In Sub-Saharan Africa, poverty is not the result of laziness or unwillingness to work. It is poverty without the knowledge, means or opportunity to make lasting change.
I can’t tell you the number of times someone has told me, “We have plenty of needy people right here in our country.” The implication is, if I have to choose between the poor here and the poor there, I choose here. Let’s talk about poverty for a moment. I will use a comparison between the U.S and the Nation of Chad, where we do a majority of our work right now. The following information if from the CIA website.
| United States: Farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7%
Manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3%
Managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3%
Sales and office: 24.2%
Other services: 17.6%
| Chad agriculture: 80% subsistence farming, herding, and fishing (Defined: farming that provides for the basic needs of the farmer without surpluses for marketing).
Industry and services: 20% (2006 est.)
PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
United States 12% Chad 80%
So what is my point? In every city in America there are newspapers filled with help wanted ads. In nations like chad there is not even a newspaper outside the capitol city. To add insult to injury the growing season for farming is roughly 4 to 5 months. For 7 to 8 months there is NO rainfall in a country where 80% depend on farming to live.
Add to this the lack of clean drinking water, no medical care, or opportunities for education all of which results in a life expectancy of about 50 years of age. This average is so low because of a number of factors not the least of which is a death rate of children below the age of 5 at near 50%.
When a person wakes up to a new day in Chad the goal is not to find a job, it is survival. How will I live today? Tomorrow, next week or next month is not on the radar. Survival today is the only concern.
Hope Springs International is about bringing lasting and sustainable change to countries like Chad. The combination of new wells, training in dry season farming, food preservation and raising small animals for food, followed by providing basic medications at an affordable price enables people to stand on their own two feet.
It is an often quoted statement, which is still filled with truth. “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or you can teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time.” Your support of Hope Springs International is more than a gift; it is an investment that will bring change today and tomorrow. Your gifts will effect generations to come.