Did you know that if you join our team in this year's City2Surf, you could also be changing lives for the better? This year we have teamed up with social enterprise Join the Pipe to help raise funds for the Voza Community in the remote outskirts of the Solomon Islands.
Cyclone Winston swept across Fiji just over a year ago. The worst cyclone in the region’s history killed 44 people, and left countless others without access to food, shelter or clean water.With your help, we raised $20,000 to help those who lost their homes and livelihoods. Teaming up with Partners in Community Development Fiji, we focused our recovery effort on Nadi district in the north.Your gifts bought essential tools, such as hammers, saws and knives, to help people rebuild their homes and public buildings. These items belong to the whole community, so every household has access to them when needed.Your gifts also provided much-needed seeds so families could begin growing their own food again. Without their gardens, villagers were forced to rely on expensive food from shops. Since their traditional crops, such as sweet potato and cassava, would not be ready for months, we provided fast-growing vegetables such as long beans, eggplant, tomato, cucumber and cabbage for immediate nutrition and variety during this time of food scarcity.Today, communities in Nadi are continuing to rebuild village infrastructure, and to develop their gardens to improve their health and nutrition. You can help more communities in Fiji and the Pacific prepare for natural disaster.
Tirunesh, 41, is a potato farmer and mother of six from the Gamo Gofa district. Like many others, she struggled to feed her family for three months of the year using traditional farming practices and local seed varieties, which are prone to disease. Known as the hungry season, this period usually lasts from August to November each year.When a family’s food stores run out – whether from low rainfall, land shortages or other factors – they quickly become malnourished. Children in particular become weak, vulnerable and less able to fight illness.Tirunesh was selected for a training program to improve her potato production. The program targets women, who face challenges such as lack of land due to local traditions. Tirunesh learned new techniques, such as ploughing, ridge-making and pest management. Using different potato seeds, Tirunesh put her new skills into practice, harvesting three tonnes of potatoes in her first season.She also built a ‘dark storage’ facility to cut down on post-harvest loss. After receiving some basic materials, such as nails and iron sheets, Tirunesh hired a carpenter to complete the facility using locally-sourced materials. The facility can store and protect potatoes for over four months.“The new potatoes are disease-resistant, high-growth and have a good yield,” said Tirunesh. “Before the construction of the dark storage, I kept the potatoes under the soil and that exposed them to disease and reduced the shelf life of the product.”In her last season, Tirunesh sold 500kg of potatoes for USD$95 and kept another 25kg for the next cropping season. She allocated the rest to household consumption.“I reduced the hungry season by two months and used my income to buy a cow and a sheep,” said Tirunesh. These animals have helped her diversify her income and put money aside for her children’s education.Want to help more women like Tirunesh feed their families?
At Sanh Thuan Homestay in Hoa Binh, supported by Action on Poverty’s (AOP) Community-Based Tourism (CBT) project, you’ll be greeted by Sanh’s quick, warm smile and hospitality. Sanh is always ready to lend a helping hand, and at the young age of just 21, he’s already adeptly taken on managing the homestay hosted at his parents’ home. But you won’t find too many others in Sanh’s age range in the area.
Thanks to Action on Poverty, Panha attends preschool that will prepare her for a life free from poverty.