The pizza pirates project is born from the collaboration of Rishi labs (www.rishi-labs.org) and Soundinner (www.soundinner.com).
The aim of the project is to create a sustainable business for a group of orphans that have to leave the orphanage for the age limit.
The Hu Mama orphanage of Lijiang, where the orphans we work with comes from, works with kids coming from all over Yunnan. Yunnan is a south province of china famous for the variety of the ethnicities: Among the country’s 56 recognised ethnic groups, twenty-five are found in Yunnan. Some 38% of the province’s population are members of minorities.Yunnan is one of China’s relatively undeveloped provinces with more poverty-stricken counties than the other provinces. In 1994, about 7 million people lived below the poverty line.Yunnan is mostly a rural country, not very industrialized that recently has started to develop the tourism industry. Every year few millions of tourists, mostly chinese, flock into the area. The Chinese government is planning to make Yunnan the biggest tourist attraction of China with 10 millions of tourists per year.
Yunnan is rich of natural beauties and old historical cities like Dali, Lijiang and Shangrila. Those are amongst the most traveled cities in China (rishi labs is located in Dali).
In chinese society, where family and connection are the coagulant of the social structure, orphans have an obvious handicap: they cannot count on family and family connection to be introduced in the working world, so most of hem will end up in low profile kind of jobs.
The project in brief
The project is divided in 3 phases: training, setting up, sustainability.
First phase: training (6 months)
The training phase started on august 1st 2012. In the first 4 months of this period the pirates are been taught to make bread (using natural yeast), cheese (mozzarella, seasoned and fresh cheese), pizza, jams and a simple western menu. The italian chef Maurino (soundinner) not only shared his secret but tried to develop in the pirates the creativity in making food: mixing westerner and chinese flavors. In this period the pirates have been involved in all the phase of making a business around food: food cost, promotion, marketing and a little accounting. In the last 2 month of the training the pirates has been sent to work in a renown restaurant in Shanghai (Da Marco) where they will have the experience to work in a big kitchen with few hundreds customers to serve daily.
Second phase: the setting up of the business. (6 months)
In this phase two place will be set. In Caicun ( a small village on the lake of Dali) the bread and cheese production. Thanks to Choice2Choose NGO that offered the kitchen of the community center, the pirates will make bread and cheese there that will be delivered in town to guest houses, hotels and western restaurants with the pirate boat (a traditional 3 wheel cart pimped up as boat)
In collaboration with LillyPad guest house, a kitchen, a delivery service and a small pizza restaurant for the guest of the hotel will be set in dali. There the Pirates will make their pizza and they’ll distribute it to town.
Third phase sustainability
In this phase the pirates will be able to run their business on their own. They will repaid back the initial investment made by soundinner and rishi labs and make a living out of it.
They will be able to train their staff (maybe other orphans) and increase the business.