Photo by Annila Harris, World Vision
Poverty is complex. There are lots of factors that can lead to a person, or an entire community, living without the things they need not just to survive but to enjoy life in its fullness. That is also part of why breaking the cycle of poverty can be difficult – because you have to look at the bigger picture, not just address the smaller symptoms.
That’s why World Vision works in communities long-term – so we can identify the unique challenges that people face, and develop the best solutions to tackle them. We don’t just put all of our focus on clean water, or health care, or education – our programs are holistic. Our goal is that by the time we leave a community, they are self-sustaining and equipped to continue their own development.
Take a look at the photos below to see what World Vision’s work looks like for this community in India!
This Village Development Committee stands on a road that they advocated for! World Vision helped the Committee to identify the gaps in service provisions, and encouraged them to raise their voice and ask for their rights from the government. Thanks to their persistence, nine street lights have been installed in the village and repair work has been done on 200 metres of road which was badly damaged. “When World Vision formed our committee they also empowered us with information about our basic rights. Now no one can take advantage of us because we know our rights and we will not give up and we will get them,” says 34-year-old Ashok, president of the Village Development Committee.
Pooja used to get sick from drinking dirty water – but now she and her family have access to clean drinking water. “We drank water directly from the hand pump. That water was not clean and could only be used for cleaning not for drinking, but we had no option but to consume that water. Now we have our very own water purifiers thanks to World Vision, so we can access clean drinking water in our house,” says Prabha, Pooja’s mother.
“All the money we save is deposited into the bank. We update the passbook regularly. Initially to get women together was very difficult because they didn’t realise the importance of a Self Help Group. Now women actively take part in the meetings and all group events. We have bought cooking vessels and irrigation pipe that we rent out to get additional income for the group. Apart from saving, women also come together to discuss the social challenges existing in the community and come up with solutions to overcome them,” says Sulekha, the leader of this Self Help Group started by World Vision.
Binnuraja had to drop out of school in Grade 9, as her parents couldn’t afford to send her any more – but she still wanted to do something with her life. “I thought of learning tailoring so that I could start working from home but had no finances to join any course. But when World Vision came and spoke to girls in our community about enrolling for sewing classes, I jumped at the opportunity,” says Binnuraja. Binnuraja was able to purchase a sewing machine and utilise the new skill set she had acquired. Now she runs her own small business. “This just gives me a sense of satisfaction. I can say that I am able to stand on my two feet. Now I have the ability to buy things for myself,” says Binnuraja.
Five-year-old Krishna used to be severely malnourished, until World Vision encouraged her parents to participate in a nutrition program. Through the program Krishna was fed lots of nutritious foods that helped her to return to a healthy weight – and her parents learned to prepare meals that would give their children the nourishment they need.
“We were also given kitchen gardening seeds. Now we have access to green vegetables in our back yard,” says Krishna’s father Ramshankar.
The journey to school from Archana’s house used to be too far, so she was forced to drop out of school. Now World Vision has provided Archana and 306 other children from the area with bicycles so they can get to school easily!
“When we didn’t have toilets in the house, we had to go to the field to defecate. At night time it was very scary because we could be bitten by snakes in the field. I could never go alone because it was not safe. During raining season, filled with water the fields were very dirty and we had walk in that dirt and defecate in the same field. Thanks to the toilets constructed inside our house we don’t have to go to the field any more. How mostly all the villagers use their own toilets. People no longer go to the field for defecation,” says 13-year-old Binita.
13-year-old Pavan and his 16-year-old brother Amit study under the light of a solar lamp provided by World Vision. “Many times there is no electricity. But that doesn’t stop us now from studying because we have the solar lamp. At night the lamp helps us go from one place safely,” says 13-year-old Pavan.
You can help World Vision to transform whole communities by sponsoring a child today.