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... you've never been to school




How would you feel? You are not able to write your name, read simple words, or count money. You have low self esteem. You are open to being exploited, cheated and abused. You don't understand official documents but have to endorse them anyway. You use a thumb print and feel humiliated ... Moreover, if you're a women, your opinion is not important. The word of your 8 year old son may carry more weight. You fear the police and public officials, and have little or no understanding of your basic rights, including your rights over your children, your property, your inheritance and your body. The women in the picture are from Mayagba a small village in the north of Sierra Leone. As a result of war and extreme poverty over 90% of the women in the region have had little or no education.    

... you're blind and survive by begging

How would you feel? No one will train or employ you because you're disabled, and people with disabilities are seen as third class citizens and a burden on society. (You must have done something really bad in a previous life.) Moreover, to survive you have to beg every day on the street -- and from people who themselves live on or below the poverty line. And if you're a blind woman, men will take advantage of you.

These women are from Bo in Sierra Leone. They are all blind and survive by begging. Our partners at Vision for the Blind brought them together to see what could be done to help them acquire the knowledge, confidence, skills and resources to provide for themselves and their families without having to go on the streets.

       

...you don't earn enough to retire




How would you feel? You work long hours because of poor returns. The thought of retirement is out of the question because you have no disposable income. Your neighbors are also poor, and many are in bad health. Indeed, you know of lots of people affected by depression or alcoholism, and there are high rates of marriage breakdown, even suicide. The most able people in your village have long since moved away, and your children see no future in farming; some are already working abroad. Many of the cultural traditions you remember from your childhood are no longer practiced, and community spirit seems to have all but died. This is what is happening in many rural areas in Central & Eastern Europe. These farmers are gathering hay in their fields above Brusturoasa in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. The village is very isolated.     

Your Support is ImportantIf you would like to support our work to address these kind of problems just press the button. Your contribution can make a real difference -- be sure to include your contact details so we can acknowledge your donation and claim the Gift Aid. Thank you!