Through their own efforts and with the support of Helvetas, the portrayed families from Bolivia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia have succeeded in stepping out of poverty in just two generations.
Their stories serve as examples for the global development in water distribution, work, education and skills. They are a reminder that real change is taking place. All around the world, day after day.
"It's only failure when you stop trying something new," says Teófilo Garcia Caraballo. The Bolivian and his family are bold and try out many things. This has also enabled them to set up the water pipeline and irrigation system, for example. Thanks to these installations, the family can now drink clean water and harvest fruit.
As a result of their two incomes, the Chakmas have managed to leave poverty behind them. They have a modest home. They know that there will be food on their table in the following months and years. They can become engaged in the economic, political and cultural future of Bangladesh.
The grandmother, Kassanesh Kebede, had to fetch water almost every day of her life. It was part and parcel of daily life for the women and girls of the village. She was married off at eight, bore her first child at 17. She would have liked to have gone to school but her parents needed her help around the house. And so Kassanesh walked down to the pond every day to draw water for the family.
It was murky water that made people sick. That didn’t change until people in the village of Meha Kebele in northern Ethiopia joined forces two years ago to dig a well and installed a water pump with help from Helvetas. Now Kassanesh, her daughter Genet and all the other women and girls of the village can pump clean water to drink, cook and wash with from the village well. They don’t have go far anymore either, which makes time for other activities. Like going to school, for example – according to UNICEF, school attendance is 15 percent higher when children have access to clean drinking water.
Kassanesh’s granddaughter, 12-year-old Yemaralem Derese, is in her sixth year of primary school and she’s a good pupil. Her favourite subject is «Humanity and the Environment», in which she gets excellent marks, too, much to her family’s delight.