Currently we are involved with the following...
We have been working in Albania since 1996 and have seen the country transform from a desperately poor and under-developed nation into something much more hopeful. The country still faces serious problems such as poverty, corruption, poor infrastructure and high unemployment.
Over the years we have helped improve a high school, run kids summer clubs, supported literacy work in the gypsy community, delivered football coaching, delivered aid in support of the Kosovan refugee crisis and helped establish a social enterprise business.
We have been keen to see the Albanian community take responsibility for their own development and so our work now is based around limited support to New Life Church in Paskuqan and business mentoring for the social enterprise.
We have developed a partnership to provide short term funding for families that find themselves in a desperate situation. Our financial support is provided to families through several Church pastors who identify families in desperate need. The support is to provide a much needed respite and allow them to get back on their own feet. Suicide amongst men facing unemployment, bad debt and homelessness is fast on the rise in India and our intervention is aiming to prevent a short term crisis leading to homelessness, extreme poverty and suicide. Funding has been used to pay rent, cover school fees, provide food and to help set up small businesses.
We are working in partnership with Sure 24, a children’s home that rescues street children and provides accommodation and education. The home is based in the Western town of Nakuru. Our goal is to help set up sustainable businesses to generate income and employment for the older children as they get ready to leave care. To date we have used micro-finance to set up a water bottling company, a truck import business, a bike sales and repair business and a second hand clothes business. The beauty of this model of work is that funding is “recycled” through loans being repaid which means we can re-invest into new projects.
For over ten years we supported the Village of Hope orphanage in the Mid-Atlas Mountains. We also ran trekking expeditions for UK young people undertaking Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards, exported Moroccan handicraft products and imported humanitarian aid.
Sadly, a change of stance by the Moroccan authorities to Western Christian organisations now prevents us from safely working in the Country and we have had to withdraw. We wish all our Moroccan friends and business partners the very best and thank you for some beautiful friendships and wonderful memories.
We are supporting a Church in the capital Bucharest to become self sustaining and less reliant upon Western support. We import vehicles, computers and bikes. The motorbikes have been secured via Merseyside Police and have previously been stolen or ridden without insurance or tax.
We are always looking for donations of computers / adult push bikes and good quality clothes.
Microfinance is all about providing small business loans to people and Communities so they can establish sustainable businesses. This model of development gives people the tools to work themselves out of poverty and reduces the need for charitable handouts and aid. Gambia is the 17th poorest country in the World with a raft of social issues and challenges.
In Gambia we are working in the far East of the country in the village of Sabi with a Muslim community. To date we have helped set up a Bike Sales and Repair business and finance the development of a Market Garden.
We have helped establish 40 families in sustainable businesses and have excellent repayment rates! This type of development has so much dignity, self help and sustainability and is something we are modelling in other nations.
In the UK, we have partnered with several other charities to help gather in donations of bikes and we have a link with Nottingham Prison who help strip bikes for parts and carry out repairs.
Jonathan & Rachael Birch with their youngest daughter Maisie, who have been part of Pioneer since
we began, have recently moved to Tenerife to work with the many
needy communities on the island. For more information see their