This month we’ve been sharing the story of how your generosity to our Matching Grant Appeal has helped Phillip break generational poverty for his family.
Phillip grew up in rural Kenya. His parents were very poor and life was extremely hard.
As casual labourers, Phillip’s mum and dad never had a secure income. There were often periods when they didn’t know where the family’s next meal would be coming from. So, school for Phillip was just another expense that they simply could not afford… at least not if their family was going to survive.
Phillip didn’t finish primary school. And years later, he found himself with a family of his own to feed.
Without a formal education, he had no choice but to leave his young wife and son, travel to the nearest city, 300km away, and compete for work with hundreds of others who were living through the exact same heartbreak.
“It was a bad feeling,” Phillip remembers, “The only job I could get was a casual job at a construction site, which were hard to get and very low paying.”
And even when he was fortunate enough to find work, there were other difficulties to face. Every cent was put towards his family’s survival and there was rarely anything left over for visits home or small improvements to their house.
“I was not able to meet transport expenses, purchase of enough food, and hospital bills,” says Phillip.
I could imagine how my little son missed my presence.
“It was very uncomfortable to work far away from my family. I could imagine how my little son missed my presence. Also, my wife (had to) do all the jobs, even the ones I am supposed to do.”
If you’ve been reading our Matching Grant blogs you’ll know that everything changed for Phillip four years ago, when he became involved with the work of our Christian partner in the field, ADS Eastern.
Phillip first met Edward, an ADS Eastern field worker, after returning home from an unsuccessful stint of job hunting in the city.
“I found an organisation had started constructing a project with the community,” says Phillip, “A sand dam at the nearby river.”
With no other work, Phillip decided to join the project. It was a decision that would change life for him, and his family, forever. Phillip was chosen by his community to receive training to become a sand dam artisan and, for the first time ever, Phillip had a qualification to help him provide for his family.
“The wages I got from sand dam construction I used to buy food, purchase goats, and build my house,” says Phillip.
But this all this wonderful change very nearly didn’t happen… because Phillip almost abandoned his training halfway through!
“It took one year to complete the training… and it was a volunteer job,” he explains.
Times were difficult. His community was in the middle of a drought and Phillip and his family were facing very immediate challenges like the lack of food and water. Phillip quickly became discouraged.
The desire to try and find paid work caused him to lose sight of what the sand dam training could bring his family in the future. And if Edward hadn’t encouraged Phillip, and inspired and motivated him, you might now be reading a very different story.
At Baptist World Aid, we know how important trust and relationship is for successful community development. That’s why we work with local Christian organisations like ADS Eastern, that understand what it means to live in remote, rural communities like Phillip’s. And that’s why field workers like Edward sometimes choose to live in community during the week – so they can get to know families like Phillip’s and build respect and trust. What an amazing undertaking of love!
And when you give to the Matching Grant Appeal, you become part of this process too.
For every amazing story of transformation like Phillip’s, there are countless untold stories like yours and Edward’s. Without your loving gift, without Edward’s sincere care, this story would never have been written.
Thank you for releasing men and women like Edward to be the love of God in communities like Phillips… and for multiplying impact for families all over the world.