We don’t give out stuff, we teach stuff! We firmly believe in the old proverb; “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
When villagers hear we’re not simply handing out food or money, some walk away but others stay to find out how we will transform their lives. How do we do it? By providing the training, know-how and skills for people to find or create employment.
Recently I visited rural eastern Sri Lanka which for many years was the front line between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan army who waged a bitter civil war leaving many women as the sole bread winner and their children without a father. And so “Life After War” was conceived in a loft on an industrial estate in Worcestershire to provide Sri Lankan families with a myriad of small enterprises from shop keeping, egg production, tailoring to farming. We worked a minor miracle!
I will never forget meeting Dayawathi who, after losing her husband in the war, lived in a shack in the jungle. Earning an adequate living was impossible while she worked long hours in a local store for next to nothing. Then she heard of a community programme in Mahoya where she learned about enterprise from Action on Poverty’s partner and thought, ‘yes I can do something’.
Incredibly, with a tiny start up grant this woman started a brick factory. She established the basic tools to create bricks and built a kiln to harden them, making enough bricks to build her own house. Then she built a roof over the kiln and create a drying space. Word soon spread that Dayawathi’s bricks were better and cheaper than other producers. Orders flooded in and provided enough money to send her son to school, buy a bike and save for the future.
How much do you think it cost to change Dayawathi’s life? £50. That’s the investment Action on Poverty makes to train each of the women we work with in the most vulnerable and remote rural areas of the world. If you would like to transform the lives of more people like Dayawathi and support your local international charity, please get in touch on 01386 861294. www.APTUK.org.uk
‘I am proud to endorse the fabulous work Action on Poverty do. To give people who have lived through war and natural disasters an independent future for an investment of just £50 per person is a tremendous achievement and all from a small office in the heart of the Cotswolds. So do please support your local international charity and help change a life today.’ Sir Peter Luff MP