Be the change we seek!

Introducing the Shwen Shwen Foundation

Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone.  I founded Shwen Shwen with a strong sense of purpose and that was to put Sierra Leonean produce, cuisine and unique culture on the map.  I wanted to prove that traditional West African cuisine can be fine dining.  Ultimately I wanted to connect people through food, elevate our culture, and balance purpose and profit.  I wanted, inspire my fellow Sierra Leonean’s to take action, and to be the change we seek.

Connecting People through food

Throughout history explorers have landed in Sierra Leone, attracted by our huge resources. Their intentions were not always pure, and transactions not always fair. Inspired by my Sierra Leonean heritage, I’m gathering a new breed of explorers. Foodies, willing to pay a fair price for our resources, genuinely interested in our culture and traditions. They seek new ingredients, new flavours, and see value in techniques tha t have been forgotten. This new generation are keen to expand their culinary horizons, create new perspectives and cross new frontiers. These explorers will take nothing but memories, yet leave an enduring positive social and economic footprint.

This is about people and food. It’s about connection.

We source high quality producers, create stunning dishes, new experiences and serve them to people with a refined interest in food.  This in-turn will create a platform on which others can build.  We hope to support Sierra Leonean producers, and collaborate with other creatives to improve economic development for a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Balancing purpose and profit

Introducing the Shwen Shwen Foundation.  We are not a charity, at least  not yet.  There are plenty of charities, perhaps too many and we feel there is benefit in pooling resources to achieve the most bang for our buck in terms of impact.  Shwen Shwen has become a Micro influencer on Instagram we are relatable to our followers and have an engaged audience because of our particular niche.  Our niche being a black owned business, focused on traditional Sierra Leonean cuisine and Afro-fusion fine dining. With influence comes great responsibility and we take that responsibility seriously.  We will balance purpose and profit and grasp opportunities to highlight three important issues:

Defeat Poverty – I’m a proud Sierra Leonean, and was born and raised in Freetown.  I know what it’s like to be hungry first hand.  I also know that over 700 million people in our world currently live in extreme poverty and that with collective action, we can change this.

Defend the Planet – The world’s poorest people contribute the least but suffer the most from the climate crisis. Climate change impacts people’s health, ability to access nutritious food, and livelihoods.

Demand Equity – Every person, everywhere, should have an equal chance to live up to their full potential.

The Shwen Shwen Foundation will act in a dynamic way, leverage our influence, raise awareness and respond when the need arises.  We will work with local partners, established Charities and NGO’s with visions, missions and values that resonate with ours, with causes that are dear to our hearts.

In summary we are a new kind of business that aims to connect people through food, balance purpose and profit and grab every opportunity we can to work toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose.

We have a sincere desire to support the development, accomplishments, and well-being of others, and are very clear, that we must be the change we seek!

Maria

Head Chef and Founder for and on behalf of Shwen Shwen.