Dignity started with a few people and a dream. We have all spent time, sometimes decades, working in non-profit organizations. We have seen what helps and what hurts. And we aren't satisfied with the rate of change in the world.
After years of helping people out of poverty and modern-day slavery, we knew the task ahead was too big for small, individual efforts. We knew that while non-profits and micro-enterprises were doing good things, the statistics were still mounting. The UN says that over 1.5 billion people in the world are still living on less than $1.25 a day. (1) Because of this extreme poverty, they have to make impossible decisions everyday. Food, health, housing, education and safety cannot all fit in $1.25 a day. This kind of poverty denies them the freedom of choice. The cycle of poverty that is created by desperate decisions and patterns of debt must end. But how? What do we do?
Our answer was business. Not just any business, but a new way to do business. The exchange of wealth around the world is vast. It is often the unequal distribution of this wealth that leads to extreme poverty. We decided to tap into business as a vehicle for change. We created a business that would change the future for the poor.
We started with the poorest of the poor in rural Philippines. We prayed about what kind of business we could start that would be the engine for change. We asked questions among the locals and found they had a great asset - coconuts! So, we use simple coconuts with dozens of health benefits to transform communities.
This kind of community transformation will be seen in so many different ways. We chose our location based on the needs of the community. It's rural and hard access. The drinking water is not clean and the unemployment rate is high. But that's why we are there. We are bringing education, clean water, jobs and - most importantly - hope.
It's not going to stop here. We have structured our plan to make it reproducible. We are going to build more and more plants all over the world. There are plenty of coconuts to harvest out there! And it won't be confined to coconuts. We want to go to communities and ask them what they have. Then we will build our business based on our values and their resources. We have a big dream for the future. Dignity is going to change the world.
We believe that lifting someone out of poverty can change the world - literally. We believe in the dignity and potential of every human being, regardless of circumstance. We believe that the cycle of poverty can be broken, and we are willing to establish our business in the tough places in order to see freedom. We believe that people are the reason for creating sustainable profits. We believe we can produce a superior product in a life-saving way.
We found ways to use 100% of the coconut so we waste nothing! What is normally waste, we are turning into products like eco-blankets that prevent soil erosion and renewable plastics that reduce plastic in everyday products.
Our business was born out of a conviction to help communities overcome cycles of poverty and slavery. Not with a handout, but with a sustainable business that would bring lasting hope and change to communities.