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Rugby charity launches ingenious Christmas appeal

By Practical Action On 10.12.2018 Food & agriculturePovertyNews

bookshop opening

Mark Pawsey MP launches Practical Action’s appeal with Practical Action staff and local schoolchildren

A campaign to help Zimbabwean farmers and their families double their harvest was launched today by Rugby-based poverty organisation, Practical Action.

Rugby’s Member of Parliament Mark Pawsey today officially launched the fundraising appeal in Rugby town centre, which aims to raise more than a million pounds to help African families overcome extreme weather.

In Bulilima and Gwanda, two of the poorest districts in Zimbabwe, as many as a quarter of households face the threat of hunger due to the effects of climate change such as drought and flash flooding. But farmers can beat poverty and hunger for good through Practical Action’s unique combination of smart solutions, knowledge and skills building.

The project will enable farmers to sell surplus and cash crops, increase income and provide fresh food for their community. Practical Action’s approach combines education, skills training and solar-powered water pumps which provide enough water for farmers to irrigate their land which will mean they can grow double the amount of crops and change their lives for the better.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“UK Aid Match is proud to support Practical Action’s ‘Planting for Progress’ appeal, which is helping lift Zimbabwean farmers – 70% of which are women – out of poverty by practically equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to increase harvests and build sustainable businesses.

“Every time the British public reach into their pockets and donate to a UK Aid Match charity their generosity directly changes the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Mark Pawsey said: “Climate change is a huge global issue that is causing serious problems for the most vulnerable people around the world.

“It’s an honour to launch this important appeal on behalf of such a fantastic charity and I would urge local people to give whatever they can to help them meet their target. Every donation given from tomorrow will be matched by the Government.”

Mr Pawsey also officially opened the organisation’s bookshop, a vibrant new addition to Rugby town centre. The Bookshop offers a wide range of books that are full of ingenious ideas about global issues and sustainable living, to inspire all ages.

Mr Pawsey joined local schoolchildren from Hillmorton Primary School and Practical Action staff in the new bookshop on Albert Street to officially launch the appeal which will run until March next year. He also made an online donation to the appeal.

Every pound you donate between December 8 2018 and March 8 2019 will be matched by the UK Government, meaning you will be helping even more people like those in rural Zimbabwe.

About Practical Action

Practical Action is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage.

Improving harvests through planet-friendly farming innovations. Transforming lives through affordable, renewable energy. Reducing vulnerability created by climate change or disaster. Demonstrating sustainable ways to improve clean water access and sanitation. Unlocking economic opportunities that allow whole communities to thrive.

Just a few of the ways we help people unleash their potential and protect our world for future generations. Join us.

About UK Aid Match

UK Aid Match brings charities, British people and the UK government together to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

For every £1 given by the public to a UK Aid Match charity appeal, the government adds £1 from the UK’s international development budget.

Over the last five years 42 organisations from across the UK have run UK Aid Match projects in 27 developing countries, helping around 25 million people.

UK Aid Match gives everyone in the UK a say in how the UK’s aid money is spent. It boosts the impact of high quality projects that improve the lives of poor people in developing countries.

For more information, please visit