In a few weeks' time we will be launching the 2017 Christmas Appeal. Working together we can change the lives of hundreds of families who are experiencing extreme hardship and help them get onto pathways out of poverty. This year we are supporting two projects in two countries on two continents, empowering people as we improve vital infrastructure in Kenya and transform communities in rural India.

Kenya

Building on our very strong relationship with Edward Buria in Kenya we will be working to protect vital water supplies for hundreds of families affected by the recent droughts, with the renovation of two sand dams that will capture the rains when they do fall. Sand dams provide a clean, secure and local year-round water supply in water scarce environments. With the water being held under the sand, evaporation is minimal, people are protected from water-borne diseases and mosquitoes can’t breed – reducing the threat of malaria. As the dams are close to villages, they stop the need for people walking for hours each day just to collect water that is often unsafe to drink, enabling children to attend school instead of looking after younger siblings and farmers to put their energies into food production not water collection.

India

Building on a new relationship with Vinu Paul in India, and working in partnership with another Newfrontiers sphere - Commission - we will be setting in motion a long term community transformation project in Odisha in rural India, where the majority of people are living on less than $1 per day. This project will empower local people with the knowledge and skills they need to transform their own communities, utilising the creative and natural resources they have available to them, to help them to get onto sustainable pathways out of poverty.

This project will also be run in partnership with Tearfund’s Church and Community Mobilisation process (CCM) this is expected see the creation of initiatives similar to those we have successfully supported in previous appeals, such as: savings and credit association schemes and starting new small businesses alongside developing conservation farming techniques that improve yield and income from the land and improving local access to education and healthcare, so that the whole community can see transformational benefit.

Our giving this year will see life changing improvements in health and education to people living in extreme hardship and bring much needed hope of a more secure future for hundreds of families trapped in poverty. I hope you can join with us to see lives transformed as people are empowered to walk on pathways out of poverty.

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If you have any questions or want further information about the appeal, please contact Julia Miller. julia@pathwaysfrompoverty.org.uk or check out www.relationalmission.org/empower where you will also find lots more resources available to help you to empower people in your own communities and find out what others in the RM family are doing to remember the poor.