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Respect to Ruth

Tearfund | 28 May 2020

When we first met Ruth in a poor community in Nigeria, she spoke of lying awake at night worrying about how she would provide food for her children. Or how she would pay for their education. She did back-breaking manual work but still couldn’t seem to make enough money.

Then Ruth started to notice some people in her village doing things slightly differently. It started with roofs. People were using a new method of roofing to keep their homes dry and their possessions from rotting in the rainy season.

This was the result of things they were learning and sharing in a self-help group run by one of our church partners. Ruth joined up and things began to change…

Self-help groups empower people, like Ruth, to take their own brave steps out of poverty and regain their self-respect. Really though, they are about community-help, church-help, family-help and Christ-the-saviour-help. Life hasn’t suddenly lost all challenges for Ruth – this year her daughter had to be hospitalised three times – but things have got significantly better.

Life saving work…
By saving money, and using the practical information and encouragement of the group members alongside the Bible studies, Ruth and her husband have managed to earn more income by growing and selling potatoes. This has enabled them to pay for their daughter’s medical bills and some necessities for the family. Ruth has also bought fertiliser to increase their crops and has bought a pig to rear.

Ruth prepares the ground to plant new crops.

Seeds of change: Ruth prepares the ground to plant new crops.

Even in the difficult months where before they had often experienced hunger gaps – times when food ran out before the next harvest – this year the family had enough to eat.

‘I am also thankful to those who stood by me,’ says Ruth of all of the people whose prayers and support have made this possible – people like you.



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