How do you know whether a project will work and help bring children and families out of poverty? One way to find out is to set up a small pilot project. This is what happened in Sri Lanka between 2008 and 2011, before the latest project to give loans to 3,000 families in Batticaloa.

Rashmi was one of 558 women and youth to receive a loan as part of the original pilot project.  She told ChildFund staff three years later that the loans she received literally saved her family’s lives.

Here, ChildFund Asia Programmes Manager Sally Angelson describes Rashmi’s incredible story:

Late last year I visited Sri Lanka to monitor the projects you support. I met Rashmi, a woman whose courage and hard work inspires me. Rashmi’s husband was hurt in an accident, and can’t work. Her eldest daughter was born with stunted legs, and needs constant care.

Things got so bad that in desperation Rashmi took her youngest child to an orphanage in the hope they could care for her.

Thankfully, they told Rashmi about ChildFund instead.

Because Kiwis like you help families in Sri Lanka through ChildFund, we were able to give Rashmi a small loan to start a vegetable garden. The children helped out, and now she grows vegetables, coconuts and bananas. Everyone has enough to eat, and there’s even extra Rashmi can sell in the market.

Rashmi paid back her loan, and took another loan to buy a cow. She sells the milk, and used the profits to buy four goats. The goats provide manure which makes the veggie garden even more productive!

Now, all the children go to school. The eldest – the girl with special needs – is sitting her final exam!

Rashmi had tears in her eyes when she told me what a change had come to her family’s life. I have to admit I was emotional too. She told me the loans literally saved her life. To me, this is PROOF that a loan to help families start a small business is one of the best things you can do for families in need.

Because people like you supported Rashmi with a loan to start a small business, her whole family is now self-sufficient!

You can Find Out More about the current project to build secure incomes for 3,000 families in Sri Lanka.  Or, Donate Now and help provide a loan to family like Rashmi’s .

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