Practical Action

There are so many charities and so much need of charity in the world it is really difficult to know how to help and who to help. One of the charities I do support is called Practical Action, because that’s what it offers – affordable, practical, sustainable technical support to communities which can become self-sufficient. What the charity is fighting for is ‘technology justice’ – which it explains as ‘simple, locally-produced technology that removes the unjust barriers that prevent people from improving their own lives… giving people the appropriate tools, techniques, systems or approaches to meet their basic needs for food, water, health, education and a way of earning a living‘.

The sort of problems other families face which me and my family have never had to contend with, and probably never will, are for example, having safe clean drinking water and a proper sanitation system, being safe from preventable diseases, and having strategies when facing natural disasters.

The fields in which the charity work in Africa, Asia and South America are

  • Energy access
  • Food and agriculture
  • Urban water and waste
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Climate change
  • Markets
  • Policy and practice

I received a news booklet today, and there were some interesting projects highlighted –

  • fish cages made from bamboo, netting and plastic bottles
  • ploughs made from scrap metal
  • clean water powered by sunlight
  • a safe cooker which needs less fuel
  • early warning systems in flood areas
  • evacuation procedure training for earthquake zones
  • ventilated latrines – for privacy as well as improved sanitation
  • micro-hydro power
  • floating farms made from bamboo and water hyacinth

All these simple, practical ideas for self-sufficiency, not only save lives and keeps people healthy, but also allow people to be able to feed themselves and their families; they become able to sell extra produce, and improving efficiency allows children to go to school rather than having to work,

Here is a link so you can see all the really amazing and amazingly simple things Practical Action has achieved – and is planning to achieve:


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