October 17th marks International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, so Workaid is reflecting upon its role in supporting economic development in areas of deprivation and poverty.
Launched in 1987 by activist Joseph Wresinski, the main purpose of this day is to hear the voices and commemorate those who struggle through impoverished conditions. The first commemoration saw 100,000 people gather at the Trocadéro, Paris where Wresinski shared an important message “Whenever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty“.
This closely aligns with the mission of Workaid, which is among many other incredible charities striving to make a sustainable difference, having now sent over 100 containers to Africa supporting 2,912 vocational projects since our launch.
Workaid’s first container left for Kenya in 1994 and since then Workaid has grown exponentially. 2001 marked the first container to Uganda followed by 2008 seeing the first containers to both Tanzania and Zambia. Just to put that into perspective, our most recent container, Zadok, shipped to Zambia included 107 sewing machines, 49 carpentry sets, 13 masonry, 31 horticultural sets, 4 leatherwork kits, 4 electrical kits and 7 irons for tailoring, plus much more.
Due to the united work of all the volunteers, it is estimated that Workaid has influenced and improved the lives of over 150,000 people over the last 30 years. Transcending the initial impact of facilitating learning important skills, so that people are able to work or potentially even set up their own businesses enabling them to support themselves and their families.
After hearing feedback from a sample of 25 projects across 8 containers it has been recorded that as a direct result of Workaid’s donations, 798 people were able to produce useful items for themselves and their families and 750 people used their skills to produce and sell items to help with their household income. As well as this, 805 have gone on to share the skills that they learnt with others creating a sustainable and enduring legacy of Workaid’s assistance. In addition, we have evidence that 589 children have been able to go to school to get an education, which in itself further benefits their communities.
It has to be said that none of this would be possible without the generous donations from the public, which enables Workaid to be part of the advancements in the eradication of poverty. Furthermore, without the work of our extraordinary 200+ volunteers that are committed throughout all aspects of the charity each bringing an array of expertise and knowledge.