Monthly Archives: February 2016

When Charity, Healthy and Beauty go hand-in-hand Everyone Wins

Fair Trade and Charity are words that crop up in conversation often – there are hundreds of charities around but sometimes it is hard to know how much of the donated money actually reaches those in need. And same goes for Fair Trade – how can we really know that the products are as fair trade as they claim to be?

This is why it is important to work with and donate through companies who can prove that they do exactly what they claim to do. I have recently started working with a company who does exactly that – they are a skin care, health and beauty company who produce their Epoch range health and beauty care products from plant products, making them an excellent way to take care of one’s body but also of the world around.

For every product sold in this Epoch range, the company donates a percentage to its Foundation. All products are fair trade in their essence and support local workers through sourcing ingredients from them and paying fairly for their hard work. The products range from a mud mask facial treatment to baby body and hair shampoo, from essential oils to body butter. There is something for everyone – and everyone wins as we all get to take care of ourselves whilst raising money for those in need.

mud mask

The Foundation is based in Malawi and works in many ways – it buys food for children who are malnourished or from poor backgrounds, it plants trees, and it donates money to the School of Agriculture for Family Independence. The SAFI school is focused on helping the people of Malawi learn better agricultural techniques to provide for themselves and their families. On this note, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and one in three people in Malawi is threatened by hunger every day. The majority of the people are farmers and live on less than one pound a day.

The Foundation works in close contact with local NGOs to ensure that it is doing work that is much needed and to know of the best ways to carry out such work. In 2007, the Foundation, in partnership with local non-profit organisations and civic groups, built an actual village at Mtalimanja. This village houses farmers and their families during the first year while they are educated in drip irrigation, sustainable farming, forest conservation, animal husbandry and other subjects. Upon completion of the first year, the students return home to implement their new skills, which will enable them and generations to come to be self-sufficient.

To date, the Foundation have supported the Mtalimanja village by financing projects such as:

  • Provided education for 50 farmers;
  • Financed books and school supplies to the farmers attending courses;
  • Purchased 50 hectares of land in order to increase the area for farming; and
  • Financed the building of a new house to welcome teachers.


Furthermore, the Foundation has an initiative called Nourish the Children (NTC).  The initiative  provides a consistent and growing supply of nourishing food to the world’s most needy children. In 2015, the initiative surpassed 450 million meals donated to malnourished and hungry children around the world, including Africa and Asia.

Anyone can donate to their work by paying for a bag (or bags) of VitaMeal, which is a porridge made of maize and soya bean flour. Each bag can feed 30 children and costs only £16. The porridge has been developed so that it is very nutritious and packed with goodness for the kids who often rely o it as their only meal for the day. All donations will be matched by the company through supporting education and disease prevention programmes developing countries.


The company does not sell its products at any high street shops – do get in touch if you would like to purchase any of the products whilst helping the Foundation. I will be happy to give you more information on each product as well as on the Foundation, and orders and donations can be made  through me – I have special deals for each product and I can put the donations through at the same time as I do my own.

Please get in touch at:

Best Ways to Help:

  • Purchase the Baobab Body Butter – it will nourish your skin with moisturising shea butter and the fruit of the African baobab tree, and a tree will be planted in Malawi for each purchase of the butter.
  • Purchase the Epoch Force for Good Collection, which includes Glacial Marine Mud Maskfor your face, Sole Solution for your feet, Firewalker, IceDancer cooling gel, Ava puhi moni Shampoo and Light Conditioner, and Baobab Body Butter. A percentage of the sales will go directly to the agricultural school mentioned above.


  • Try out the essential oils taster package with a mix of essential oils – they are guaranteed to make you feel good whilst knowing that a percentage of the sales will have gone to a good cause.


  • Donate a VitaMeal bag (£16) and feed 30 kids.







BOOK REVIEWS:Marie Skilling – The Adventures of Benjamin Franklin

‘The Adventures of Benjamin Franklin’ is a novel aimed at children aged +5. The main character in the book, Benjamin, is desperate for adventure, but with few friends and strict parents it doesn’t seem possible. Since Benjamin is a child with fire in his heart, he decides it is time to find his own adventure. Heading out into the wild outdoors in search of new places, despite the horrid weather, he finds more than he ever expected. New characters spring into Benjamin’s life that he never thought that he would meet. When unexpected events threaten his safety, he is scooped up into an unimaginable world with stranger characters than before.

Marie Skilling, the London-based author who created Benjamin Franklin, was inspired to write Benjamin’s story on an adventure that took her miles away from her home, but which took place just around the corner from her parent’s home in Canada. Benjamin began his journey with Marie on a wintry day when hail fell from the sky and the winds nearly blew her away. Before Marie had a chance to see a willow tree, she ran home to stay warm and dry. It was there that she began to write Benjamin’s story. Benjamin’s tale is about his adventure into a world that is exciting and unusual. Strange goings on sweep him from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

In addition to Benjamin’s story, Marie has published books of poetry and writes a blog. For more information on her work and whereabouts, please see her excellent website:


Keyboard and guitar practice

Keyboard and guitar practice during break time at our music school in Kampala – no lack of enthusiasm in these students!

Anyone working in primary and secondary schools in Uganda, do get in touch with us if you need new books for the school year. As you can see in the photo, we have just published a new series of books.


Music classes for babies, young kids and their mothers in London

A colleague and friend of ours has recently started to run music classes for mothers, babies and young children in London.  Musigenius is based upon the latest research in the fields of developmental psychology and music education and aims to support the inherent musical talent of each child. Musical skills are starting to develop before birth and are universal and specific to all humans. The classes run in the N3 area of London and welcome anyone interested in finding out more.

The music classes are specially designed to nurture and develop the natural talent of each child from 4 months before birth to 5 years of age. In the process the classes help develop confident, happy, creative and really smart children. The proof is our students themselves. 

Music classes for expectant mothers facilitate the bond between expectant mothers and their yet-to-be born babies. Hearing is the first sense developed in babies and is fully functional from 17 weeks of gestation. The classes draw singing of lullabies, relaxing meditation and musical creativity. Musigenious Infants classes are for 0-1-year olds. During the classes children are engaged in live music, singing and sensory stimuli activities that encourage neurological, emotional and social functions. Musigenius Children is aimed for 3-5 year-olds and have been found to be thoroughly enjoyable.

For more information on the classes, please see:

You are also welcome to contact Maria at (and she will be very happy to hear from you):






The class is one hour of relaxing meditation, singing lullabies and musical creativity, all providing a very pleasant experience as well as equipping the expectant mum with some music skills she can use in these first stages of her baby’s life. It is aimed to expectant mums from the 20th week of pregnancy onwards.