Stories of Change

The difference you’ve made

A Year of Practical Action


For over 55 years, with the help of our supporters, we’ve been tackling some of the world’s toughest problems. The last year has been no exception. Faced with the worsening impacts of climate change, and other global shocks, our work – and your support, is needed more than ever. Let’s celebrate what can be achieved when we work together, both with the communities we support, and our global community of donors, big and small.

Together, we’ve enabled people in poverty to build more robust futures fuelled by reliable incomes and safer, more inclusive working conditions. Together, we’ve confronted the harsh, ongoing realities of climate change and applied ingenious solutions to help vulnerable communities prepare, adapt and thrive. We’ve continued to share new skills and knowledge to spark aspirations, clean up cities and power-up people’s lives with greener energy.

We hope you’ll enjoy hearing from some of the individuals we’ve worked with this year in the stories that follow. Because of your support, these people, and millions more can look forward to a brighter, more secure future.

Thank You

Fuelling healthier households
Gentille’s story

  Nyabiheke, Rwanda

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Working with waste, and with dignity
Nuidar’s story

  Faridpur, Bangladesh

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Working together like birds of a feather
Maureen & Omollo’s story

  Homabay county, Kenya

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Replenishing the earth and quenching a thirst
Jessica’s story

  San Mateo, Huarochirí, Peru

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The difference you’ve made:


we reached 16 countries

4m people

and their families


jobs were created or improved

Fuelling healthier households

Gentille’s story from Nyabiheke, Rwanda

“Here in the Nyabiheke refugee camp, many households struggle to find fuel for cooking each day. I used to use anything I could lay my hands on that would burn well to get the stove going – like corn cobs. But this caused a lot of smoke. It would fill the house and my children would say, “Mother, the smoke is killing us”. When I couldn’t find anything safe to burn or afford fuel to cook with, they would go to bed hungry.

With Practical Action’s support, I bought a clean cookstove. The stove has a moderate flame, and this permits the food to be cooked slowly and become very tasty. There is much less smoke in the house, so our health has improved. Now I spend half as much money on fuel; I’ve saved 7000Rwf and I spend this money on vegetables instead. Cooking is also quicker, so I have more free time.”

Powering up lives:

Your gift contributed towards…


people accessing renewable
energy in Rwanda


people using cleaner,
healthier cooking solutions


people enjoying improved
access to energy

Working with waste, and with dignity

Nuidar’s story from Faridpur, Bangladesh

“I work as a toilet pit emptier for the municipality in Faridpur. It’s my job to collect faecal sludge and bring it to the treatment centre. This work supports my family, but as pit emptiers, we used to face discrimination. People thought of us as dirty people. In the roadside tea shops, people refused to serve us because of our ‘dirty job’ and the smell.

We used to have to empty the pits with our bare hands, getting faecal sludge on our faces and bodies. I used to get cuts on my hands that would get infected; going to the doctor was very expensive. Then Practical Action supported us to get protective clothing: boots, gloves, aprons, a facemask and helmets. They provided special equipment called ‘gulpers’ that mean we can empty the pit from outside – without having to get in and get dirty. Now we work more safely, we look more professional, and our job is cleaner. There is less discrimination too, thankfully.”

Stronger, cleaner cities:

Thanks to your generosity…


people in Bangladesh have improved access to water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management services


lives have been improved through our urban projects


women have been reached across all our programmes

Working together like birds of a feather

Maureen & Omollo’s story from Homabay county, Kenya

“My husband and I used to keep chickens for eggs and meat. We never had more than 20 birds in a month. But then we attended Practical Action’s training workshops that taught us how to transform this into a small enterprise. Now we rear around 300 birds each month! We learnt several ecological methods to reduce production costs. Growing feed in hydroponic trays uses water instead of soil, so we don’t need to irrigate as much and can recycle water. Wormeries give us extra protein for the poultry. The income boost allowed us to enrol the entire family in the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

We also signed up to be gender champions within the project. We started deciding how to share the household and business tasks between us in a fairer way. For example, Omollo always used to ferry the birds to market, but now sometimes I do it and he remains at home to prepare dinner and help the children with homework. Joint decision making has become really important and resulted in mutual understanding – we no longer differ!”

Your support helped us reach…


people through knowledge sharing platforms


people through policy and practice changes


farmers, who now have higher incomes or improved food security

Replenishing the earth and quenching a thirst

Jessica’s story from San Mateo, Huarochirí, Peru

“I live on the far outskirts of Lima. We depend on farming here, but nearby mining and pollution have made the water quality bad. The rain has become very infrequent and our crops just wither away without water. I would like my community to have a better quality of life; that’s why I joined the communal tree nursery.

The tree nursery is run by women. It’s a space where we can come together to plant trees and other plants. We only plant native species. They help to draw water down into the layer of rock underground. Then we pump the water upwards and use it for watering crops and drinking. It’s safe, clean, and fresh. Other trees are used for reforestation. The nursery brings value to the community; we learn about different plants and what they can be used for. We know that planting trees is good for our wellbeing and livelihood.”

Together, we’ve reduced natural disaster risk:


people are more resilient to
floods in Nepal


people are more resilient to floods, landslides and climate shocks


people are protected by early warning or climate information systems


With your ongoing support, we can meet our vision of impacting the lives of 26 million by 2025.

Let’s build a future that works for everyone.

Thank you