Samaritan's Purse gives vulnerable children and families a brighter future

Samaritan's Purse has launched a new campaign to lift 30,000 families from a life of grinding poverty to a life of hope by 2016.

The Raising Families initiative aims to give a sustainable future to some of the families surviving on less than £1 a day around the world.

The launch, at the Christian Resources Exhibition on Tuesday, comes a day before the United Nations' International Day of Families.

Samaritan's Purse will be working through local churches to break the cycle of extreme poverty that some families are trapped in.

This includes enabling them to access essential resources like healthcare, education, nutritious food and housing.

Samaritan's Purse UK Executive Director, Simon Barrington said: "Healthy and loving families provide many of the essential building blocks for a strong and stable society.

"But in the world's poorest countries, too many families feel powerless and under constant threat from disease, malnutrition, poor housing, and the problems caused by a lack of education and a regular income."

One person to have already benefitted from similar support from Samaritan's Purse is 63-year-old Ugandan grandmother Namwandu Nakabale, who became mother to her three young grandchildren when her son and daughter-in-law died suddenly.

Without the money to clothe, feed or educate them, she was suicidal before volunteers from the local church, supported by Samaritan's Purse, stepped in to provide uniforms and the fees to send her grandchildren to school.

Nakabale was also helped in setting up a garden where she was able to grow crops that could feed her family. She is part of her church's savings group and will use the money to start a business that will provide longer term security for her grandchildren.

The Raising Families initiative will assist other families in desperate situations.

Mr Barrington continued: "Even faced with the current economic pressures in the UK, these are things that the majority of people here take for granted, but these are precious and rare commodities for the people we serve.

"This is no hand-out.  We work with local families and communities to effect long term change. This is not charity either.  This is an investment in the future of a family and the future of their children.

"Regardless of whether it is a child-headed family, a single-parent family, a granny-headed family or a mum-and-dad-with-four-children family, the need is there and the local church is responding and ready to do more."

Chris Blackham, Samaritan's Purse UK Head of Programmes and Projects, added: "Through Raising Families, families in the UK have an opportunity to play an active and necessary part in the miracle of transformation that is now taking place among families in the poorest parts of the world. From Kyrgyzstan to Kenya, from Liberia to Rwanda, from Swaziland to Uganda.

"Over the next three years, we seek to see 30,000 families go from a point of despair and destitution to real hope and a sustainable future. We hope that many will join us on this exciting and essential journey and make a real difference to a family that really needs something different to change their future forever."

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