The Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation was established as the social arm of a social business. Thus, the Foundation makes up the basis for the construct of Lemonaid and forms the SOCIAL in a social business. The main task of the Foundation is the development cooperation with the local project partners in the active project countries such as Mexico and Sri Lanka. As well as the management of donations and the selection of new project partners – and of course being in touch with the world out there, to make the work of our project partners visible.

Our work as a young organisation in the field of development cooperation is characterised by the critical examination of global power structures. This means, to leave the beaten path, to try new ideas, to make mistakes, but also the privilege as an independent organisation to support projects which otherwise do not have easy access to funds.

In our work we see ourselves as learners and not as experts, each day we may learn from our project partners. The results and innovative approaches of our project partners are worth to be broadcasted out into the world. After almost 10 years of Foundation work there are many stories to tell. How we organise our work, how we make decisions together with the board, what power criticism in development cooperation means to us and how we act in our hybrid function as a Foundation belonging to a social business. The market of Social Entrepreneurship is growing and is getting more visible.

Last year we were on the road regularly to talk about our work and we really found joy in it. We were at Unis, at festivals, the “Z2X” conference hosted by the German media content “DIE ZEIT” and most recently at the network meeting of our friends from the collective “Viva con Agua” (VcA) based in Hamburg. This has led to many exciting and critical discussions about development cooperation and what exactly we aim to do differently.

Hanna Brüning & Aileen Puhlmann @Z2X festival talking about the angle of development cooperation of Lemonaid.
Hanna Brüning & Aileen Puhlmann @Z2X festival – Festival of young visionaries © Phil Dera und Alexander Probst für ZEIT ONLINE

Working in the field of development cooperation

At the network meeting of Viva con Agua Aileen took interested visitors – through the gaze of power criticism – on the journey through the past 70 years of development cooperation. In addition to origins and effects, it was also about understanding the ‘development logic’ and classifying different approaches.

Together with Agnes Fritz from the Viva con Agua Foundation, Aileen spoke about the topics eye level and partnership in development cooperation, which are considered essential components of power criticism. In addition to discussing the different approaches of the two organisations, they also spoke about their own definition of the two terms. An open dialogue developed with the listeners afterwards with space for questions, for questioning and for philosophising.

Converstation about approaches in development cooperation @ VcA Network Meeting ©Samuel Bosshardt

How does goood development cooperation look like?

Additionally, we were invited to have conversation with the boys of the podcasts “Geil Montag” (Thank god its Monday). A German podcast that talks to people who love going to work on Monday mornings. All of you who know German (or want to improve it) can listen to it here.

It’s precisely because of such exciting discussions and because there’s room for critical reflection that we find these events so great! If you’re also interested in an event or talk with us, please just get in touch.