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Photo: Tearfund | Justin Barlow

The impact of aid: inspiring individuals on the frontline share their experiences

3 January 2017

It’s likely that many people said goodbye to 2016 with a sigh of relief. Despite the multitude of new global challenges we have faced in the last year, UK aid was responsible for improving and saving the lives of millions - something which we can all be proud of.

Take a moment to look past the headlines, and hear directly from some of the inspiring individuals working on the frontline of aid projects, where they share the positive difference they saw aid make in 2016.

Delia Connaughton, midwife, Liverpool

Midwife helping a patient

“As a midwife working in the UK, I understand the importance of having access to clean water and good sanitation. It is crucial to maintaining maternal and neonatal wellbeing in preventing the onset of infection which can lead to sepsis.  When I travelled to Tanzania I worked in a hospital where the taps had only worked for an hour a day which put new mums and their precious babies at serious risk of deadly infections. UK Aid has helped bring clean water, safe toilets and hygiene not only to the hospital in Tanzania, but many others across Africa and I am proud to support this.”

Sahr Yillia, originally from Sierra Leone and now living in London

“I think aid brings to life the hopes and aspirations of developing countries. Aid is not a waste, it really helps people, but it’s important to focus it on the right issues and where it can help the most.  DFID has trained me in a Justice Sector Development project to help people in Sierra Leone so they can know the law better. Thanks to aid, our training programme gave people in Sierra Leone the power in their hands to promote justice and the rule of law, these are both essential to fighting poverty.” 

Grace Banks, student teacher

Volunteers teaching a class

“I’ve seen the amazing work of UK aid; I have a huge passion for education equality and I believe it’s one of the most important factors in development. This year I went to South Africa and saw first-hand the positive impact that volunteers have had on township schools.”

Mark White, vocational trainer in Uganda, originally from Devon

Building work in Uganda

“Please believe me that British aid works, I have seen it doing so and have many films, stories and pictures to prove it. Please support the British Government’s successful - and much envied, by the way - aid programme.”

Vicki Peaple, teacher

MAG teacher with class of children

“I saw first-hand the benefits brought by UK aid to ordinary people who have no choice but to live with the consequences of war and conflict. With British support, lifesaving ‘mine risk education’ was given to around half a million vulnerable men, women and children, helping them to stay safe from mines and unexploded bombs until the danger could be removed.”

Eleri Davis, volunteer

A volunteer with a local person in Bolivia

“I was delighted to visit Bolivia recently to witness first hand some of the project work carried out in the Bolivian Amazon. I met with some incredible people within the indigenous communities who are receiving continuous support from the charity. The Amazon is the local people’s life and livelihood, and UK aid helps secure their sustainability against ever increasing threats from climate change and commercial pressures.”

Valerie Tremblay, humanitarian programme manager

Farming in Malawi

“For the past 6 years, I have travelled  the world to support people affected by disasters like earthquakes, floods and droughts.  I currently work in Malawi where 6.5 million people are affected by the devastating El Nino drought and need help in order to get enough to eat. I've seen the positive impact that the UK's support for food and farming has had on some of the world's most vulnerable people."

UK aid had a profound impact in 2016, but there’s still much more that we can achieve together in 2017. If you have a positive aid story, please let us know.