It is always very exciting when we receive feedback from our Partners in their various countries and differing situations to tell us about the very practical things that are happening simply because of people’s connection to PovertySwap. However last week, when we received unedited photographs from a distribution of food to famine victims in Ethiopia, our hearts were overwhelmed with compassion and we felt more than ever before that PovertySwap is vital for our times.
We didn’t go looking for Famine Relief work. We didn’t make any appeal. In fact we didn’t realise what it involves at all! But one of our friends saw the tragic stories of East African famine onTV news and decided to send donations to PovertySwap “to be used for those starving”. One of the unique claims we make at PovertySwap is that you may choose the project to which your donation is sent, and for what purpose. This one presented a huge challenge – to get 100% of those donations to the mouths of the people who needed it. An overwhelming prospect – but a promise made in good faith.
We placed the donation in full into the hands of our Partners in Ethiopia. They contacted someone who flies a mission helicopter to remote areas. This organisation knew of a group of people in desperate need, agreed to buy the life-saving 1000 kilos of corn, transport it to them, deal with the administration and pay for the costs! To complete the PovertySwap, for people to have their most basic needs for survival met for a period, it took many people working together. What a privilege to be a tiny part of that story! I am reminded of such a story in the bible, when a small boy shared his small lunch and more than 5000 ate that day!
The photos tell their own story. Some we are posting here. This is an ordinary community of people, mums and dads, children and grandparents – people like us – whose life has become a daily survival and search for the most basic need – their daily bread! Even homes and shelter have become secondary to this drive to be fed. It struck me that they are a people, a community, who, in their search for food, are slowly starving to death….day after day…week after week…month after month…maybe for years to come. You can see their lack of energy and it seems even the laughter and enthusiasm of children is silenced.
Living as I do in a society with every basic need met and more, such a life is unimaginable for me – and yet for these people such a life is everyday reality. Our Partners in Ethiopia are so sincere in their thanks. They wrote "God bless you for this help! Greet all and thank for this precious help, in right time!".
We are continuing our work with these Partners to find sustainable solutions for local communities and you can read more about that in our Ethiopia pages (Do The Swap/Action in the Nations/Ethiopia). This week they also told us of how they are investing their own skills, knowledge and resources into a local family in their city with HIV and no other means of support. They are mentoring them to upgrade their small business and establish a ‘shop’ (a typical plastic tent structure common in the area) outside the university to supply stationery materials and coffee. They have a 2 year relationship with this family and see that they are hard working, enterprising people who, with a bit of PovertySwap could be people to influence and help many others.
We are happy that generous donations from the friends of PovertySwap are making such a long term difference in the story that is Ethiopia. Donations for the continuing work of our Partners in Ethiopia and for famine relief can be made online or by post. We are especially happy to receive regular donations by Standing Order and all UK tax payers donations are increased by 25% when Gift Aided. Contact Us if you want to do this.
Thank you so much that you “consider those who are poor.