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APT Action on Poverty Celebrates 30 years at House of Lords Reception

APT Action on Poverty Celebrates 30 years at House of Lords Reception
08/10/2014 admin

This autumn, APT is celebrating 30 years of success transforming the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.  To mark the occasion APT and invited guests will be attending a reception at the House of Lords hosted by Baroness Kennedy of Cradley on the International Day of Rural Women, 15th October.

Speakers will include The Rt Hon Lynne Featherstone MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development) and Mary Makokha, international rights campaigner and Director of REEP (Rural Education & Economic Enhancement Programme), Kenya.

Last year, despite intimidation for the work she does, Mary Makokha mounted an international campaign to highlight injustices.  Most notably challenging gender based violence and abuse against children and young women.  The international concerns she raised resulted in changes in child protection policy in Busia district, Kenya where she is based.  Some of you may remember signing the petition for ‘Justice for Liz’ in Kenya.

In addition to campaigning against gender based violence, Mary has turned her attention to health challenges in rural Kenya together with APT Action on Poverty. In our current programme bicycle volunteers take health and nutrition advice to people who need it including those living with HIV/AIDS.

As HIV infection has become a condition that people live with, the need for maintaining health and developing a livelihood is imperative.

Women with children who have lost the family breadwinner and orphans who have become the main breadwinner are most vulnerable.  In our programme, model farms demonstrate new crop varieties resistant to drought and other soil conditions to improve food security.  In addition our projects provide training to enable farmers to increase their yield and find new markets for their produce.  In this photo the Enterprise team at Kenya Seed Agricultural field day admire some of the farm produce at one of the stands.

While the focus of our work is livelihoods, we also seek to break down the barriers that prevent people from earning an adequate living by working out solutions to the problems of illiteracy, lack of access to credit, inability to source a market for products, supply chain inadequacies, lack of skills or training.

Over the last ten years and three separate projects with funding from our supporters, the Big Lottery Fund and more recently the British Government’s Department for International Development, REEP have enabled around 8,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and 19,000 orphans and vulnerable children to have sufficient food to eat and to be able to gain an income.

Over the same period, approximately 12,000 people living with HIV/AIDS have established 240 peer support groups, meeting openly in their communities; discussing, analysing and addressing issues they face; and providing active support and encouragement to each other.

Emily Taaka from Neema Nangosia support group in Samia used to trade in onions, tomatoes, fish and kale, but during the business skills training provided through APT, she realised that she needed to improve her business by adding value to her products which included washing the fruits and vegetables before displaying them for sale.  She learned how to record all the transactions in her business including debtor records and customer care.  Since she received the training, she says, ‘I can now tell the amount of money I’ve invested in my business, its returns and debts.  I have more customers, higher sales and profits and I plan to build a house after my own home collapsed.’

Thank you for your support for APT. We are currently seeking 10 or more donors to pledge £100 towards our Enterprise Appeal for the BIG GIVE which in Sri Lanka will take children out of hazardous labour and help their parents to earn enough to pay for their schooling.  In Kenya and other countries your donations help people with agricultural or business skills training, a starter seed pack or health and nutritional advice.

Could you possibly help us?

If you’d like to make an October pledge toward our cause please pledge here or email esther@aptuk.org.uk for help.   Pledges made in October will not need to be given until Jan 2015 making it a perfect way to give something back over the Festive season.

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