowering communities. Food Ladder is a holistic approach – we not only address food security, but create employment and training opportunities for adults and education outcomes for children. Most importantly, we provide communities with economic stability, as each social enterprise is owned, governed and run by local people, with full support and guidance from the Food Ladder team.
What is the most exciting development from your charity recently?
We recently expanded our operations into Uganda, in partnership with fellow Australian NGO School for Life. The Food Ladder system is situated on school grounds and feeds the 680 primary and secondary school students and 120 staff members, it also acts as an outdoor classroom where the students undertake their agriculture classes.
Your charity operates internationally – how do you ensure good governance when undertaking projects overseas?
Like all our projects in Australia, our overseas Food Ladder systems are implemented in partnership with on-ground partners. By partnering with organisations we know and trust, that are based in these remote and regional communities, we can ensure all Food Ladder projects flourish. In the initial set up period, a Food Ladder team member will travel to the community and train both the on-ground organisation and the local people. We then visit periodically and are available on the phone should any issues arise.
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