LET'S MAKE A DIFFERENCE
At Prana Chai, our goal is to raise AUD $15,000 every year to send underprivileged children in our tea picking regions to school and pay for their living expenses. Through our partnership with Mukti Australia (as of January 2022) we've raised $15,491, enough to pay for 31 years of education, room and board for these children in India and Sri Lanka.
Working directly with Mukti Australia, we have developed custom sponsorship packages for you, our wholesale customers, so that you can make even more of a difference to these communities with your own fundraising efforts.
With our help, Mukti Australia - through their partner in India, Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission (PRMM) - can transform lives in India through the power of education. In Sri Lanka, their partnership with Wings of Hope (WOH) brings education assistance to both girls and boys. When girls are educated, entire communities thrive — but 130 million girls around the world are not in school. Extreme hardships such as poverty, early marriage, and gender inequality force millions of girls to leave school far too young, making them more vulnerable to significant health risks and tragedies including trafficking, early childbirth, and HIV/AIDS.
Education changes the world, and gives girls the power of choice. When we educate girls, we change their lives, protect their health, and help them lift entire families out of poverty.
THE PRANA CHAI STORY
In their four years travelling the globe, Vincent Conti and Mario Minichilli discovered authentic masala tea through-out Asia. Upon returning to Australia they opened a cafe in St Kilda and began developing a chai blend inspired by those they had fallen in love with in India. As they perfected their recipe, customers grew to love their chai and fate brought about a friendship with Koray Gencel. Prana Chai was born!
Prana Chai is handmade for you fresh each day in Melbourne by the Founders, Mario, Koray & Vincent. It is made with all natural ingredients with nothing artificial. It is made for you with love.
While we continue to take ethical sourcing seriously, we wanted to go beyond this and help raise funds and awareness for a cause connected to our industry and close to our hearts. To ensure good governance of our funds we have partnered with Mukti Australia, a registered ACNC charity.
Why girls? Because the entrenched poverty of these migrant workers and their families has a disproportionate effect on girls - this, and the fact that all three founders have daughters helped us make that choice.
Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission (PRMM) are building a world in which every child can thrive - no matter what their background.
PRMM have reached, supported and given hope to thousands of girls over many years with critical education and life skills programs that are changing the course of their futures.
Through Mukti Australia’s partnership with Prana Chai, they support the educational, health and wellbeing needs through PRMM in India. In Sri Lanka, through Wings of Hope, the educational needs of both boys and girls in tea picking areas will be assisted through after school tuition programs, including health and wellbeing.
Direct Support For Workers And Their Families
Without tea workers, we wouldn't be able to make Prana Chai. While we buy our tea from reputable sources, we are aware that even ethical sourcing of tea isn't always enough to disrupt the cycles of poverty experienced by many workers. Due to colonial-era wage policies still prevalent in India, even ethically traded tea could have been picked by workers earning less than USD $2 a day. We, like many coffee and tea businesses, often feel helpless as we have limited control over how the money we pay is distributed along the supply chain.
While we will continue to take ethical sourcing seriously, we wanted to go beyond this and help raise funds and awareness for a cause connected to our industry and close to our hearts. To ensure good governance of our funds we have partnered with Mukti Australia, a registered ACNC charity.
Every time our retail customers buy a 250g bag from Prana Chai online, we commit to change by donating $2.
Just $40 per month – this contributes significantly to the overall costs incurred by one girl in India for education, living expenses, food and shelter, school supplies and uniform costs. It costs the same in Sri Lanka to sponsor a girl or boy in after school tuition, healthy snacks, health care, school supplies and additional wellbeing programs for the family.
We, like many coffee and tea businesses, often feel helpless as we have limited control over how the money we pay is distributed along the supply chain.
If, like us, you feel our industry owes it to tea workers to try and make a difference, get involved with our sponsorship packages.
How it Works
- Choose a project from this booklet that you think will resonate with your customers and represents an achievable donation target.
- Work with Mukti Australia (our charity partner) to build a campaign and determine a timeline. They’ll provide you with all the resources and tools you’ll need to get your customers on board to achieve the goal of the sponsored project.
- Prana Chai and Mukti Australia will offer support throughout the duration of the campaign.
- Once you’ve made your donation, you’ll be kept in the loop on the progress of your chosen project and the positive impact you and your customers have made.
As well as making a life-changing difference to families in India or Sri Lanka, you'll find our sponsorship packages can be a great benefit to your business. A 'do-good' cause encourages up-sells and, increases positive brand associations.
There are many ways you could raise funds towards your donation project. Some ideas include:
ABOUT SPONSORED PROJECTS
Choose a sponsorship project that suits your company, and we will work with you to help you achieve your charitable goals. As our partners commit to projects, this booklet will be updated with new projects in need of sponsorship. Keep an eye out for our newsletter for new sponsorship opportunities.
