Over the Christmas season I went to the Grannies for Africa free trade market. It’s an adorable little market in the basement of the big blue United church on the corner of Main & Eckhardt  in Penticton.  The market was full of local and world-wide free trade products. However,  it also boasted a charm that only church basement bake sale can have. There was an abundance of homemade baked goods with all proceeds going towards the Grannies For Africa charity. While there I came across an inspiring local charity called OliveUs started by owner of Theo’s greek restaurant in Penticton, Nikos Theodosakis. What he has done is created a charity art project with local school children that raises money for different food related causes locally and across the globe. You can read more about the projects here at http://blog.oliveus.ca

Here’s an excerpt from their website to explain what their charity does and how it works:

‘The InStill life program invites students to change the world. Students look at food in their homes, community and around the planet. After looking at food still life paintings through history, students create their own with groupings inspired by their own favourite foods. The beautiful paintings are shared as gift cards and are sold throughout the community. Proceeds from these card sales are used to fund food challenges locally and to lend to individuals around the world through kiva.org, an organization which enables micro-lending. Students research family farmers and small scale food entrepreneurs in developing countries and examine their loan requests before collectively issuing repayable loans.’

This adorable video from 8 year old local participant Jakub puts things in perspective and explains how the InStill life project came to be in his classroom in Naramata and as he describes “this just wonderful day popped up” . The spent the day making soup from local veggies and then painted pictures of produce on cards that are sold with the profits going towards microloans to food producers in developing countries such as  Guatemala. Check out what Jakub has to say here:

These cards are available at Theo’s Restaurant in Penticton and 10,000 Villages. Go pick yours up today and spread a little good karma around the globe!