Philippine Self-Help Foundation


Many years ago when I was in the Wool Industry I met a Missionary from Bangladesh who was trying to persuade us to use traditional Jute containers from Bangladesh rather than the more modern synthetic ones. In conversation he said "you don't understand what it means to wake up each day and not know whether you, or your family, will have anything to eat".

He was right, the concept is so far from the way we live, but it remained with me, and over the past 15 or more years, as a sponsor with PSHF in the Philippines, I have learnt much more about the problems facing the poor - their needs, their vulnerabilities and their endurance.

PSHF pursues an individual approach to sponsorship which brings alive the problems, and the dreams, faced by the poor through the lives of the individuals which we sponsor. It is a very personal approach based upon a fundamental person-to-person relationship. Of course, we do not normally meet our partners, we live far apart, but we get to know them through PSHF, and we begin to understand a little more of their lives and problems. 

Recently I have started to take part in the work of PSHF also by helping to edit the proposals which go to sponsors and I get an opportunity to read about many more of the people supported and helped by PSHF. I am constantly struck by the vulnerability to accident, illness and misfortune of people with no reserves, and constantly amazed by their optimism and endurance. 

PSHF has both increased my awareness of the poverty in our World and provided me with an opportunity to help in a very personal way. 

Thank you, Richard and PSHF.