RICE Social Projects
– ”No one can help everyone,
but everyone can help someone”
At RICE we are proud to take an active part in social projects around the world. Throughout the years this effort has included various development projects – from collaborations with international organizations, who provide support in different hot spots around the world to smaller projects in those countries where for instance our own production takes place.
As a consequence of war, poverty, or natural disasters, everywhere in the world, there is a constant need for aid and support. This can be aid like food and clean drinking water to war zones, it can be support for school projects, or it can be aid in the shape of reconstruction of areas hit by hurricanes or tsunamis… It is difficult to help everywhere at the same time, and unfortunately impossible to help everyone… At RICE, we believe in doing something instead of doing nothing, and we contribute where we can, because we work with our hearts, and because we believe in the philosophy that
”No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
Below, you will find an overview of the various social projects that RICE has participated in over the years…
2020: The working women of Madagascar
We have produced our raffia products in Madagascar with the same suppliers since we started RICE in 1998 – through ups and downs, we have helped each other. Now more than ever, we want to give as much work as possible to the lovely ladies who make such amazing products for us. It is our mantra – “No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone”.
Madagascar is affected badly by COVID-19. If we do not keep the wheels turning it will affect hundreds of women and their families. Therefore, for every ONE letter basket sold, we have decided to donate money for 1 kg of rice to one Malagasy family. The price of rice has increased strongly in the past years and even if it seems small, it is actually a huge help.
Just with our first order of letter baskets from the supplier, we can give up to 24kg of rice to each employee.
“We are stronger together” and remember - a little rice goes a long way.
2019: Lakshya Foundation, India
Lakshya is a small non-government foundation and company started in 2004 by, among others, former street child, Umesh Kumar. Lakshya produces bags made from laminated fabric and newspaper.
When the foundation started, the income they made from the bags were able to house and provide food for 15 street children at a time… the foundation furthermore made sure that these children went to school, so that eventually they would be able to get a job to survive and thrive on their own.
Today, Lakshya has grown into a larger foundation, whose aim is to help less fortunate children in India getting a higher education and a better way of life.
RICE’s aim is to support the Lakshya foundation. We have therefore created a collaboration, where Lakshya produce bags made for RICE, and we sell the lovely bags in our 2019 collection. All bags are handmade in the small sewing unit of the company and as such, every bag is unique and special. For every Lakshya bag sold, RICE donates 1.5 EUR to the Lakshya Foundation. These 1.5 EUR go directly to helping Indian children getting a higher education so that they are better equipped to take care of a family themselves.
In 2017, RICE and UNICEF started a 3-year collaboration focusing on helping children at risk. Around 67 million children are starving worldwide due to poverty and war, and around 844 million people are living without access to basic necessities such as clean water. Every year, UNICEF provides food and clean drinking water to millions of children everywhere and helps these children to survive and thrive in crisis situations.
RICE is proud to be able to support UNICEF in their relief work for children in need around the world. The focus has always been to help these children maintain hope for a brighter future when caught in a disaster zone. The first project in 2017 was called “Cups of Hope”, in 2018 the project was called “Hope is Bright”, and in 2019 the project is called “Never Lose Hope”. For every one of the UNICEF projects, we have developed special Hope-products made for the purpose of supporting the work that UNICEF do.
For every “Never Lose Hope” product sold, together RICE and unicef donate 1.5 EUR – these 1.5 EUR can provide 1800 L of clean water or provide 1 day’s ration of therapeutic food to a child in need.
Following the collaboration with UNICEF, RICE has contributed with:
In 2017: Clean water to 66.000 children for a month which equals 9,9 million liters of clean water
In 2018: Clean water to 147,000 children for a month equals to 22,1 million liters of clean water & 26,484 bags of therapeutic food which equals food to 8,828 children in one day
In below video, you can see how UNICEF work with children in some of the world’s hot spots and how they make use of the support they receive.
2016: Little box of Hope
In 2016, RICE supported The Danish Red Cross and their relief work in Syria. The war in Syria has had devastating consequences for millions of innocents, and thousands were forced to leave their homes and country behind.
The Red Cross has been present in Syria helping with food, water, medicine, and medical aid to the many victims of the war. More than half of the population were given immediate aid. As a result of the war, families were forced to leave their homes… and starvation and hardship became everyday life.
RICE supported the Danish Red Cross in their relief work in Syria – we designed the LITTLE BOX OF HOPE food kit consisting of 6 food boxes and 6 melamine spoons in different colors.
For every product sold, RICE donated 10 DKK to the Danish Red Cross and their important work in Syria.
2014: The Danish Hospital Clowns
RICE has supported various different projects in developing countries, but sometimes it is also important to remember to help right where you are. In 2014, RICE did a project-collaboration to support the Danish Hospital Clowns and the work they do for hospitalized kids in Danish hospitals.
When a child is admitted to the hospital, it enters an unknown and sometimes scary grown-up world. The Hospital Clown takes the child by the hand when it needs it the most, helping the child to cope with the whole situation and the treatments.
For this project, we had designed melamine cups and plates with big, red dots to illustrate the iconic red nose of the hospital clown. For every box of melamine cups or plates sold, RICE donated a financial contribution to the Danish Hospital Clowns.
2014: Safe Childhood in Vietnam
– Landmine project in Vietnam
2014 was the year where the Child Convention celebrated their 25th anniversary. In that connection, RICE participated in the project ”Safe Childhood in Vietnam”. The project was launched by the Danish Refugee Council as an educational program designed to teach Vietnamese children how to handle and avoid explosives that are still to be found in Vietnamese ground after the Vietnamese war.
