It has been another tumultuous year globally, and together with our partners and the people we work with to overcome poverty, Action on Poverty has been doing all we can to rise to these challenges. Our CEO Alex Daniels reflects on the year we’ve had.
This year has brought challenges to a new level in the countries we work in and I’ve been so proud of the way our team, our partners overseas and the people we work with have responded.
The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt more harshly by those already living in extreme poverty – with little or nothing in the way of savings, no government system to support them, the impact of movement restrictions on their food security and poverty has been devastating and raised the bar for finding innovative solutions.
Resilience and adaptability have enabled our partnerships to deliver exciting results.
Schools have been closed overseas this year too. In Uganda the number of children pulled into harmful work has increased many times as a result. In response, our new project is putting a stop to children working in rice, sugar cane and dangerous service industries.
We’ve trained community champions who are building understanding to establish the beginning of long-term change. In Kenya, we have also been able to start a new phase of the camel milk programme, building on the earlier success of people who – despite drought – have developed livelihoods from this great resource.
This year, two programmes in Sierra Leone have been independently evaluated and the results have been fantastic – a reflection of the hard work of our local partners and the people they work with. Over 36,000 people (majority women) in 55 communities were reached through these projects, improving not just their ability to live well but their incomes too.
In Sierra Leone, in our new project in Tanzania, and in refugee and host communities in Uganda, there are so many examples of women, young people and people with disabilities making big strides in their future, helping their own families and influencing others, from their peers to decision-makers.
It is this catalysing effect by the people we work with that gives me hope for the future.
It drives us to seek better ways to support their huge effort and success in the face of tremendous challenges, and to build partnerships across the globe for quality programmes we are privileged to be part of.
Next year we will be building on the successes of economic, rights-based solutions for wider, deeper impact particularly on child labour, women’s empowerment, and on environmental protection. These will be critical areas in the years ahead.
In a challenging climate, we have been grateful to receive the support of our friends and donors who continue to make our work possible, enabling us to adapt to the changing world as needed, to continue vital work building livelihoods with people living in poverty, and to innovate in exciting new ways to respond to the challenges of the future.