In Their Own Words
|A vital part of the global evaluation involved asking beneficiaries what difference the development projects had made to them. It was clear that in many cases projects were fulfilling The Salvation Army’s mission statement by meeting human needs in Jesus’ name without discrimination.|
These are the words of the most important people of all – the people whose lives are being changed through Salvation Army projects
In southern India, self-help groups provide opportunities for women to save money, get credit and hear and discuss important health messages. Through one project 150 groups have been established.
‘I was sitting at home. Now I am getting 30-40 rupees a day’
‘With my income I am able to feed my family and pay the loan back’
‘If we had not got that money we would have had to borrow from a money lender and pay higher interest’
‘We have learned about cleanliness, medicines, treatments, immunisations and anaemia – why it is coming and how to prevent it’
‘There is a relationship together ... we may fight but we are solving our problems’
In the Cato Manor shanty town in Durban, South Africa, a Salvation Army project supports a local primary school. The project is providing a boost to school resources and activities for children whose standard of living and self-worth are very low.
As part of the project, sandwiches are delivered to the school on a daily basis as many children arrive at school hungry and find it difficult to concentrate on their studies. The Salvation Army team also goes to the school once a week and puts on an assembly with fun songs and games. These assemblies build confidence and teach important life skills.
This is what the teachers and a pupil told us:
‘I learned to respect others and others to respect me’ (pupil)
‘These children do not have proper nourishment. The fact that they are now having at least a sandwich a day is great because in some cases it may be all they get to eat’ (teacher)
‘The work is quite draining for us so this experience is very uplifting ... The singing, music and positive messages pick us up’ (teacher)
In China, a Salvation Army project has trained local midwives and provided basic health kits to improve the delivery of babies born in remote mountain villages.
‘With this knowledge we can look after our children better’
In the cold, open spaces of Bolivia, families find it difficult to grow food or earn an income from the land. In one community The Salvation Army provided the construction materials for 11 greenhouses. Three families worked together to construct the greenhouses and now each owns a plot within the greenhouse. This has strengthened links between families and encouraged unity and cooperation at the community level.
In each greenhouse there is an intensive production of a wide variety of vegetables. The annual value of these vegetables is typically US$110 per family, of which half is sold and half consumed. In comparison, the minimum wage is US$246 per year.
The income is used to provide school materials and clothes for the children, for other food purchases and household items. This income is important as it occurs from harvests four or five times a year, providing a steady source of income in contrast to their once-a-year other agricultural income.