I am incredibly fortunate to have been born in a developed country and to have received a good education. There are billions of people in this world far less fortunate by birth, and I've seen first-hand what life can be like near the bottom of the global economy in Liberia, one of the world's poorest countries. Liberia ranks near the bottom in almost all measures of development, having been decimated by years of civil war that has left an indelible mark on the land and its people. Yet I encountered there from my first day in the capital city Monrovia some of the most friendly, welcoming and spirited people I've ever met, willing to share what little they have with somebody who by comparison has everything.
Liberia could be so much more than it is. It has fertile land and a climate in which food can grow, yet so many Liberians rely on expensive imported rice to survive. That's why I've chosen to donate 5 per cent of the profits on each sale I make to grow2feed, a pioneering initiative that demonstrates a self-reliant and entrepreneurial approach to livelihood enhancement and sustainable development in West Africa.
If you want a glimpse of life in Liberia, I highly recommend the work of photographer Glenna Gordon here.
I also realise that charitable giving is very much a personal decision. That's why I also give you the choice of any registered charity in the world instead of grow2feed if you prefer. Simply enter the name of your chosen charity under the "Add special instructions to your order" field in the shopping cart.
And by the way, when I say 5 per cent of the profits, I mean 5 per cent of the sale price less the costs of producing that particular artwork. That means I don't include any ongoing costs such as web hosting and marketing, or the costs of any equipment I use, all of which would reduce the amount going to charity. And if you choose to return the artwork and receive a full refund under my triple guarantee the 5 per cent will remain with charity.