More than 40 years after the war has ended, landmines are still everywhere in Vietnam, and 10 percent are believed to be active. This is called the “invisible danger”. It is believed that it would take more than one hundred years to gather and deactivate all landmines, and therefore it is necessary to teach Vietnamese children how to identify these explosives in the ground.
For the “Safe Childhood Project,” RICE launched a series of kids melamine products and for every sold product, we donated a financial support to the project.
2011: Jheel – Jaipur, India
In 2011, RICE initiated a three-year collaboration with Danida. The purpose was to improve the working conditions in the production of our supplier, Jheel in Jaipur. The project was a success, and today the facility meets the requirements of the SA8000 standard – a guide that promotes ethically and socially responsible business behavior.
Moreover, environmental issues have also become a concern to our supplier, and after this project, they implemented a wastewater cleaning system reducing the impact on the environment.
2010: Send me to School
- RICE School in Myanmar
In 2008, Myanmar was hit by the violent cyclone, Nargis, and many areas of the country were left eradicated or totally devastated – including houses, schools, and other building.
To help the citizens of Myanmar, RICE initiated a collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council with the purpose of re-building a school in Sar Chett – a small village in the South Western part of Myanmar that was particularly hard hit by the cyclone. The project was called “Send me to School.”
” I believe that education is essential for children to develop their personal and social skills, find opportunities in their lives and to learn about democracy and human rights. We will very much like to take this opportunity to make a difference in many lives of these children, and one of the ways will be in building a school for them.” Charlotte Gueniau, Founder & Creative Director, RICE
For project “Send me to School”, RICE designed various different lunchboxes and melamine products - all with school motives. For every product sold, RICE donated 50 % of the surplus to project “Send me to School.”
The actual building was finished the last week of January 2011. Consisting of 3 classrooms and 4 latrines, the school was soon ready to house children from Sar Chett and 5 other neighboring villages.
Today, the school not only provides schooling for more than 600 children, it also functions as a safe shelter for the villagers in case of other natural disasters. The foundation of the building is strong enough to withstand natural disasters like a cyclone, as well as flooding, strong wind and other extreme weather conditions.
2009: Danish Red Cross Club 10 Fundraising Event
In 2009, RICE Founder and Creative Director, Charlotte Guéniau was part of the Danish Red Cross Club 10 – a fundraising network under the Red Cross. Every year, the Danish Red Cross Club 10 gathers 10 special people from either the cultural or the business-related scene to help raise funds for Red Cross projects both in Denmark and around the world. The 10 special people all get the assignment to launch creative and remunerative projects with the purpose of generating money for the Red Cross, so that they can continue their relief work with helping vulnerable people.
On October 3rd, 2009, Charlotte and RICE created a huge fundraising event at RICE HQ, Denmark. The event was created as an experimental stock sale with music, food, sales, different DIY stands, and lots of activities for everyone. The day ended with two concerts by two popular Danish artists.
The Red Cross event was a huge success - around 4000 guests and volunteers showed up and took part in the project. Local businesses offered their services and donated the surplus to the project.
2009: Cups Full of Hope
In 2009, RICE launched the project, “Cups Full of Hope.” The project was made in collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council with the purpose of creating awareness on how to better secure the most basic of necessities for refugee families – water.
For a refugee family, the ability to collect and store water is vital for survival… naturally for drinking, but the ability to bathe and wash your hands prevents infection and reduces the risk of disease.
For this project, we designed a set of melamine cups sold in sets of two. For every set of “Cups full of Hope” sold, RICE donated a 20 l. water container for a refugee family. As a result, more than 10.000 families received the necessary aid in order to get clean water.
2009: Spoon Full of Hope (2)
”Spoon Full of Hope” (2) continued in 2009 (see below for information on part 1). The aim was again to create awareness on the many conflicts in Africa that constantly send people into refuge, resulting in shortage of food and clean drinking water.
This time the focus was on the situation in Somalia, where families were driven from their homes and were lacking both food and clean water.
RICE designed a soup spoon for the purpose. For every sold product, RICE donated 24 portions of soup to refugee families in Mogadishu in Somalia.
2008: Spoon Full of Hope (1)
The project ”Spoon Full of Hope” was initiated in 2008. The project goal was to create awareness on the many conflicts in Africa that constantly send people into refuge and results in shortage of food and clean drinking water.
The ability to cook and store food is crucial for a refugee family that has lost everything… To be able to survive and keep the hope for a brighter future, it is important to be able to take care of your family – especially under such harsh conditions.
RICE designed a melamine soup spoon for the project. For every sold spoon, RICE donated a cooking-kit for a refugee family in Sudan. This kit consisted of cooking pots, a container for food, and a set of plates, cups, utensils and bowls for 5 people – for some, this cooking-kit even became the start of a small cooking business in the refugee camp.
With the “Spoon Full of Hope”- projects (counting also part 2 in 2009), RICE helped 7200 refugee families with cooking supplies and soup.
2008 – 2011: Lakshya, India
In 2008, RICE started a three-year collaboration with our supplier in India, Lakshya. Lakshya started in 2004 as a small company producing bags made of laminated fabric and newspaper. The income from the bags went to helping street children of New Delhi to a better life – among other things, help for food and shelter, but more importantly, also for school, so that the kids would be better equipped later in life to getting a job and taking care of themselves.
RICE carried the Lakshya bags in our 2008 RICE collections. The surplus that RICE made from these bags went to support young kids in India in getting an education.
During the collaboration, RICE donated a monthly financial support to Lakshya as well as placing frequent orders for the bags. Following this collaboration, two Indian kids have now received a complete college education.
2007 – 2009: Susbiz, India
In 2007, RICE participated in the Susbiz project together with our supplier in New Delhi, India.
The aim of the project was to develop and implement initiatives focusing on working conditions and environment in the production facility and hereafter share the findings and successes with other local companies.