“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.” — Joseph Wresinski
Thirty years ago today, 100 thousand people gathered in Paris to insist that poverty is unnatural, undesirable and unacceptable. Soon after, today became the official International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
At Temwa, we’re fully behind the UN’s goals of ending poverty by 2030; of increasing quality education and a healthy planet. We can’t wait to see clean water and sanitation, zero hunger and fairer economies for all, but we also believe in doing it the right way – in partnership. To build peaceful, inclusive societies, listening to the voices of those who are most excluded is one of the most important things we can do! Temwa’s programmes seek to give local individuals the skills and training they need to become the teachers, helping others around them and enabling strong, sustainable communities.
Nkhata Bay North, in Northern Malawi, is home to some of the most excluded people in the entire world. Living in remote, rural areas with little infrastructure or access to healthcare and education, over 40% of the people here live on less than £1 a day. Today is all about standing in solidarity with those living in extreme poverty and appreciating their value and dignity. It’s a chance to recognise the vital, amazing efforts of poor people at the forefront of the fight against poverty, and to say a wholehearted “We’re with you!”.
Temwa’s vision is an end to poverty in this region, but our impact in Malawi comes entirely from the local communities themselves. Lead farmers, volunteers, local teachers, school children in AIDs action clubs – these are some of the real heroes championing development in Northern Malawi.
Our local heroes include amazing women like Ruth. Ruth joined Temwa’s agricultural programme six years ago, to provide not just for her own four children and elderly mother, but also for two orphans. Sadly, many children in Nkhata Bay North lose their parents due to the heartbreaking reality of HIV and AIDS.
Ruth worked hard in farmer training, and within a year was chosen to grow vegetables for other families too, passing on her skills. She’s made great sales from her produce, and with her income continues to support orphans, pay for her kids’ schooling and build a beautiful rental home. Inspirational, hardworking people like Ruth are creating long-lasting change, not just for themselves, but for their entire communities, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work with them and support them.
Ruth’s story shows how being poor does not equate to being hopeless! Today is the perfect day to celebrate capable, strong individuals like Ruth, who are transforming their communities for the better, championing inclusion and showing us all what it means to fight poverty, leaving no one behind!