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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Clean water brings immediate benefits

SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA - One year ago poverty had Tomas and his family firmly in its grasp.

Omolo, his wife, was suffering from a waterborne illness that had rendered one of her arms all but useless.

Tomas was away from home for days at a time, often traveling more than 8-hours a day in search of labour work that would help him earn money to buy food and medicine for his wife and children.

Their drinking water, gathered from a muddy stream near their modest thatched home, was destroying their health, forcing Tomas and Omolo to spend forty percent of their meagre monthly earnings on medicine and visits to the doctor. Their children, chronically malnourished and often sick, were suffering greatly and their future was as bleak as the dirty water they drank.

However, everything changed the day the water system HOPE International Development Agency donors funded was completed in Tomas and Omolo’s village of Kalbo Laka. The system includes four capped springs, three large reservoirs, and thirteen watering points (taps) throughout the village. Clean water had arrived, and with it the promise of a much improved life for Tomas, Omolo, their children, and the entire village.

Almost immediately, life began to improve.

The children were no longer sick all of the time. Medical expenses that had consumed almost half of the family’s meagre monthly income fell to nearly zero as Omolo’s arm began to recover, and the children’s health improved.

The boys are now in school and Omolo is learning as well by participating in a local self-help group focused on helping women and families improve their health and income.

Tomas no longer travels to seek labour work. He focuses his efforts on the family farm which now yields much more food and income than it did before he was able to work at home with his family.

Omolo participates in health and hygiene classes provided in conjunction with the clean water. Her contribution to her family’s health can be seen in the smiling faces of her children.

Tomas is expanding the amount of land under cultivation and is building a new house for his family. The original house will be used to shelter the animals and provide a space for cooking.

Much has changed for the better in just one year for Tomas and Omolo and the future holds great promise for the family as they lift themselves out of poverty through your help and their hard work.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ducklings for Change

Nearly 13 percent of Bangladesh’s population live in extreme poverty.

Their condition is characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. While the percentage might sound low, it represents more than 20 million people.

Millions of families in Bangladesh struggle to survive day to day. They are trapped in poverty, with little hope of emerging and being able to meet their basic needs or improve their life circumstances.

All of this can change.

HOPE International Development Agency has been working in Bangladesh for more than 30 years, helping families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Moyna and her family are among the families that are receiving help.

Moyna’s situation is representative of what so many parents face as they struggle with poverty. She could not feed her children. They were constantly sick and could not go to school. But with the help of generous HOPE International Development Agency donors, Moyna is gaining access to basic human necessities such as a safe home, clean water, and a viable livelihood. Moyna recently received skills training on duck raising and animal husbandry and was provided with 10 ducks to help start her own small business.

With the help of her new skills and knowledge, Moyna has carefully tended to her ducks, which are now laying eggs. Her flock is growing and she is able to sell eggs at the market. Moyna’s income has increased exponentially, and she is setting aside some money each month as part of her family savings.

Being able to save money is something previously unfathomable to Moyna before she began raising ducks and selling eggs. As her savings grow so does her confidence as she plans for the future. Now Moyna is beginning to dream about other business ideas she may pursue soon.

Today, Moyna and her family eat three healthy meals a day, they access medical care when needed, and make additional improvements to their new home. Her children are going to school. They now share Moyna’s confidence and look forward to the future with hope and confidence.

Who knew that something so small and fluffy as ducklings could have such a transformative impact?