Starting from Scratch: Hope for the displaced
The 2023 World Development Appeal focusses on people who have been forced to leave their homes and land and start their lives from scratch.
Conflict, climate change, land grabbing – these are just a few of the reasons for displacement. The Appeal highlights those who have been forced to leave the homes they’ve lived in and the land they’ve worked for, people who have had to ask, “how do we start again?
In many countries around the world, large multinational companies are taking land for palm oil plantations, with little regard for the people who live on that land. Sierra Leone, in West Africa, is one of those countries.
For many years, Hawa lived securely in her village with her husband and three children, living off their small plot of land. Everything changed when a multinational company threw them off the land, taking it to develop it to grow oil palm. Hawa’s husband left to find work elsewhere and Hawa was forced to flee with her children to a neighbouring village.
Hawa was welcomed in the village and support from a Christian Aid partner allowed her to start rebuilding her life. She joined a women’s savings and loan group, which provided her with the capital to set up a small business and provide for her family.
This year’s Appeal will work with Christian Aid, helping them to support people like Hawa in rebuilding their lives. Christian Aid are working for justice for people like Hawa who have had their land taken. Through partners, they work to provide training and support, restoring dignity and respect to those who have lost their livelihoods.
The Appeal will also support Tearfund projects, including those in Bangladesh, working through the local church to equip communities to reduce the impact of climate related disasters.
In Bangladesh, catastrophic flooding can spell disaster for already vulnerable communities. Regular flooding not only brings crop loss, disease, displacement and death, it sets communities back and pushes them further into poverty.
The local church is equipping communities to reduce the impact of disasters through resilient housing, community planning and diversified incomes, meaning communities have room to truly thrive, even in the face of disaster. For families, it means they aren’t starting from scratch every time a disaster strikes. This journey from crisis to resilience is essential to see lasting transformation; whole communities lifting themselves out of poverty for the long term.
To donate to the World Development Appeal for 2023 go to the donations page here.