Four families, four success stories. In our latest campaign, Helvetas recounts four stories on three different continents to show how the lives of poor, disadvantaged families in developing and newly industrialized countries can be significantly improved. The four families stand for the many people our staff meet and work with daily in about thirty countries. Families that raise themselves, and their children and their children’s children, out of poverty and deprivation for good through their own efforts – with some help from Helvetas. 

These four stories are good examples of improvements in water supply, education and working conditions for the world’s poor. Their stories remind us that real changes for the better are taking place all over the globe, day by day, despite all the bad news we hear about the world all the time.

Find out more about the stories of these four families in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kosovo. And make a contribution to real change... 

Partner for True Change

A lot has changed in three generations for many families – and for the better. You can help more people to gain access to clean drinking water, more children to go to school and more young adults to attend vocational training courses.

For a child, access to clean drinking water is the first in a series of lifelong positive changes.

60 Swiss francs

Education is key to ensuring generations of children can make their own choices in life.

100 Swiss francs

Vocational training puts young people on track and helps entire families to take control of their own lives.

360 Swiss francs

Family Chakma experiences Real change

Thanks to their tree nursery, a family in the hills of Bangladesh have left poverty and deprivation behind. Surjaa Rani Chakma, the eldest daughter, is going to college – something her grandmother and parents would never have dreamed of for themselves.  This report from Bangladesh, tells a story of real change and progress towards self-reliance.

From day labourer to the chef's assistant

A year ago, Tewachew Wondimeneh was a day labourer. Helvetas enabled him to do a professional training. Today he works as an assistant to the kitchen chef in a luxury hotel in northern Ethiopia.

Into the future as social media manager

Her grandmother has never had the chance to receive education. Thanks to an IT training project for young women Arta got the opportunity to develop professionally.



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% 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. 

true change in figures

Longer life expectancy, better access to clean drinking water, improved school enrolment and a rise in gross national product. How have people’s lives changed for the better in five of our partner countries over the past few decades?

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© HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation 2017