Improving Communities

We’re for communities


They are the hub of life for millions of people around the world. A source of identity and belonging. A source of care and concern for families, the young and old. When a community breaks down everyone suffers.

Sadly, communities in developing countries are often incapable of meeting the most fundamental needs that individuals and families within that community require to remain healthy and strong, allowing them to thrive. Areas that often fail are housing, sanitation systems, fresh water systems, food security, health services, education, employment and work skills. Some systems, like sanitation simply don’t exist.

When systems fail, it’s the most vulnerable that suffer – the children, the aged, the infirm. But the misery can touch the entire population as adults and children alike suffer with serious sicknesses, disease, depression and hopelessness.

We have the potential to reshape the future of a community – and it does not need to be costly nor complicated. Simple things like drilling a water bore inside a village can have the most profound impact on everyone in that community.

We would love you to help us as we dream big for needy communities all around the world.

We’re happy to do the heavy lifting – it’s what we do well.


But we can’t do it by ourselves – we need you to come on board and help us. You can make a single donation to fund what we do, or even better, become a regular giver and give a small or large amount every month. Your regular giving provides certainty and stability – and this allows us to think big!

So please, consider resourcing us and we’ll work hard to do just what we say we’ll do.

DONATE AND IMPROVE A COMMUNITY

First the Issues

Fresh Water

Turning on a tap in our homes for a cool drink of fresh water is taken for granted. Imagine walking for miles to your water source each day - and then carrying your daily water needs back to your home. Imagine doing this every day of every year. The job of water fetching is often borne by women and young children and it can be an exhausting, time consuming and even dangerous activity (in some communities the risks from wild animals and sexual predators are very real). Kids’ education is also often compromised as their time is given to carting water.

Sanitation

Sanitation systems give a community the ability to remove dirty, unsafe water and waste that result as a part of everyday life. From activities like cooking food, washing utensils, laundering clothes, bathing, showering and using toilets, waste is a regular by-product. In developing communities, images of putrid water ways, open running sewers and fetid, rubbish filled dumps is due to poor or non-existent sanitation systems. There is simply no effective way to remove the waste products. The dirty water and refuse simply accumulate becoming dangerous breeding grounds for disease and sickness, putrefying the air and polluting the land.

Education

It’s simple to trap people into an ever perpetuating cycle of poverty and misery. Simply restrict their education – and ensure that they cannot read or write. They will only ever be able to work the lowest paid jobs, and with their meagre wages spent on the most basic of needs (food, clothes, rent, debts) they will be incapable of paying for their kid’s education. Their children are raised in poverty and so the cycle continues.

Health. Sickness. Disease

Diseases spread easily and quickly in communities that have poor sanitation and unreliable water sources. Cholera, typhoid, trachoma, hepatitis, dengue and malaria are some of the most serious dangers – but in poor areas even untreated diarrhoea and vomiting can result in severe dehydration leading to death in adults and infants alike. Without the basic knowledge of hygiene, simple things like washing hands or covering mouths when sneezing can be constant sources and threats of infection. When it can take hours or even days to get help from a doctor, it can mean the difference between life and death. In some cases, health services are just too expensive to access and this can mean a death sentence to poor people.

Gender Issues

Issues that arise from gender discrimination within communities remain significant and troubling. Serious problems exist and include: the sanctioning of violence against women and girls (including honour killings, beatings and sexual abuse); the forced labour of young children in places like sweat-shops, rubbish dumps, mines or quarries; restricted access to education; the violation of female genital mutilation; forcing young girls into marriage (which destroys their educational opportunities and forces them into early, frequent and dangerous childbearing).

Poor Shelter

Homes made of rubbish – tin, bamboo, sticks, plastic bags are a common site across poor regions as slums spring up when people have nowhere to live. Poor sanitation, a lack of clean, fresh water and food, and cramped living means that slums become breeding grounds for disease, sickness and danger. Tiny, crude huts can be shared with up to 10 children sometimes complete with pigs and poultry – in this environment children struggle to stay healthy and have little hope of finding a quiet place to study for school. If you do have a home to live in, there are poor protections over tenancy rights and land ownership and the risks of eviction are always a troubling possibility.

Financial Hardship

Financial hardships can affect any family but when those who can work are confronted with limited opportunities for employment, or lack the necessary skills or education required to secure a good paying job, a downward spiral begins. Subsistence farmers are particularly vulnerable if they cannot feed their families as they are forced into the labour market to survive. Without skills, experience or access to capital to start their own businesses it can be a desperate and hopeless situation.

Disability

If you are a person living with disability, life is particularly tough. In some religions and cultures you are considered as ‘deserving of your punishment’ (e.g. karma implies that your suffering today is deserved as punishment for the sins of your past lives). Where there does exist the resolve to help, there often is little capacity to practically assist a person with physical or intellectual disabilities (e.g. provide a wheelchair). And so the problems associated with living in a poor community with a disability are amplified.  

What We're Doing to Help

Fresh Water

When you bring fresh water into a community, it can literally breathe life into that community. We do this by drilling fresh water bores or establishing water harvesting systems - and like a real watering-hole in the desert, a source of fresh, clean water soon becomes a central point of activity for people as they are drawn together. It promotes health, hygiene and happiness – and often other civic activities spring up at the well – like schools and meeting halls. The daily collection of water from nearby sources saves time and effort, and the supply is clean, fresh and assured.

Sanitation

In developing communities, educating people about sanitation and helping to change behaviour is one part of the solution – teaching people of the dangers of disease can go a long way to halting the spread of diseases. The other solution is to introduce sanitation systems that serves to remove dirty water and solids away from populations. These two efforts always result in stunning results.

Education

When we educate kids, we literally change their futures. As educated children grow and graduate they have better chances at securing good paying jobs, become self-sufficient, feed themselves and their families, buy a home, access health services and live safe and healthy lives. They in turn can help invest into their own families and friends becoming part of the solution to end poverty in their worlds. It’s a proven fact that every additional year a girl is educated, marriage is delayed. This means she has improved possibilities to work and raise a healthy family as an educated woman rather than an illiterate child bride.

Health

Teaching people about hygiene, health and nutrition ensures that diseases and infections are minimised and in some cases, avoided entirely. Simple things like mosquito nets become life saving measures – and at very little cost. We support governments to establish and manage the operation of health clinics so that skilled health workers are close by and ready to help.

Gender Issues

We create awareness in communities about gender issues through education and advocacy while striving to help communities grow in their understanding of issues like Child Protection and Law and Order. We also provide support through crisis intervention services.

Homes & Shelter

We work with families and provide them with the tools they need to be accommodated in clean, safe homes that are suitable to their needs. Children can study, families have space and home is a happy, healthy and safe place.

Financial Hardships

We seek to help communities explore, create and cultivate ideas that result in businesses that generate income. We do this in lots of ways including workshops, skills training, and identifying and connecting people to local opportunities that exist. We also assist with microfinance loans and small grants to help kick start a great business idea.

Disability

We help break down barriers within communities by seeking to challenge and change beliefs and attitudes towards people with disability. The disabled often don’t have a ‘voice’ when it comes to addressing the issues that affect them, so we encourage their participation in the process of change, making sure that their needs are understood and considered. This means that we reach and respect the most vulnerable in the community and they feel empowered and valued.