Letter from the chair...
It is with great pleasure to present to you our impact report for 2021.
It is a testimony that, while the pandemic continued to take its toll, also great things happened. You will read that Mustardseed Trust constitutes a strong community of change leaders!
The successful Jamboree with our partners in France is exemplary of what is occurring worldwide: the upsurge of partnerships and more voices that recognize that care is embedded in every part of our existence.
“Care is everything we do to maintain, continue, and repair our world so that we may live in it as well as possible’’.
Our partners also reflected on how to create an economy of care through their own work, resulting in exciting revelations at the Jamboree. Slowly but surely the adage: “give what you can and take what you need’’ is spreading. Let's think deeply about how this can be put in place. In our own lives, our organisations and our governments. Last year we promised ourselves to better balance: collaboration & competition; listening & action; efficiency & resilience; diversity & unity. I am happy to report that we make great progress on all fronts. Our investment portfolio will continue to be adjusted to enhance our mission and values. Also, we became clearer on what organisation we want to be: i) enablers of partners to collectively grow ideas and sustain their organisations; ii) supporters of action oriented networks that share our aspirations; iii) contributors to the body of knowledge on the care economy. In 2022, we will continue this path. The rubber band between what we aspire and where we are, is fully stretched. Our structural tension is high. There is still a long way to enrol influencers, policy makers, legislators, practitioners, and other stakeholder into the new perspectives of a caring world. This gives us great energy to continue the work. On behalf of the Trustees, I thank our committed staff and our professional business service providers. In a special way, we acknowledge our partners for their remarkable strides towards ecosystems restoration and developing money systems and partnerships that serve higher goals than the self. We pledge our continued support and look forward to enabling all to strive in the years to come.. With love and respect, Alida Bakema-Boon, Chair of the Board of Trustees
With love and respect,
Alida Bakema-Boon, Chair of the Board of Trustees
...an eventful year for Mustardseed. Even though COVID19 persisted to disrupt the world around us, Mustardseed Trust mobilized our partners to deliver on their outstanding work and goals. We were able to meet up with many of them in France during the Jamboree in October 2021.
We published the Care Revolution newspaper, which informed and entertained the reader to create their visions for a future we are able to care more deeply and profoundly for ourselves, each other and the planet.
We are grateful for our partners for their collective achievements during the year.
Our purpose is to enable the care economy.
This is what we mean by that:
In 2021 Mustardseed and its partners created impact in...
Body of knowledge:
Strengthen partnerships with our constituents such as 2Enable and other affiliates.
Ecosystem restoration & Regenerative agriculture
Under our focus area of ecosystems, Mustardseed Trust's intention is to show the world that we can move away from extractive practices to regenerative practices that fully account for the value that our natural environment gives us. We support partners that bring in innovation, new forms of accounting, and new ways to engage people to connect to our home: the earth.
Mustardseed enabled our partner organisations to restore 17089 hectares of land in order to create a healthy planet, reached about 390 farmers to practice regenerative agriculture and had over 40,000 online engagements to foster restored ecosystems and regenerative agriculture practices. Key partners in the field of ecosystem restoration and regenerative agriculture in 2021 are:
Case study: Syntropic agroforestry enabled by community inclusion currencies.
Grassroots Economics Foundation with the support of Mustardseed set up a demonstration to pilot with communities to build healthy, peaceful and sustainable livelihoods through Syntropic Agroforestry Farming - A system that facilitates the regeneration of soil to ensure increased yield and ultimately a steady income for community members.
In order to identify and leverage the abundance that such forsts can , the use of Community Inclusion Currency (Sarafu) to trade different goods and services has enabled different households to easily put food on the table by earning vouchers for doing different services within their communities. Such communities are excited and looking forward to developing, issuing and trading their own vouchers. Imagine communities taking charge of their local economies and understanding that economic liberty is a fundamental human right.
A 29 year old Celine, one of Grassroots economics beneficiaries from Legio Maria Group in Siaya County, gave the following testimony:
“After I turned blind from a critical illness and lost my husband, I was evicted from my house with my 4 children. We sought solace at the St. Regina Segere Legio Maria Church in Nyalgunga, Siaya County. A place that has restored hope for different orphans and widows like me. It was not easy getting basic needs. If you asked me how many days I went without food then I'd lose count. Life became unbearable but at least I had shelter and a place I called home. We juggled through casual works that enabled us to survive. In March 2021, Sarafu was introduced to us and for me this was the light at the end of the tunnel.