The core focus of our charity program is on education, however, there are many others ways our tea-picking communities need help. Wages are low, hours are long and these communities often suffer from a number of social issues such as alcoholism, domestic violence, and low literacy rates.
There are many barriers for children in the community to get an education. There are few accessible schools or children have to travel long distances, sometimes by foot to get to school. On meagre wages, many families simply cannot provide for their child's educational needs including uniforms and school supplies.
Most of the homes in tea-picking communities are tight spaced compartments called ‘lines’ with just one small open room, which includes a kitchen, bedroom, and living area. These houses are made of mud walls and floors, with tin sheets as a roof. There may be up to nine family members living in a square area of 3 x 3.7 metres with no proper sanitation or running water. Lack of knowledge concerning nutrition, hygiene, medicines and basic preventative strategies in these communities, paired with limited local hospital facilities, puts them at significant risk.
HELP PROVIDE A MULTI-PURPOSE EDUCATIONAL CENTRE
Support infrastructure growth for a tea-picking community in Hatton, Sri Lanka
The rolling hills of Hatton, Sri Lanka, are carpeted with some of the best tea plantations in the world. More than two-thirds of Sri Lanka’s tea gardens are in private hands and less than one-third of these gardens are owned by the government. Kudaoya is one such private estate on the outskirts of Hatton which has no government funding.
Many of the men and women in this community work on local tea plantations for very low wages facing challenges such as family violence, substance abuse and inadequate housing. Over time, Wings of Hope (WOH) Lanka has developed a strong rapport with this community to deliver a Child Assistance Program (CAP) which runs five days per week during the school term. At present, WOH engages with 190 children from ages 5 to 16 years from varied religious backgrounds to provide homework support, a healthy nutritious meal, and a safe place where they can build positive connections.
WOH also invests in the lives of 124 families by running community outreach workshops, annual Christmas family events, and day camps for the children.
Wings of Hope Lanka has been working in Hatton since 2015. With the partnership of Mukti Australia, they have been able to improve the living conditions of 19 families by building sanitation facilities.
Currently, an after-school program is delivered from a rundown building, previously used to shelter animals. The building is significantly weathered, and damage to the roof is causing moisture to develop throughout. WOH staff are concerned that this could worsen, making the area hazardous and unsafe for children. Despite the program’s steady attendance, these structural issues indicate that the current space is an inadequate learning environment.
WOH have now realised their long-awaited dream to purchase a suitable property, which will increase their ability to provide after-school education to more children. It will also be used as a multi-purpose community facility, it will serve food via the Hope Kitchen, increase learning in the spacious classrooms and open spaces, act as activity and meeting spaces for parents and women whilst children are at school. The building will be equipped to empower single parents through skills training and avenues of cottage industries. The outdoor area is intended for a 'Men's Shed' and cultivation of home-grown fruits and vegetables. The facility will enable WOH to deliver more community outreach services, such as basic adult literacy & numeracy programs with special childcare facilities.
More funding is now required to transform this property into a child-safe teaching facility and equip the centre with student desks, chairs, IT and teaching equipment, plus other equipment such as sewing machines and cooking utensils for the women's skills development and training program.
BUILD SANITATION INFRASTRUCTURE
Support three disadvantaged families by building them the infrastructure for running water and sanitation
Nestled in the district of Nuwara Eliya is a tea garden named Palmerston. This was initially owned by the government but now it is privately owned. There are 200 families residing in this community and some live in extremely dire conditions.
There is no running water, nor proper sanitation facilities for the community that lives there. Water for their homes is obtained from a stream one kilometre away. At least two trips to the stream with large pots and buckets are part of the daily routine for these families. Public toilets in these communities have been closed off due to the spread of many diseases.
Residents often don’t have the financial means to build a proper toilet so it’s common for an extended family of 10-15 people to share one toilet between them. Some may have to walk around 100 metres to use a toilet. This is very unsafe for adolescent girls and young women when they walk such a distance in the dark.
We have selected three families for the sanitation project who live under very dire conditions and who do not own a toilet. Learn more about them..
Isravel works as a labourer in the city. His wife works as a tea-picker in the Palmerston estate. Together they have three children aged 10, 6, and 4, of which the eldest and youngest are girls. Isravel’s family live in a small house without a toilet and so they have to share a toilet with other extended family which is 100 metres away.
Anthony suffers from kidney disease and has been confined to his bed for eight years. He has two children of which the eldest is a girl aged 10. His wife is the sole breadwinner for the family and she works on the plantation as a tea-picker, earning only $70 per month. Her income is barely sufficient to put food on the table for the family and take care of Anthony’s medication and nutritional supplements.
Punniya and his wife Chithra both work on the tea-estate. He works as a labourer and she picks tea. Together they have four daughters aged 13, 10, 9 and 2 years. Their wages together are stretched in providing food for the family as well as covering the educational expenses of their children. This family is in desperate need of a toilet, having four daughters to keep safe.