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Stories of hardship and hope

22 May 2017

Ricky ross zambia

Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross has spoken about being shocked by the conditions many people live in Zambia but how money from Scotland is making a real difference.

The singer-songwriter was speaking at the launch of our WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeal which raises vital funds during Lent for our life-changing work with families affected by hunger, poverty, war and natural disasters.

In January Ricky travelled to Zambia with us to visit isolated villages in Sesheke and Kazungula where he met families who rely on farming to feed and support themselves.

We're helping many farming families to grow more food and earn a living using sustainable organic farming techniques such as composting, mulching and producing natural fertilisers, all of which improve soil quality and boost harvests. Many have been able to double the amount of food they can grow on the same plot of land.

Speaking at the launch Ricky Ross said:

“It was heart-breaking to see how many families in Zambia really struggle to grow the food they need or get the necessities of life which we take for granted such as water, a dry home or some money. I found it really shocking that in 2017 families still have to spend hours every day walking miles to get water.

“However, it was fantastic to meet families being supported by SCIAF and see how money from Scotland is helping them to change the way they farm so they can grow the food they need and earn an income. Many are now able to send their children to school, pay for medicine, put iron sheeting on the roofs of their homes so they can stay dry, and even buy a solar panel to power a light bulb so their children can do their homework in the evening. These are positive and lasting changes which are helping families to work their way out of poverty and have real hope for the future.

“People in Scotland shouldn’t underestimate the huge difference even small donations to SCIAF’s WEE BOX appeal can make. It really does change lives.”

Drought, floods and the changing climate are making it much harder for poor families to grow enough food to survive. Money from the WEE BOX appeal will help us provide seeds, tools, livestock and training to help people grow the food they need, earn some money and support themselves in the future.