Chinnor Community Church, High Street, Chinnor, OX39 4DH

Tear fund January Update


Surviving the Storm

It took years for Anel* and wife Islande to build up their subsistence farm in St Jean du Sud, Haiti; and one night for it all to be destroyed.

Anel remembers vividly the events of 4th October 2016. ‘Around 2am people started shouting that the hurricane was about to come. We were in the house, the roof was getting unstable – we went next door, and as soon as we went, the roof flew off.’

Although the family was safe, their entire livelihood was destroyed. ‘We grow coconuts and plantains,’ Islande explains. ‘We normally keep half to eat and sell the other half. But ever since the hurricane, the garden is destroyed. Now we have nothing.’

Road to recovery

Although Islande and Anel plan to work on their garden once the land dries out, it will be several months before they can reap a harvest. The house too remains in a desperate state. ‘The rain comes in and everything gets wet,’ explains Anel. ‘The children lost all their school materials, and now we don’t know how we can pay their school fees.’
Islande is also worried about her children’s health. ‘I don’t know if my kids will get sick because they got so wet the whole night and next day. I don’t sleep much,’ she adds, ‘I worry about what I am going to feed the children.’

Kitted out Through World Concern, a Tearfund partner, emergency food kits were quickly provided to families in need. ‘When I received the kit, I was finally able to cook for the family,’ recalls Islande. ‘I think I thanked you all about five times,’ Anel adds. ‘It was really a very big blessing!’

Your generous gifts have enabled us to respond quickly in some of Haiti’s most vulnerable and remote communities. As we conclude our emergency phase, and move into early recovery, we will continue to work in St Jean du Sud, supporting families like Islande and Anel’s.

*All names have been changed

    Please Pray:

  • Pray for Anel, Islande and their four children as they continue to work and rebuild their lives.
  • Ask for wisdom for those working on the ground in Haiti in identifying how and where funds should be spent.
  • Give thanks to God for the work of World Concern, and pray for all those working to bring hope and help to those in need.

This is the School that Rajab built

At first glance, Raichand Menghwar School in Mirpurkhas, Pakistan may seem like any other busy, vibrant and much-needed village school. But, at one time, its chances of survival looked bleak.

For 35-year-old Rajab Malik*, he is a man with a mission. Determined to give every child in his community the chance of an education, he set up a school in his local community hall. ‘I don’t want the children of my community to work all day in fields. I want them to be educated,’ he explains. But despite 50 children enrolling, numbers quickly dwindled and many families were unable to pay the fees.

Pep talk

Rajab’s mission looked destined to fail until, one day, Rajab discovered that two children from his community attended a different school, 12 miles away. This school was assisted by the Primary Education Project (PEP), a Tearfund-supported organisation. After finding out more about how PEP schools were run, Rajab decided to meet with them in the hope of finding a solution for his own failing school.

PEP helped Rajab establish a formal school within his community and, after completing their teacher training course, Rajab qualified as a PEP teacher in 2013. His qualification brought him new-found confidence from his community and financial support started flowing in. As a result, Rajab was able to build Raichand Menghwar School.

Mission complete

Today, Rajab has achieved his mission and more. Although his motivation was education, his school has had a far wider-reaching impact: in an area with many cultural and religious tensions, the school has united the village. ‘The landlord of my village has been very supportive,’ explains Rajab. ‘The landlord is proud of the school.’

*Name changed to protect identity.

    Please Pray:

  • Praise God for visionaries like Rajab and the time, commitment and energy they give to transform their communities.
  • Lift up Raichand Menghwar School and ask God for continued blessings.
  • Pray that more of Pakistan’s children, regardless of religion, race and gender, would receive a quality education.

Beauty for Ashes

Anara* is a young woman full of hope, but it wasn’t always so. Born into a large family in the Central Asian States, she had a tough start to life. Her parents didn’t have permanent jobs, so there was no money for things such as good clothes or toys.

Throughout this challenging upbringing, Anara* dreamed of making more of her life. She hoped one day to start her own business, so that she could support her family.

Rock bottom

But then everything fell apart. When Anara was 16, her father left the family. Her mother had to work much more, and no longer had time for her children. This had a profound effect on Anara. She performed poorly at school, quarrelled with her mother, and even ran away from home. She’d hit rock bottom.

One day, Anara heard about some free courses being offered at a resource centre run by one of Tearfund’s partners. The manager of the centre saw huge potential in Anara, and so she was accepted onto a beauty treatment course. Anara threw herself into her studies and, despite being the youngest in the group, she quickly rose to the top of her class.

Hope and belief

After the course finished, Anara got a job at a beauty salon. Receiving her first pay check was an unforgettable moment: ‘When I went with my mother to buy food, I felt joy and even pride that I could now make a contribution to the family budget,’ Anara recalls, ‘and the main thing, my mother saw that I had become more serious and responsible. She began to trust me more.’

Unfortunately, because of an unforeseen technicality, Anara lost her job at the salon. But she didn’t despair. Thanks to the confidence she’d been given by her training at the centre, and the encouragement of the staff there, she brushed off this disappointment with ease. Now she has regular customers whom she sees at home.

With a stable income and plans to train further, Anara looks into the future with hope and belief, trusting in the God who gave her ‘a crown of beauty instead of ashes.’ (Isaiah 61:3)

*Name changed to protect identity.

    Please Pray:

  • Pray that Anara’s fledgling business will continue to grow, and that her new skills will be a real blessing to her family.
  • Ask God that through the work of our partners many more children like Anara will be given a fresh start in life.
  • For God’s blessing upon our staff in the Central Asian States, who are showing courage and resilience in the face of challenging conditions.

John GravettTearfund Representative

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