Grassroots Economics Foundation empowered us and supported us to establish a Syntropic Agroforestry Farm that has fed us all year long. We have continued harvesting different crops and fruit trees from Sukuma wiki, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, bananas, pawpaws, indeginous vegetables, carrots among others. My condition didn't stop me from working in the farm since it has been my only source of food. I take care of our farm with so much love and this has enabled me to identify different crops by simply touching their leaves. My group has been paying me in Sarafu that I later use to buy produce from our farm and to get other products within my network and community. I no longer go to bed on an empty stomach nor do I have to run into debts in order to secure my basic needs. Thank you Grassroots for being our hope in these times of crisis.”
Complementary currencies & Universal Basic Income
Moving from 'greed' to 'trust'
In the focus area of money systems we support a shift from centralised money systems that enslaves humanity with a scarcity mind-set, to a plurality of systems that are based on trust and abundance supporting all beings. Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one aspect where humanity in unconditionality is supported to live in dignity. Complementary currencies can catalyse another systemic change to value relationships that are currently not accounted for in our currency system. Mustardseed enabled partner organisations to influence thousands of people directly with basic income conversations and our partner organisations supported over 100,000 people to interact with complementary currencies to create wellbeing for all.
our Universal Basic Income partners are:
Moving civil society and politicians towards favouring a UBI in the UK
BIEN annual UBI congress hosted in Glasgow.
Engaging youth to advocate for universal basic income.
piloting UBI mechanisms on the blockchain.
Highlight: Basic Income Conversations - UK
With Mustardseeds support, Basic Income Conversations has been able to upscale their work to reach out to and engage the civil society to advocate for UBI, campaign to move political barriers for an UBI and to research and network basic income movements in the UK.
In 2021, Basic Income Conversations successfully build relationships with 78 civic society organisations across the UK, to get Basic Income as a conversation topic on the agenda.
“We’re most proud to see organisations that have previously not engaged with basic income before, now beginning to host Conversations in their workplaces with their staff or members.
For example, we’ve supported the charity Turn2Us to host a Conversation with their members which led to them changing some of their organisation's core principles. A highlight has been our work with Local Trust and the Big Locals, taking conversations to new parts of the country with groups of people we otherwise would struggle to connect with.
The energy of those conversations are now turning into action, with 6 areas now designing micro-pilots in those areas. We measure where each organisation and leader is on our Ladder of Engagement (Observing, Sharing, Engaging, Advocating, Organising) so we can track engagement and relationships over time, and early signs are encouraging to see some people moving up the ladder of engagement quickly thanks to our work.”
Human relationships systems
Moving from 'me' to 'we'
In a world where the care economy is real, people are equipped and inspired to relate to each other, the community and the planet on a basis of partnership rather than domination. This intervention translates to supporting educational and activistic undertakings. With our support, our partner organisations managed to reach out to hundreds of people to care for themselves & the community in partnership.
Case Study: Faith in Leadership
“When Faith in Leadership first started in 2007, one of the participants we selected for our Emerging Faith Leadership Programme, was a young Anglican priest of Congolese origin, reverend Canon Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy. We developed a deep friendship with him, and helped him run programmes to combat severe institutional racism in the Church of England. Through our many interactions, his philosophy of change- management meaningfully incorporates such concepts as ‘being part of the integral whole’ and ‘serving all stakeholders in a balanced way’. Through Lusa, Krish was invited in 2018 to facilitate a meeting of all the Bishops in the Church of England (the first Hindu ever to do so) which led to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s historic admission of last year that the Anglican Church is ‘institutionally racist’ and the establishment of the first ever Anti Racism Task Force in the Church of England.
Stunningly, this young priest has just been invited to be a Bishop for a significant part of the London diocese. We are humbled and honoured that our alumni, especially ones that we are so very close to, are beginning to enter the corridors of power in the UK. This is all the more reason for us to redouble our efforts to keep such alumni involved with their counterparts from other faith traditions. Real societal change, of the type envisaged by the Mustardseed Trust, will come about through the wholehearted engagement of the faith sector. Our alumni can help lead such change.”
A highlight of this work was the Jamboree that we organised in October 2021. We gathered with 30 people for a program spanning 5 days. The purpose was “to inspire, equip, cement further and create new partnerships that strategically work towards a world that cares for the planet and all its beings”. This purpose was achieved with great conversations, ideations and linking opportunities between our partners. There are new possibilities emerging and they give a great outlook for us as a caring community.