Published in July 2021

Measuring and recording our progress is important. We need to know that we are on track to deliver our strategy. Donors want to know what their money is being used for and how it is helping those most in need. We know for example that as of June 2021, we have supported the construction of 1,196 dams which have provided over 1.1 million people with access to clean water for life. Take a look at our headline stats for a full picture of what we have achieved since we started out.

We are proud to share these statistics, although there is one important aspect of our work that is missing from this list. It is less tangible yet we know it is vitally important. It’s giving people dignity.

Behind the headline figures are thousands of personal stories of individuals we have worked with and helped. They have invested their time and energy alongside your generous donations to give themselves the chance to become financially self-sufficient and independent. The construction of a sand dam provides opportunities for meaningful employment in farming and financial security. The same farmers can be sure that their children will grow up healthy and well educated and that, at the end of the day, all members of the family will have something to eat. And that means they become more confident with a feeling of pride and self-worth.

"Dignity is difficult to define, is tricky to measure and hard to convert into a statistic. Yet it’s easy to see."

Once you focus on a specific community, you can see that building a sand dam can help families and individuals to be healthy and have food, water and financial security. It can also improve well-being and help people to be happier.

Take for example Augustine Nzai Kavoi from southeast Kenya. Because of some unfortunate twists and turns in his life, Augustine found himself unfulfilled with poor prospects. As he says, he was “not a happy man”. But when, as a member of his village’s self-help group, he helped construct a sand dam and started farming, he turned his life around. He is now so much happier and has become a role model within his village. Augustine neatly sums up how a sand dam has given him dignity "Right now, I am not just the nobody I considered myself to be a few years back.”

Through contributing to our work, your money helps to improve the health and financial independence of some of those most in need. It also is helping men and women hold their heads high and know that they are reaching their potential. It really is dignity at work.

Please consider making a donation and support vulnerable dryland communities to end hunger with sand dams, clean water and climate-smart agriculture.

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