The Issue

Our planet is home to 7 billion people, and although there is enough food for everyone, every night one out of every eight people goes to bed hungry, and one child in three is underweight. There are a range of reasons for this, but quite simply, many people face difficulties providing for themselves and their families.

With such a large and growing global population, people need reliable ways to provide for their families that can cope with pressures and shocks (such as weather events, financial difficulties and so on) while also considering the long-term impact on our planet’s environment and resources.

What we are doing

We are working with our partners in Africa, India and the Pacific to help people develop and strengthen sustainable ways of providing for their families and alleviate poverty. This includes community gardens and sustainable stoves in Mozambique, income-generation projects in Kenya, small business training in selling solar lights in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, permaculture and community gardening projects for vulnerable women in South Africa and Kenya, and skills training for vulnerable women in slum communities and income-generation activities for people with disabilities in India.

Where we are doing it

Get the Facts

  1. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five.
  2. One out of six children – roughly 100 million – in developing countries is underweight.
  3. Yields for women farmers are 20% to 30% lower than for men. This is because women have less access to improved seeds, fertilisers and equipment.
  4. More than 80% of the world’s most food-insecure people live in countries prone to natural disasters with high levels of environmental degradation.
  5. Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40% of today’s global population.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Our partner in Mozambique, the Anglican Diocese of Niassa, leads the Community-led Health and Wellbeing Project (Community Response to HIV) project. Initially focused on responding to high levels of HIV infection, the program has been expanded by the communities themselves to have a much larger impact.

The program’s success is built on teams of volunteers from each community – called Equipas de Vida or Teams of Life – taking responsibility for community education and action.

The Equipas de Vida are working on sustainable livelihoods in a number of ways. This includes: teaching people about how to build fuel-efficient stoves that burn significantly less wood and emit much less smoke; and establishing and working together on community farms to provide for vulnerable community members such as the elderly and orphans. This also includes selling produce to provide for the education of vulnerable children within the community.

Funding: This project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.

In South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, the Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown’s Department of Social Responsibility is working to support vulnerable women by increasing their ability to feed their families as part of the Grahamstown Diocese Women’s Empowerment Program.

The permaculture aspect of the project provides an environmentally sustainable way for families to feed themselves and reduce money spent on food while also reducing stresses associated with food and money shortages. It also aims to generate more nutritional food, expand options for growing food and provide support to the members of the food growing network.

Funding: This project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.

In India, lack of skills and jobs leads to the exploitation of men, women and children in slum communities, but women and people with disabilities particularly have less choice, often experiencing sexual abuse or being forced into sex work to survive.

In Kolkata, Cathedral Relief Service’s Project Ashakiran is leading skills training in tailoring, beautician work and other livelihoods opportunities for more than 300 women in slum communities so they can provide for themselves and their families.

In Uttarakhand, Herbertpur Christian Hospital is training people with disabilities to enable them to have opportunities for income generation for themselves or their families.

Funding: These projects are funded by donations from the Australian public.

In Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, most people live in rural areas scattered across multiple, remote islands. Many of them are not connected to the electricity grid, and they also have limited income opportunities. Many communities rely on subsistence farming, with extra supplies shipped in at great cost.

We are working with our partner, the Anglican Church of Melanesia, and their Mother’s Union in both countries to increase access to solar lighting through the Bringing Light to Rural Communities in Solomon Islands project and Livelihoods and Women’s Empowerment in Vanuatu project.

Using solar energy supports both long-term sustainability and improves quality of life. Decreasing reliance on kerosene lamps, which are expensive and dangerous, is an obvious benefit. In Solomon Islands the project has contributed to the complete elimination of kerosene lamp use in one province, and another province is not far behind.

The projects also help create jobs and income – people are given financial literacy and business training and ‘loaned’ a small number of lights, which they then sell at a small profit. After they have repaid the original loan, they can purchase or borrow more lights and repeat the process. This creates income independence and means people are less likely to take up jobs in industries that damage the environment.

Ongoing training in solar maintenance has allowed people to expand or establish businesses fixing a range of solar equipment, and because the lamps also charge mobile phones, owners can earn a small income providing a phone-charging service. Further income generation activities such as poultry projects have been established, using the sales of solar lights, and the lights are used to support other work that was previously difficult at night, such as working in the fields, preparing produce for sale in markets, or fishing.

Funding: These projects are funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.

Our Kenyan partner, the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), is working to reduce violence against women and children through the Imarisha Kwa Kuzingatia Haki Na Usawa project, which means ‘Improving the quality of lives by enhancing rights and equality’.

The project seeks to address the link between poverty, violence against women and children, and the spread of HIV and AIDS by increasing community awareness of violence, how to stop it, and how to support survivors, while also improving people’s ability to provide for themselves and lift themselves out of poverty.

The project also includes education about productive and sustainable farming, particularly in a changing climate, and the establishment of community gardens. People are also taught how to effectively engage markets with produce.

Funding: This project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.