Projects and development

Projects and development

”Nothing Is Impossible. The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer” 1

In the year 2000 the UN made its bid on how to achieve the goals for fighting poverty worldwide:

Eight common goals should be reached before 2015. Now the UN discusses NEW GOALS for 2030, to replace and be the final goals for development: Abolition of absolute poverty, fight against illness, improvement of schooling, pure water etc…

For decennials Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers have not only spoken about these issues; they have, thanks to willpower, commitment and action, created RESULTS by thinking worldwide and visionary. One of the visions has been to meet the recipients on their own terms and involve them into full responsibility.

Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers’ goal for helping undeveloped countries, i.e. Kenya, is:

Creation of a stable water supply, both for households and watering of crops, and thereby giving a helping hand to the local farmers

A water tap for every house and two water dispensers on their fields.

Since 1992 thirteen water tanks of 225.000 liters each have been build and made usable. Each construction is app. 10 meters in diameter and 5 meters high, with pipe systems and division boxes, that disperse the water to each individual consumer.

All of the thirteen water tanks are fully functional. There are app. 850 small farmers with 5000 direct consumers. If we include that part of the population, which takes over the products created by the water supply, app. 11.000 people prosper from this project.

Agricultural productions provide nearby villages/towns and the more distant city of Mombasa, in which mainly carrots are purchased. It is difficult to get an exact number of customers.

The small agricultural farms produce per year:

  • Cabbages: 18.000 tons
  • Potatoes: 14.000 tons
  • Carrots: 3.000 tons
  • French beans: 1.800 tons
  • Beans: 126 tons
  • Corn: 270 tons
  • Last, but not least: Milk: 1.284.000 kgs.

The milk is consumed in the country itself (Kenya)

The production all in all of crops etc has not only abolished hunger. It also helps to improve the general state of health.

That is why in the close environment three health centers have been organized, which contribute to control the state of health.

By this initiative an important step stone has been laid for the education of the youngsters. Furthermore Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers have financed a second hand Toyota Pickup, to facilitate the coordination between the different partners and areas.

This project is developed in a way that the local population has nicknamed:

“Step by Step, the African Way”

In June 2015 begins the construction of water tank no. 14, with the help of 90.000,- Dkr from Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers in Denmark/Tylstrup.

With their own words the local African recipients name our help as not only important, but “SO ENORMOUS”! And Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers have thereby initiated an irrepressible development that clearly is expressed in the following statement from a local woman:

“We now economically feel authorized to determine our own life and our family’s lives.”

Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers do not support a private NGO on a certain locality, but instead they support the community directly on initiative of the local inhabitants in close by villages, who know the specific conditions of the environment.

The water projects have succeeded, because the inhabitants themselves have taken responsibility for planning, realizing, maintenance and daily care/service.

As time goes by it amounts to quite a lot of money being transferred to Kenya in accordance with Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers visions and goals. From 1992 to 2015 an amount of 1.528.000 Dkr. have been donated to the water tank project, without Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers having at any time got support from the Danish state funds for undeveloped countries, and there has been given no exemption from regular VAT regulations.

This proves that Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers:

  • Have been ambitious in their visions and goals
  • Their work has led to long-range results

It is pleasant, but at the same time weird, that UN and its general secretary “acknowledge” our effort, while the official Denmark does not!

In this case there is a high degree of popular involvement on the part of the recipients, where it is appropriate to talk about green growth in a regional development.

A tree does not grow into the sky by its treetop alone; it grows thanks to firm roots. In accordance with this image Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers´ goals and aims stem from voluntary involvement and recycle economy.

Thanks to flexibility and common values the Abbé Pierre Rag pickers have obtained results founded on the essential and fundamental values of the Emmaus-Movement.

Abbé Pierre’s Rag pickers create results seen in their entirety, and their work is founded on idealism and professionalism. 


 1 From the program "Debatten" on the Danish TV channel DR2  29. nov. 2012: ”Fattigdom i rige og fattige lande”. 

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