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Andre Retief  & Maria Piperides

In 2010, Andre and Maria Piperides established, Indigenous Collective LLP in the UK - to serve as an appropriate platform for the ethical development & trade of agriorganic & cultural craft - destined for the ethical UK marketplace. Income from UK sales are reinvested into the community to build traditional Bedouin craft tents, vocational training centres and light processing facilities for the preparation of export crops. They have further developed an innovative, cultural travel program titled: Journeys of Cultural Exchange - where guests (of varied group size, student/academic and corporate groups) get to experience local indigenous culture hands on.

Maria has Greek Cypriot origins and grew up in London. Between 2004-2009 she specialised in the design & logistics of UK corporate trips to 5 star venues across 4 continents with groups of up to 80 people at times! 6 years ago she moved to Egypt for a portion of the year where she ran travel & accomodation logistics in South Sinai. Naturally she found her place amongst a Bedouin family just outside Dahab, where together with her cousin, they built & operated a retreat centre called Hagiga. Then, 4 years ago on a Bedouin water related matter she met … Andre - born & raised in Namibia. He has fond memories of growing up with & learning advanced bush craft from the indigenous African tribes of the Namib & Kalahari deserts. His passion remains - sustainable development amongst indigenous communities, specialising in sustainable water & organic agricultural resource management. Andre has been living & working in Egypt for the last 6 years and in 2011 moved to NE Kenya.

Guests have the option to experience local culture through living and working with local communities in their daily routines. Challenges (ranging from climate change, modern socio-economic & environmental issues) are discussed & the group is asked to submit (or participate in) proposed solutions. Transformations in both the indigenous hosts & the humbled guest are clear.

Indigenous Collective is intent on becoming an example of how sustainable development can be achieved through an open ethical trade platform, managed by sovereign co-operative communities around the world.

Video below - Feeding the 5000 is the only miracle of nature or healing recorded in all four Gospels. Feeding the 7 billion people on the planet in 2011 will require an even greater miracle. Andre gets to work on addressing this issue in the desert.