Across the globe, Tearfund works in partnership with locally-based agencies to show love in action in tangible, practical and life-changing ways. We partner with agencies that understand the needs of their communities, and are in the best position to develop sustainable responses.
Stronger livelihoods in Nepal
Kancha Tamang lives with a disability after he fell from a tree and had to have his right hand amputated. He’s a member of a farmers’ group established by Share and Care, one of Tearfund’s partners in Nepal.
“When we started in his community there was no farmers' group,” says Ramesh Kumar Khadka, head of Share and Care. “We encouraged them to set up a farmers' group and we started to provide training on farming skills, for example how to grow cash crops rather than just rice, as well as support to build greenhouses so that vegetables can be grown and sold in the off season. Kancha was so successful with his first greenhouse that he was able to purchase two more and now he has three that are providing good income for his family.”
Better farming in India
Farmer Rajju Kol, pictured with his wife Samariya, was introduced to drought-resistant seeds during a training program conducted by Tearfund’s partner the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR) in his village in India in 2019. He received some drought-resistant mustard seeds which have grown so well that he produced strong crops even when rainfall was low. He has been storing some of his crops and will use them in years to come.
Photo: Lambard Regulus, EFICOR
Love in action in Cambodia
Mrs Or Sovandea and her family, who live in Tros village in Cambodia, now have a productive garden on their patch of land, after Sovandea learned new skills through a project run by Tearfund's partner Ponleu Ney Kdey Sangkum (PNKS).
“I can see almost every household has a home garden and people are healthier. Young and old live peacefully together. They share; they discuss; they forgive; they respect one another. They have human rights knowledge as a base,” she says.
PNKS is working in dozens of villages like this one to support people to generate livelihoods and build stronger, healthier communities. One of PNKS’s core values is that love is not merely a feeling or a concept: it should be put into action.
Empowering communities in Sudan
North Darfur, Sudan, faces multiple problems, including a chronic lack of basic infrastructure, scarcity of safe water sources, food insecurity and limited opportunities to generate an income. The population has been affected by conflict, and people are feeling the effects of climate change.
Tearfund’s partner ZOA Sudan has set up and supported Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), comprised mostly of women, which help to empower local people financially.
“As poor people, the VSLA enabled us to do things that we couldn’t do before,” says Haja, a VSLA member. She recently took a loan from the VSLA and was able to pay the fees for her daughter to sit for her final school exams.
“My daughter was dreaming for years to finish her primary education in the village and join the secondary school. I am extremely happy to help her,” says Haja.
Training and equipping young people in the Solomon Islands
2 November 2021 was graduation day for 18 students who completed a Youth Leadership and Community Development training course facilitated by Ola Fou, Tearfund’s partner in the Solomon Islands. The training aims to build capacity and confidence to help youth become leaders in community development. The training took 18 months to complete. As part of the training, students have been providing coaching to other young people in their communities to plan and implement small-scale practical responses to address community priority needs.
Joseph, pictured left with Ms Christina Skoumbourdis, Second Secretary Development at the Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands, completed the Certificate in Youth and Community studies offered by Ola Fou Solomons Youth and Community Development.
Improving health awareness in Myanmar
Daw Sar Ze, pictured at left with a staff member from World Concern Myanmar, is involved in both the health care group and Village Development Committees in her village of Kaw Lei Htu in Myanmar. The groups are part of World Concern Myanmar’s work to improve hygiene and health practices, particularly among women and children, in order to reduce the spread of disease and help local people to enjoy good health.
“Before World Concern came to our village in 2019, the whole village, including myself, had no knowledge of health and access to health care services,” says Daw Sar Ze. “We didn’t know health knowledge, environmental sanitation, household sanitation, handwashing and hygienic practices and prevention methods. Due to the lack of health knowledge and access to health, we suffered frequent illness and diarrhoea.
Daw Sar Ze took part in training offered by World Concern and now regularly delivers health awareness sessions to households and occasionally at religious events. Before taking part in the training, she says she was shy and lacking in confidence. “Now, I can talk in public with confidence. We have adopted healthy behaviours such as environmental sanitation, hand washing, eating a balanced diet."
Supporting mental health in Somalia
In Somalia, a range of factors – including conflict, war trauma, poverty and displacement – contribute to high rates of mental illness and psychological distress. Distress and mental health disruptions are much more prevalent here than in other low income and war-torn countries, and people who live with mental health conditions are often stigmatised and discriminated against by other Somalis.
With your support, Tearfund’s partner Medair is incorporating mental health and psychosocial support into its general health projects. Medair facilitates group awareness and support sessions in the communities it works in, and has trained its staff and community volunteers in supportive communication skills and the provision of basic psychological support.
Halima* says: “I fled the war in 2017; I lost everything and left some of my belongings. Before the war, I used to provide for my family and I had livestock, but the war made me the poorest person. I never thought I would need to borrow food for my children. We have passed a lot of sad situations in life and if we don’t talk about it, everything sad that happens remains in our heart and causes stress and mental illness.
“We are very grateful to Medair and also the community volunteers who provide us with education messages. It will not bring our life back to normal but at least we can cope with the current situation.”
* name changed
Tearfund Australia is thankful for the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), which co-funds the work of Share and Care, EFICOR, PNKS, ZOA and Medair with Tearfund Australia.
Get inspiring stories and prayer updates from our partners to keep you informed about our work. Delivered to your inbox every month.