Grassroots initiative, Pennies for Partnerships, addresses Tibetan poverty

[Submitted Announcement]

Pennies for Partnerships is a grassroots initiative which was started in 2008. Today the project is focused on economic development of the Tibetan Organic Farmers in India and interest in food insecurity in the Indian villages where people live on less than a dollar a day and experience hunger on a regular basis. The objective of the initiative is work directly with the Tibetan community and international friends to develop economic sustainability for farmers, to support environmental awareness, and most importantly to address poverty and hunger.

The Tibetan Organic Farmers are some of the poorest Tibetans living in India yet work the hardest with labor intensive commitment to environmental sensitivity. The Tibetan Government in Exile requested in 2002 that the Tibetan Settlements all make a commitment to the environment and switch the farming practices to 100% organic. At this time the farmers who have made the commitment to organic have experienced a slow distribution as there is a need for further development for marketing and logistical coordination.

Therefore the Pennies for Partnerships project is committed to working with the farmers to provide support for the purchase of the rice to ensure the yield and the farmers do not take a loss. In addition, the Pennies for Partnerships projects is committed to addressing community inclusion between two oppressed populations in India by bringing together members o the Tibetan farming community and the some of the poorest of Indian villages. This is where the project addresses hunger by giving to the villages where food security is a concern.
According to the Economist magazine India ranked 67th among 85 countries in terms of access to food with an index of 24.1 noting that values between 20 and 29.9 on the index denote an “alarming” hunger situation. Another report from 2009 stated that 230 million people are undernourished — the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged 15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5). According to the latest report on the state of food insecurity in rural India, more than 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of rising global food prices. 

The grassroots initiative of Pennies for Partnerships is a 100% volunteer project in an effort to give to the global community with an interest in addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The way the project works: Pennies for Partnerships procures a large amount of rice with gift givers contributions and then distributes the bags of rice to the actual door steps of those who reside in poor villages where people live on less than $1.00 a day and suffer from hunger. Tibetans and volunteers arrive either in the morning or in the evening to ensure the Indian villagers are home.

The project involves the purchase of 25 kg bags of rice (55 pound bags) from organic farmers who are struggling to find distribution. The cost of one 25 kg (55 pound) bag of rice is approximately $14.00 and helps address hunger in a family of four for approximately 1 month.

To date the project has served 105 household a total of 5775 pounds of rice. With the recent receipts the planning for the next distribution is in the works as fund raising continues. At this time we have the ability to purchase an additional 82 bags of rice and additional 4510 pounds of rice. This would bring the total to date: 10285 pounds of rice and 187 households served.

The project is ongoing and is only made possible by generosity of the gift givers who see the importance in supporting the Tibetan Refugee Community, the organic initiatives, support to the global community to address hunger and to help Tibetans give back to India by addressing issues of giving to those in need.
Members of the Fayetteville community that are assisting with the project have been posting flyers, and receiving donations through their businesses. Longtime Pennies for Partnerships supporter Daniel Gold assists through offering computer administrative services and the initial development of blogs and social networking. Also, Greenhouse Grill is receiving contributions to the project.

This project has developed over the years and is in the process of registering for nonprofit status in the state of Arkansas. Thanks to the community of Fayetteville the project continues to develop.

Anyone interested in giving to the project can do so through many types of gift giving. You can donate online to the project or offer you services or do something as easy as spread the message.

More details can be found at or through the GiveForward site at

You can also contact us directly at [email protected]

[Submitted announcements do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Fayetteville Flyer.]