Posted on March 14, 2020
Comments Off on ACT, Women & Children- The global perspective, what is ACT’s place in the big picture?
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” [Luke 1:45]
Vulnerable African widows and children are the central pillar to our charity, their stories are the reason we exist as a charity. Last month we talked of serving, and what serving meant to us as a charity (see here for February’s collection of blogs). As we have celebrated International Women’s Day at the start of this month our discussion for March’s blogs will revolve around those we work hard to serve. Our impact as a charity on the relationships we develop with the women and children we work with.
Empowering women and enriching children in the communities we serve
The discussion of gender equality, the protection of children and peace are globally prevalent in the 21st century. The UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda focusses on these issues from the idea of transnational commitment to women’s rights and domestic equality. The framework has seen some major changes across the world, from individual communities to the way whole industries function. Without a global change in some way, it would be almost impossible to see change in the regional and local sense, as big organisations are paving the way for the future with their greater depth of resources and personnel. Their work is essential. We as a charity support the way this ‘big picture’ is changing, as it is providing a more optimistic future, for equality, for respect and for the way we think about the world we live in. But where does ACT fit into this big picture, and why does the work we do make us just as important? Why are the African widow’s and children we so important to us, and just how is the work we critical to them?
At ACT the relationships we develop with the communities we help drastically change the lives of women and children across Africa. Our concept to empower widows and sponsor children through their education creates a ripple effect whereby the impact of the child’s education; widow’s projects to create financial independence create a dialogue whereby the widow’s we help can run their own economic ventures with the aim to break the cycle of poverty. Our blog next week will focus on one of these projects to give an insight into the great impact these can have. Especially focusing on how the system of microloans is being developed to further ACT’s goals in remote locations with little other means of support. Most importantly, ACT avoids situations where we leave the communities without a lasting relationship- in the spirit of global initiatives we aim to empower women and children. We aim to give a voice to those that are otherwise forgotten. We do this by opening a dialogue with these communities that can be isolated and left behind without help. Whereas there would be limited options for the widow’s that have faced hardship and the loss of support we can often take for granted. ACT not only wants to support them but help them find their voice, so they are not left behind again, as they empower themselves through their own initiative and ACT’s initial support.
This goal is also achieved through sponsoring the children of widow’s through their education. Through working with our partner organisations to reach out to as many children in need as possible. The love for children is part of our core human nature. Providing the means to allow children access to education not only improves their chances of a brighter future, but allows the women we work with to know their children are in a safe environment and their prospects are improved. This is a concept far from guaranteed in the regions we work in. Some communities around Nigeria do not see the economic benefits of Lagos and Abuja, the two biggest cities in the country, and so our work with partners such as the Community Development Links Initiative, is crucial to so many women and children. Their newsletters bring us fantastic news of how the children sponsored by ACT are doing and how they have been registered for the national NECO and JAMB examinations. Listening to the stories and being updated regularly as to how the children are faring and the successes of the widow’s projects is what makes ACT special as an organisation. The openness and communication between communities in Africa and our office in the UK allows us to take the global ‘big picture’ and aim to fulfil our mission from the grassroots more personal approach.
This work is so important to so many people that share the same stories, yet individually are inspiring in their way they defy all odds to make their own fortunes. To help ACT in our goals for 2020, please click here to donate today to be part of our amazing story, and the stories of so many others.
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