Poverty Swap - Making it Happen!

Monday, 16 July 2012 13:39

Summer Update

Written by  HF
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A young widow and her family find hope in Ethiopia

During our first 18 months we have seen the work of PovertySwap flourish and grow in a very beautiful way. By bringing two groups of people together we are witnessing transformational changes for people in some of the world’s poorest communities. The vision of our Partners combined with the skills, resources, knowledge, time and money of the friends of PovertySwap is bringing about these changes.

 We are currently working for transformation in Ethiopia, Nepal, Romania, Albania and India. We are ‘doing the povertyswap’ amongst widows and orphans without support, marginalized communities desperate for education and opportunity, vulnerable children and women at risk of slavery and trafficking and desperate victims of starvation and famine.

Overall we are seeing hope return to the faces of individuals, families and whole communities where previously there was none. This ‘povertyswap’ is so effective because of our ability to work with reliable and trusted project leaders in each country. They know their people and are able to make informed decisions about their need day after day.

When we promise to send 100% of every donation to these workers, whom we call our Partners, we know we are sending them to professional leaders whose vision encompasses practical provision for acute individual need as well as a practical strategy for the future of their own community.  

We know each Partner personally and know that their tears, frustrations, faith and honest endeavor are what qualify them for the task. We count it a great privilege to be in these relational partnerships. The regular stories we hear of lives changed because PovertySwap got involved are humbling and thrilling.  

So, in this update, we decided it’s time to let our Partners speak for themselves.

From Ethiopia

Mums and babies find help and hope at the Dorcas group  “I continue to push on with the work at Dorcas, the church social work for young mums with HIV/Aids. We have contact with around 40 people and 20 young mums with their small babies attend the group regularly. 12 of those are receiving help with baby food, since HIV mums cannot breastfeed their children. 3 have been receiving emergency help for some months now. It is our great desire not only to be there to help when needs are most acute but to work together with the families to enable them to get on their feet again. Since February, 13 women have been in skills training for needlework and handcrafts. 8 are receiving help with economic support. If mums are to return to education to improve their opportunities childcare is necessary.

Our little daycare facility, which previously cared for 4 children has 15 children now and 3 women have been employed there. We have seen this increase during the last 6 months and expect a new group to begin during autumn. We want to thank you for your partnership with us in the work here during this last year especially.

The work is being built by 15 local volunteers who are visiting those sick at home and can give advice and support to the new mums. All volunteers have gone through our training and we work with them for support and further development.  The young mums we meet are like broken flowers, with great need for care, protection and support to be able to continue an independent life. Each family is unique with everyone having a different background and facing different challenges. Many are now coming from different parts of the country having been thrown out by their relatives. Most cannot read or write which makes the life of a parent even harder. However it is wonderful to see how these young women get the chance to blossom. We are seeing that Jesus words “I make all things new” is so true here.

Recently 8 women were baptized—such a beautiful Bouquet! 6 more are now preparing to be baptized too. Once they have been with us a while they approach the question of their future and we are able to discuss with them their dreams. Some are keen to go to school, or find a job or start a small business.

We want to equip them to take responsibility for their own lives and not be reliant on us in a wrong way. This is one of our greatest challenges but to see the newness of life that comes to young lives through loving care is a great joy for all“

From Romania

teen_and_child_romania

The members of Roma communities are facing the hardest problems in their everyday life. Without a proper education they are not able to find a job, without a job they are not able to provide the basics for daily living. They live in extreme poverty which causes marginalization and discrimination.

We believe, for lasting change, we must focus on helping this generation of children with education.  People think that all gypsies are simple minded, with very low IQ.   I can tell you that it is not true. There are many kids with good intellect. In proper conditions they would have very good results at school and could go to study at universities.Generally they  abandon school from the 5-6 grades. They stay home, help parents, going with them to different seasonal works, such as gathering mushrooms, or forest fruits, or simply stay on the streets.  

I have been working with these kids regularly since 2008. Now we have between 50-100 every time.   I am working now on an  after-school program which would be a great help for gypsy kids integration and would motivate them for regular schooling.

The children's parents are amazed seeing their kids potential and changes. They say they are more organized, better behaved and have basic knowledge they didn't have before. I am amazed too seeing all the changes in so many lives. There is such great potential in each one. Both community leaders and parents are agreed that our work is having a strong positive impact on their children.” 

“ROMANIA 2012”

Help with long-term change. You can set up a regular donation by Standing Order of £10 each month for the salary of our Family Worker based in this Roma community. Contact Us

 

From Nepal

Collecting-Wood

“Thanks so much for your help. The children I work with are all effectively orphans. If parents are not dead they, or the remaining family, are unable to support them due to poverty. It can also be that children are rejected when a new husband arrives in the home.

Such poverty makes them very vulnerable and options for communities in mountainous remote villages are limited. Often children are sent away for their whole life to train as Buddhist monks, never seeing their family until they are adults or some may catch the eye of a compassionate trekker who will sponsor them in a hostel in Kathmandu, which may or may not be as friendly as they hoped for. The children in our care are offered the opportunity to live in the children’s home in Kathmandhu while they go to school. This is in careful co-operation with local people who know us and know the children’s home situation.

From this autumn I shall be living in the remote mountain villages, teaching basic computer skills and making research into healthcare, education, community development and family life. Working together with local leaders and communities we are looking at how life in the area could be best developed for the future. This is a very practical service and welcomed by local people.

We are also hoping to be able to take the children home to their villages for a visit in the coming year. This is a daunting project but is vital for the children’s wellbeing and their community’s relationship with them for the future. The scattered locations make for challenging logistics, with a proposed flight only available in good weather and the distances and altitudes mean between 5 and 15 days walking.”

“THE LONG WALK HOME” 2013

For the Children of Nepal

We are now planning next year’s Challenge Event to help the kids in the orphanage get home to visit their villages.  Everyone is invited to walk a little—or a lot. Contact Us for More Info

 

In India

Safe and sound orphans in India

“In and around Chennai orphans are often left to fend for themselves on the streets and are exposed to suffering and abuse. For days children go without food or shelter having to brave the elements and the dangers of living in the shadows.

The children at our children’s home are from very tormented and traumatic backgrounds. They are often the children of leprosy patients, beggars, criminals and destitute women. Some children are orphans, others have been abandoned and some have family who can't afford to look after them.

We want to relieve their misery and move them into an environment of love and belonging. Over the past seven years, we have been striving to provide:

  • A home for the homeless
  • Food for the hungry
  • Clothes for the needy
  • Love for the abandoned
  • An education for the under-privileged"

You can read more about this work at www.sangitacharitabletrust.com

A team from Scotland will visit them in India during September.

Contact Us direct to share your help.

 

In Albania

Sometimes we share in our Partners sorrow when their dreams do not work out as expected. We want to be there to encourage them to reach out for the long term answer. After all PovertySwap was founded after a series of shocking disappointments in our own lives, so we know that good fruit comes from tough testing.

“Thank you so much for your ongoing support and awareness raising. After a number of problems with the housing for vulnerable women at risk of trafficking we had to close the project. Just yesterday I went to some of the women we continue to support and realised we still need a place where women can stay and work on healing and restoration”.

A young boy works in Albania

And sometimes miracles happen. “For the second time since Easter we were holding an open air concert for our new church in a new area of the city and the weather was against us. Very much rain! For the second time the rain stopped in time for the event and a rainbow arched over the site. 4-500 people were in attendance.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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