Giving Back

1% of all sales goes towards supporting and improving the lives of children in need in South Africa, Lesotho and India

Safe House
Gathering Place Trading owners; Lovena and Ryan Harvey, are involved in a number of projects with the aim of helping African and Indian children in need.

Ryan Safe House

Lovena and Ryan have aided in the creation and building of a "Safe House" for sexually abused and 'at risk' children in one of the township communities of South Africa. The project is called "Uthando Lwabantwana" (for the love of children) and is run by a trusted friend and a pillar of the township community — Jackie Ramncwana. The 14x16' Safe House building is located on Jackie's land in the heart of Nomzano. She is trained in rape crisis counselling and has worked as a counsellor for the local police department. She was one of the founding members of a group called South African Female Empowerment (SAFE). To help Lovena, Ryan, and Jackie with this needed work, please call the Gathering Place directly. To view photos of the Uthando Lwabantwana project click here.

asha baby

  • Gathering Place gives 1% of their tea sales to Help Lesotho (, a registered and reputable charity based out of Ottawa. Lovena and Ryan have much respect and admiration for the valuable work of this organization and have volunteered their time when in Lesotho. To see photos of the Harvey family in Lesotho, click here. If you would like to donate money to Help Lesotho, please do so through their website (above)or purchase Gathering Place tea bags.


  •  When Lovena was in India in November 2009, meeting spice farmers,she went to Vanashree Residential School, a school for orphans and marginalized children. She was moved by the committed of school founder, Mr. Manjappa and his commitment to these children. The school is 'alternative', teaching the children yoga, dance, performance and meditation in round classrooms where children are encouraged to ask questions. In January 2010, 300 children from the north of Karnataka State that lost their homes and schools in a flood were invited to Vanashree until they could return home. Lovena and Ryan now donate 1% of all spice sales to Vanashree!

Lovena and Ryan's African journeys and volunteer work are detailed in these three articles written for the Cortes Island newspaper:

South African Safe House — 27th October 2007

Notes from Africa — 6th April 2006

Donations for Lesotho and South Africa — 5th January 2006