10 ways you’ve made a difference in 2019

By: 
CARE
A schoolgirl in Somaliland, where CARE runs a girls’ education programme

1. You helped us to work in more countries than ever before

Map of countries where CARE works

Thanks to your generosity, CARE worked in 100 countries in 2019 – saving lives, defeating poverty and fighting for social justice. This is more countries than ever before. There’s still more work to be done but we’ve achieved so much and this could not have been done without you, so thank you.

2. You led the way in making #March4Women a global movement

Young women on a #March4Women march in Uganda
Young women in Uganda on a #March4Women march on International Women’s Day in March 2019

#March4Women became a global campaign in 2019 with 47 countries getting involved, led by CARE International UK. More than 1,400 of you attended the rally in Central Hall Westminster. 1,200 postcards were signed and then more than 100 of you joined us in Parliament to lobby MPs to end violence and harassment in the workplace.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) brings together governments, employers and workers to set labour standards and promote decent work for all. Since #March4Women, the ILO have agreed a historic treaty to end violence and harassment at work, which is a huge win for women worldwide. In Cambodia alone, nearly 1 in 3 female garment factory workers reported experiencing sexually harassing behaviours in the workplace over the last 12 months.

Look at the celebrations that happened when the convention passed!

3. You raised your voice with us about climate change during the strikes in September

People with CARE placards at the Climate Strike in London
CARE staff and supporters at the climate strike in London in September

Climate change is fundamentally an issue of global inequality, social injustice and gender inequality – which makes it an issue at the heart of CARE’s work. The people who did least to cause it are most affected by the impacts.

CARE works globally to help those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Farmers like Rosa Fobra in Mozambique face unpredictable weather, inconsistent harvests, intense heat, and killer cyclones. She says:

In the past we would store a full warehouse with the harvest of one season. Now we can barely fill up to five or six bags of rice and corn.

4. Your donations meant we could respond immediately whenever and wherever disaster struck

Lucia and her daughter after Cyclone Idai in Mozambique
Lucia Francisco with her youngest daughter in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique

Extreme weather events – such as Cyclone Idai in Mozambique – displaced a record 7 million people from their homes during the first six months of this year. CARE provides life-saving assistance when crises hit and we responded to 43 humanitarian crises in 2019.

You also helped people in large-scale, ongoing crises like Yemen and Syria. The war in Syria has been going on for 8 years now, but thanks to your continuous support, CARE has assisted more than 4 million people affected in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt.

In 2019, CARE provided livelihoods, food, water and hygiene support to those displaced by this war, and your donations helped make this possible, so thank you.

5. Throughout the year, your generosity to our appeals has made a big difference

Midwife Arati pictured in health centre, Nepal
Arati, a CARE-trained midwife working in Nepal

You raised an amazing £18,000 towards our Life2Live campaign and training midwifes, as every woman deserves to give birth safely.

Arati (above) is a CARE-trained midwife working in Nepal, where women don’t have access to the essential healthcare and support they need when pregnant. However, thanks to your generosity, CARE can train more midwives like Arati. Since she started working at Aambote health facility there have been no maternal or infant deaths.

Since you generously raised £40,000 in our most recent appeal, life-saving improvements have been made to shelters at the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Here’s Laurie Lee, chief executive of CARE International UK, showing some of the improvements to shelters that your support has made possible:

6. Your support for Lendwithcare grows year on year, thank you! 

Jose Leonardo, an entrepreneur in Ecuador
José Leonardo, a travelling vendor of goods in Ecuador, says of his Lendwithcare loan: “To me this credit has helped me for many things, but it has helped me to survive”

Over the past year, Lendwithcare lenders have supported over 26,000 entrepreneurs with £4.6 million worth of loans (from new funds and funds re-loaned). This incredible amount is changing lives and means even more entrepreneurs have been able to set-up or grow their small businesses. José (above) is one of those 26,000 entrepreneurs who has received a loan in 2019 to grow his merchandise business, selling items such as rugs.

7. You raised an amazing £164,062 by taking part in our fundraising events or organising your own

Two women after a CARE fundraising event
Participants in the Girls’ Hike Out fundraising event

Thank you for the extremes you’ve gone to in order to raise money for women and girls all over the world, from boxing matches to head shaves – and taking on CARE’s A Girls’ Hike Out (above), a walking marathon from Harlow to the Olympic park in London.

8. By supporting CARE, you’ve put the power in women’s hands

Rehema and her daughter in Tanzania, holding CARE posters
Rehema and her daughter in Tanzania, with copies of their story in the CARE in Action newsletter

Thanks to your support, CARE can continue to set up Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to improve women’s access to finance. This is one of the ways CARE has helped Rehema (above). When we first introduced you to Rehema in Tanzania, 15 months ago, persistent droughts meant that she could not rely on farming to provide an income.

However, since becoming a member of the VSLA set up by CARE, her access to finance has improved. As well as giving her a return on her savings, she can also take out a loan if she needs to, for example to pay for her children’s school uniforms. She says:

The VSLA is my opportunity to keep an eye on my money. My husband has no say in this. I feel happy to be in control here. I like being independent and making my own decisions.

In addition, Rehema learnt about Climate Smart Agriculture practices – farming approaches which will enable her to increase productivity and cope with the negative impacts of climate change, such as unpredictable rains, droughts and floods.

9. You joined us in celebrating the ability of girls to change the world

Fatima, a schoolgirl in Somaliland
If Fatima, a schoolgirl in Somaliland, ruled the world, she would “encourage women, rule well and promote girls’ education”

Throughout 2019, we celebrated the ability of girls to change the world, and because of you we can support girls to reach their potential, everywhere we work.

On International Day of the Girl, we asked girls in the UK and Somalia what they would do if they ruled the world. Here’s what they had to say:

10. You are amazing – thank you so much for the incredible support you give CARE!

And finally, we wanted to take the time to thank you again, for the difference you are making to women, girls, men and boys around the world.

We sent over 2,800 thank you letters in 2019 and over 600 thank you cards on our annual supporter thanking day. We know we can’t thank every CARE supporter personally, but even if we could, we wouldn’t be able to thank you enough for your continued support throughout 2019. Here’s to an even better 2020 – helping even more people around the world to overcome the challenges they face and improve lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.