16 November 2005

MRDF offers a chance to meet overseas development workers face to face

'Life In All Its Fullness' offers the rare opportunity to meet the people behind projects that have made a significant impact in tackling poverty, with the help of churches in the UK. The Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) will welcome representatives from projects in Nepal and Uganda at a special speaker event on 26 November 2005.

MRDF partner organisations work at grassroots level in places of extreme need. Project Director of Voluntary Action for Development (VAD), Benedict Male, and Prakash Wagle, Founder of Kopila in Nepal will share their experiences of working in developing countries to enrich the lives of those living in poverty. Benedict will speak about the dangers of a lack of safe water, the importance of hygiene education and how VAD has provided access to clean water to thousands of people in more than 40 villages in rural Uganda. Prakash will explain how the Kopila project trains teachers and helps children from poor and marginalized families go to school, in an area of Nepal where less than half of the population can read or write.

Both partners will bring their stories and images of life in these countries and the immense difference that projects such as these can make. Afterwards, there will be the opportunity to meet with the speakers and MRDF staff, as well as pick up resources for individual and church use.

This is the first time MRDF has hosted such an event and Programme Officer, Samantha Tuck, said: 'We hope that it will give people an opportunity to hear inspiring stories firsthand from MRDF partners and to see what a difference small amounts of well-targeted aid can make to the daily lives of people in the world's poorest countries. Small scale projects like these, that are requested and co-managed by community members, are the most likely to have significant long term effects Ð we don't just want to help people survive, but to live fulfilling and rewarding lives in the future.'

Improving access to education and clean water are two of the Millennium Development Goals that world leaders have committed to achieving by 2015. Not only can access to clean water be literally life saving, but improved health and education also enable people to live 'life in all its fullness'. Supporting partner organisations like Kopila and VAD is one way of helping to achieve these goals, alongside joining the MAKE POVERTY HISTORY campaign for trade justice, debt cancellation, and more and better aid.

'Life In All Its Fullness' will take place Saturday 26 November, 3-5pm at Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. Attendance is free and refreshments will be served.

For more information, visit www.mrdf.org.uk/life_in_all_its_fullness.htm

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