When we got back to Taiwan after winning the Hult Prize we immediately started visiting local aboriginal communities to evaluate them for potential Playcare locations. One of the first communities we visited was a Tayax tribe village in the mountains of central Taiwan outside Hsinchu. We spent a few days and one of our most interesting conversation was with Dawei (left), a cabbage and peach farmer.
When we mentioned that we were looking to build a preschool for their community she looked surprised. She informed us that, despite their being high up in the remote mountains, that there was actually a free government preschool nearby. The problem? It was a 25 minute drive down the mountain and they had no reliable way to get their children there and back. They had been petitioning the local government for money to buy a shuttle for this purpose but had been unsuccessful. She mentioned the community had actually been pooling money in an education fund to eventually buy one themselves but going was slow. Their farmed produce didn't sell for as much as their neighboring tribe who had an established brand.
We believe in the power of communities educating themselves and our Playcare franchise is a natural extension of that belief. But what about communities like Dawei's where physical school infrastructure isn't the main challenge? We started thinking and it hit us. What if we could help Dawei increase the value of her produce? Every extra dollar Dawei makes could be split between her and her community's education fund; Dawei worries a little less about putting food on her family's table and their shuttle gets purchased a lot faster.
We started thinking about partners who could transform Dawei's produce and increase its value and ended up getting in touch with the amazing RedOnTree, Taiwan's top artisan jam maker. RedOnTree already works with aboriginal farms around Taiwan so when we proposed a co-branded product to help Dawei and her community they jumped at the opportunity. Once Dawei's peaches are ready to be harvested (which should be any day now) some will be shipped out to RedOnTree to be turned into amazing jam. Two of Dawei's peaches, which used to sell for a dollar, will now earn her and her community seven dollars to put towards valuable local education projects.
The new impct.co is dedicated to showcasing the stories and products of artisan farmers like Dawei. Initially we're launching with two product lines...
RedOnTree/IMPCT Jams: All-natural jams using amazing produce from local aboriginal farmers. 100% of the profits from these will be reinvested in community education funds or our Weekend Playcare program for aboriginal children.
OKLao/Olivia Coffee Roaster/LuGuo Cafe x IMPCT Coffee: Top quality specialty coffee roasted by amazing Taiwanese roasters. All profits from these limited edition coffees will be used to build more Playcares in their country of origin.