We sit down with Steve Lund, Nu Skin Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nourish The Children to to hear more about how Nu Skin Enterprises is doing good in the world.
Last October, I had the chance to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, to learn more about the organisation and the new beauty offerings it has in store for 2018 (which you can read about in our January issue). There, I also learned that more than just another booming business, Nu Skin also practices a unique business initiative known as Nourish The Children (NTC), which puts out good in the world by providing a growing supply of nourishing food to the kids who need it most. Here, its Executive Director tells us more about it.
Can you tell us more about Nourish the Children and the impact it has created?
“We’ve been able to provide over 550 million meals to children in the most trying circumstances on earth. A majority of them are in Malawi, which is perhaps the poorest country on earth. This little country of 14 million people have two million orphans whose mothers and fathers have died from AIDS. Right now we’re feeding about a 100,000 children every day, and they receive a majority of their sustenance from our programs, and that to us is a very rewarding thing.”
NTC has come a long way since it was established in 2002. Can you take us through the highlights?
“NTC is part of our corporate responsibility program that buttresses the charitable work we do through our Force For Good Foundation. The FFGF has built a school in Malawi, which teaches 21st century farming, pest control and irrigation practices. Malawi is an agricultural society, but they haven’t until recently integrate modern agricultural practices in their farming, and our aim is to ensure that their farms become far more productive than before. How it works is that a family will come and live on our campus for a year and return home and incorporate what they’ve learned on their own farms. Every kilo of produce that’s created on these farms is one less kilo that has to come in from the United Nations or Red Cross shipments and helps protect them against the effects of drought and famine. So we’ve been able to create vast amounts of food resources in a country that’s really needing it.
“We have a whole sophisticated program where we reach out to local villages and talk to their chiefs and heads, who’d recommend candidates that are most likely to benefit from this schooling. We’re able to bring 35 families each year. One of the unique things about our school is that we don’t just send the husband to learn; they can’t come unless they bring their whole family. The husband and wife go to school together so they have two minds capturing what needs to go on and reinforce each other so there’s much better uptake of the farm. So far, this particular activity is only in Malawi, where the needs are so profound.”
Where do the meals come from, what are they made from, and how to they help?
“In each continent, we have a VitaMeal program and ingredients are localised. We source products locally in order to make the recipe consistent to the local diet. For instance, in Asia, it’s a riced based diet with soy and vitamin supplements so that the product is easily digestible by people who are malnourished. On the other hand, in Africa, the product is based on maize.”
Photography: Nu Skin
How has social media helped with the growth of NTC?
“It’s certainly helped us tell our story. All of our initiatives are happening because of the generosity of our salespeople and employees around the world. Every year, my wife and I go back to Malawi and take around 30 or 40 distributors and employers so we can observe whats happening there and verify that we’re keeping our promises.”
What advice would you give to people who want to start a socially conscious business?
“Apply discipline and focus, and treat it like a real business. Although it’s charity, real records need to be taken and audited to make sure that the good that you hope to do is actually happening in these places where there are so much need. An effective charity needs to focus on something and be really good at that before they start to extend to other things.”