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Field Stories

We praise and thank God for the many stories of families and communities who are freed from poverty thanks to your generous support and our local partners. These are their stories.

Stories of Transformation

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“Seeing your children and yourself dying of hunger is a nightmare. Sadly it was reality.” Juan Annet Lofu was in a tough situation. With so many mouths to feed, but so little energy from the pain of her own empty stomach, her life was a vicious cycle of hunger.
Village Savings Groups or Self-Help Groups, are a sustainable way for people in rural Africa to save money, regardless of how much they make. But in Mrs. Fantaye Sarte’s community, there were rumours and speculations about what a group like this actually was. Was it a money making scheme?
Imagine a young father, 26 years old, and sole breadwinner for his family of 7 members. Imagine how he felt when returning home, after 5 years in a refugee camp, only to find that their home and all their assets had been burned to ashes.
Batale lives in the Zala Woreda region of Southern Ethiopia, where the majority of the population suffers from chronic hunger. Batale was one of them. She says, “I am poor. My small plot of land is not productive.”
Coming from a traditional village in Ethiopia, Mamitu felt the daily social pressures she faced as a woman in poverty. For women like Mamitu, Self-Help Groups have been a source of incredible transformation both within her life, and within her heart for her village.
In the midst of poverty and vulnerability, our Self-Help Group leaders in Ethiopia call the groups God’s miracle.
Kavugho, her husband Kambale and their six children ran from their village under the cover of night. Bandits were pillaging and looting homes, committing acts of violence. The family made their way into the dark jungle, praying that they wouldn’t be found.
For years, Arjun Bidika would rise at dawn to work his fields, trying to grow cash crops like cotton and beans to earn enough and feed his family. He would work late into the evening, returning home exhausted and discouraged.
Buildings collapsed, homes destroyed, families broken, and lives forever changed. Darimi and his wife Suryani fled their home in Palu, Indonesia three days after an earthquake struck. They were lucky to escape with their lives, but their house was left in ruins.
When Typhoon Mangkhut struck the Philippines in September 2018, Michael Baani didn’t know how his family would ever recover from the catastrophic damage. The gigantic storm created billions in damage across multiple countries and left 127 dead in the Philippines alone.
Kambale Kasale used to go to bed every night wondering where his family’s next meal was going to come from. He had promised all nine of his children that he would send them to school this year, but as a farmer with another failed harvest, Kambale didn’t know how he could afford it.
As the wind howled outside of his small home, Kebede tried to find some sense of peace and calm. His seven children were huddled together trying to sleep, sneezing and coughing as the rain water continued to pour through their thin shelter.
A phone call was about to change Geoffrey Mwansia’s life. Since 2008, he had been working with non-profit organizations in Kenya. Geoffrey loved helping people in need, but wanted to return to his home county of Kitui, where poverty was rampant.
Zipporah Musembi was humiliated. She had approached yet another family member to ask for a loan, only to be denied again. She knew this meant her two boys would miss another month of school since she couldn’t afford the monthly fees with her income.
Nigist, a mother of four young children, was struggling to provide for her family. As a single parent, she was able to apply for financial assistance from the government, but it was miniscule and still didn’t help make ends meet.
Rev. Vyaera has a heart for ministry and for his community. Through church empowerment programs, people like you are helping his church reach out and meet the physical and spiritual needs in the community.
A grade seven graduate with no formal leadership training and four children at home is not who you would expect to change her community. Despite her lack of formal education, Janet John initiated, trained, and now oversees fifteen savings groups in her community in Tanzania!
Tears run down Bamni's face as she recalls her husband's death. He was working in the field one day when he was bit by a snake, and with no doctors around, he eventually succumbed to the bite. Bamni was left solely responsible for raising her four children.
The phone continued to ring. Ramesh, Executive Director of our partner EFICOR, in India, didn’t want to answer. Over the last few days the calls kept coming, delivering the heartbreaking news that another person he knew had died of COVID-19.
She carried no clothes, no food, and no money. Nothing but her baby in her arms. Abrlhet* is one of millions that had fled the escalating violence between the Ethiopian Army and Tigray Defense Forces.
A roaring gas motor may be annoying for some but to Hanna Kamara it is the best noise in the world. It is the sound of empowerment.
Masika’s smile bursts through the colourful cloth as she tells us how the savings group changed her life. “I used to go work in the field every day but all we could get was just enough to eat. Since I took part in the group, I have been able to buy a sewing machine,” she says.

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