Find out about our simple ideas...
Practical Action have a unique approach to international development. We believe in the power of simple technology and smart thinking to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. It’s what we’ve been doing for more than 45 years since we were founded by the economist E F Schumacher, author of the revolutionary book Small Is Beautiful. Schumacher believed in putting people’s real needs at the heart of development and it’s that guiding principle that informs everything we do today in our work across the developing world. We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. We enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions, transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them. By doing this each year we help 900,000 people break out of the cycle of poverty…for good.
Working together with people and their communities is absolutely at the heart of what we do. Development isn’t something we do ‘to’ people, it’s something we do ‘with’ them. We know lasting development starts when people are helped to take control of their lives. So whether it’s a lack of electricity, a consistently poor harvest or a polluted water supply, we help communities help themselves. We create clever and sustainable development.
The gift of knowledge sets people free”
E F Schumacher
In Northern Kenya clean water is incredibly hard to find. People are forced to dig hours for tiny amounts of polluted water that often makes them ill. Eshe and her friends wanted to find an answer…
Ideas that inspire
We believe passionately in the power of simple technology and ingenuity to help break the cycle of poverty. Problems that may have blighted communities for years can often be overcome with some clever thinking and a little hard work.
…it takes a certain flair of real insight to make things simple again…”
In Eshe’s village the clean water was actually there, but at 100m underground it was too deep to dig down to. Practical Action met with the villagers and together came up with the idea to install a solar-powered pump.
Wellbeing for everyone
We believe access to technology is directly linked to wellbeing. In Eshe’s village the solar-powered water pump has meant that local villagers can access fresh, clean water without having to walk miles every day.
They can now enjoy a life free from the constant fear of deadly water-borne diseases and because they have more time the children can now go to school and the women can grow vegetables to sell at the local market. The knock on effect of clean water is far reaching and means Eshe’s community can begin to prosper. Meeting people’s basic needs is a vital first step to a life beyond poverty.
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Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty, working with poor women and men around the world.
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