Elevate My Community
Time to change
We live in a world abundant with skills and resources, however for millions of people in low-income countries, they suffer from hunger and malnutrition, poor housing, lack of a decent education, safe and hygienic health services, neglected road networks, no power and internet, limited employment opportunities and without a voice in the decision making to change their plight.
COVID-19 has only exacerbated the problem of poverty for many developing nations who have been particularly vulnerable and hardest hit by lockdowns and health threats. Whilst wealthier nations have contingencies to help minimise impacts, poor households remain trapped, enduring lasting deterioration in income, health and educational outcomes. The impact of school closures will cause even more school drop outs and entry to an informal sector that raises no income to improve health and education. Developing economic projects and skills in small communities builds a persons savings and resilience against these types of shocks, it also builds confidence and an ability to negotiate better outcomes for themselves.
Develop local economies
Developing countries are characterized as low income and generally have high unemployment rates. This results in low savings and investments, meaning they have small amounts of capital to invest. Economic projects stimulate the growth of the world economy along with promoting economic development within the region. The developed world has an opportunity to take people on a journey and show them the way to develop their own fulfilling lives. As agriculture is vital for world food security and is the backbone of most developing economies, projects that improve the business and financial skills of farmers will assist them to participate more fully in the value chain. Working within existing and new business systems will help ensure those new skills transform into ongoing behaviour and change lives for those people.
Most developing countries rely on agriculture as the main livelihood for their rural population. For example, in Papua New Guinea, 85% of the people reside in a rural area and the majority farm on a subsistence basis. It is difficult for them to access higher valued markets as they do not have business systems, and lack skills, knowledge and financing to sell to better markets. Farmers are therefore price takers and negotiate for the best of a low price for their produce. Projects that bring together farmers into a professional business system can provide the scale they need to attract finance, improve quality production and access higher valued markets. This in turn provides them with more income, an opportunity to save and invest in other income generating activities. Learning important financial and business concepts provides the confidence they need to successfully expand into new markets.
Many developing countries suffer from poor infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and reliable communication and power. Poor infrastructure has a significant impact on the lives of people in poor and remote regions as it is difficult for them to access markets and earn a livelihood. If communities are idle, simply living day by day without any effort to develop, their governments tend to ignore them. By developing economic projects, communities are creating a compelling reason for governments to invest in infrastructure. They are able to make an economic case as to how their projects can strengthen their own communities, whilst at the same time contributing to a stronger economy.
It's the right thing to do
We all live on one planet, we all breathe the same air, we all have the same need for food, shelter and clothing. It is not the fault of someone who was born into a country that is poor. It is true that many developing country governments don't help themselves (eg. corruption), however, it is the people that get stuck in a vicious trap that is hard to escape. Aid is problematic, it generally takes a macro based approach to try and solve the big issues. But in reality, it is the people themselves that can fight their own battles. They are very inspiring and naturally entrepreneurial having sustained themselves in adversity for so long. Supporting small economic projects and skills provides the hand up that people need. We all want to see a world that is fair for everyone so we all have the opportunities to survive and thrive.