After being shocked by the widespread poverty while on a visit to South America, physiotherapist Charlotte Bingham-Wallis decided to find a creative way to support those struggling to feed themselves.
Charlotte, of Church Road in Twinstead, has now begun a Kickstarter campaign to help fund her new venture, Belo, a bag-making business from which a portion of the profits will pay for food packs for impoverished people in Brazil, via the non-government organisation Casa de Maria.
The endeavour was inspired by a backpacking trip two years ago, which took her through Belo Horizonte, where she said the extent of unemployment and hunger in the areas she visited highlighted the lack of a safety net for the poor and homeless.
“I think this will make a massive difference,” she said. “I know we have poverty over here, but out there, there’s not so much of a security blanket from the government.
“We hope it’s one way to stop the cycle of people not being able to progress out of the slums. Just that security would make such a big difference to families out there.”
The business, which is being run jointly by Charlotte and two friends in Brazil, plans to minimise the impact of the bag making on the environment, by making them out of sustainable materials.
The Kickstarter campaign, which runs until November 19, is aiming to raise money to start manufacturing, and Charlotte said she hopes Belo can eventually expand enough to be able to work with multiple charities and NGOs across the region.
“We want to grow it into a fully-fledged company that can spread that ethos of helping people,” she added.
See www.kickstarter.com/projects/715995936/belo-be-creative-be-practical-be-conscious to learn more.
The company website is at www.frombelo.com.