Imagine living in a rural village of about 250 people. It’s been your home since birth, and each day follows the simple but tough life of subsistence farming. Access to health services, education, and employment opportunities is severely limited, so, like everyone here, you make a living off the land and strive to give your children the opportunities that you didn’t have.
But for four to five months of every year, the dry season and erratic rainfall make it impossible to grow your crops. When the seasonal drought hits and there isn’t enough water for farming, you and every working-aged person along with your families must migrate far away from home to try to find work to survive. The village becomes practically deserted, leaving only the elderly. Think of what this instability does to your children’s education and the development of your community!
This was the case for a village in Sarenga, West Bengal before our partners the Church of North India (CNI) through the Diocese of Durgapur asked how they could help.
The villagers’ request was a simple one: find a way to put in place a sustainable source of crop irrigation that doesn’t dry up when the rain stops and the local streams become empty.
Thanks to the generosity of UnitingWorld supporters, our partners were able to purchase and install two submersible pumps that can channel large volumes of water across long distances. The new sources of irrigation mean that the community can continue farming throughout the year and not have to travel away and work for others to earn a living. Summer in Sarenga this year has the usual erratic rainfall and dryness. But due to this project, we know that there is now an entire village of people who no longer have to uproot their lives for months at a time and who are hard at work contributing to their families and community.
UnitingWorld’s Program Manager Shreshtha Kumar visited the village this year and was blown away by the complete turnaround described by the people.
It’s so heart-warming to see how the village has become a self-sufficient community. The people can now rely on far better food security and the whole life of the village is benefitting.
Our partners are also helping the community to access high-quality education through their study centre and self-help groups, teaching skills to people to help them develop extra sources of income and pathways to career opportunities.
This is how our partners are making incredible change in 26 rural villages across Sarenga and Ranibandh provinces as well as in two urban slums in Durgapur. These communities are extremely poor and marginalised but are on the way to having more sustainable, healthy and hopeful futures thanks to the love and support of our partners.
This project is such an inspiring example of the life-changing work that UnitingWorld and our supporters get to be a part of, and it’s a testament to our belief that just a few small interventions—guided by communities themselves—can lead to radically positive and long-term change for so many people.
As part of Lent Event, we’re fundraising to support this work that is changing lives and transforming communities in India and beyond. Will you help us reach our goal? Your gift will go a very long way to helping so many people and communities lead lives of dignity and hope.
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, we’re making a huge difference together; lifting families out of poverty and helping people improve their lives.