Kopernik Partners with Citi Foundation to Enhance Food Security in Soe, West Timor

Kopernik is excited to announce a partnership with Citi Foundation on the ‘Hai Mnahat’ program in Soe, West Timor. ‘Hai Mnahat’ means ‘our food’ in Dawan, the language spoken in West Timor. From over 1,000 submissions from 80 countries, we were selected as one of 50 community organizations to receive a grant through Citi Foundation’s Global Innovation Challenge.

“Philanthropic capital plays a critical role in the marketplace of social solutions and the Citi Foundation's Global Innovation Challenge is designed to help new ideas grow and scale,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Head of Citi Community Investing and Development. “From providing immediate relief to those in crisis to longer term interventions, the organizations that make up our first-ever Global Innovation Challenge cohort are delivering life-changing solutions that strengthen the health of low-income communities.”

As recipients of the Citi Foundation’s first-ever Global Innovation Challenge, Kopernik has been awarded a grant to support Hai Mnahat’s programming across four key areas: food access, availability, affordability, and community resilience.

Batara Sianturi, CEO Citibank, N.A., Indonesia said, "food insecurity is one of today's top global challenges. A recent study from Citi (Global Perspective & Solutions) GPS found that the estimated economic impact of malnutrition on the global economy could be as high as $3.5 trillion per year or close to $500 for every individual on the planet stemming from record high food prices and other macro-economic. Citi and the Citi Foundation are helping address this challenge by leveraging our business, our people and our philanthropy to support innovative solutions globally through mobilizing capital and financing the global food system."

Through the Hai Mnahat initiative, we will address food security challenges in Soe, West Timor by revitalizing indigenous farming practices and experimenting with innovative food preservation technologies. Food insecurity poses a significant challenge in Indonesia, impacting 22.9 million people who are unable to meet their dietary requirements.

Furthermore, 30.8% of children under five experience stunting as a result of malnutrition. This issue is particularly relevant in West Timor, an area vulnerable due to the increasing extreme weather events caused by climate change. Communities experienced longer and more severe droughts and floods, leading to crop failure, impacting smallholder farmers, and the local food supply.

The Hai Mnahat program has been developed based on insights gained from stunting prevention experiments and local food utilization initiatives in Sumba and South Central Timor regencies, East Nusa Tenggara. Combining the knowledge gained from successful past approaches and experiments with new ones, over the next two years, we will promote indigenous farming practices, experiment with storage and drying technologies, and introduce a circular economy to communities in Soe.

“We are delighted to be selected as one of the recipients of the Citi Foundation Global Innovation Challenge and to join its learning community. This grant will enable us to further our mission and collaborate with smallholder farmers in West Timor with a particular emphasis on revitalizing indigenous farming practices and experimenting with innovative food preservation technologies. In the long term, our aim with this initiative is to cultivate a more resilient and self-sustaining food system in the region, ultimately fostering a climate-resilient community,” said our Co-Founder and COO, Ewa Wojkowska.

By addressing various challenges of the local food system, we hope to create significant and sustainable impacts on food security, economic growth, and community resilience.

Stay tuned for more updates of this program on our social media channels and website.