Michael Mandanuay farmer

Michael Mandanuay, in the Philippines, harvests a fresh crop of peanuts.

We believe people have a right to make a living and provide for themselves and their family, so we empower them to do so.

It’s near impossible to climb out of poverty alone, but when a community comes together, their many hands help to lift each other up. By providing communities with the resources and education to become self-supporting, it empowers them to find local long-term solutions to poverty.

This approach creates a powerful ripple effect that lasts for generations. As a pretty good side effect, many social problems are solved by the community coming together in this way.

What we’re doing

We’re working through local organizations to provide communities with the education and resources to become self-supporting. This empowers them to address the root causes of poverty and find local, long-term solutions to poverty, leaving the community with a sense of pride and achievement.

For years, ‘microenterprise’ or ‘microfinance’, that is providing a small loan and training, was seen as the way to help people. We’ve moved beyond that into new, proven approaches that truly help the poorest.

  • In Self Help Groups, members put their savings together to start collective enterprises and advocate for resources from government and financial institutions.
  • In farming co-operatives, communities are able to add value to what they produce and access markets where they can sell the fruits of their labour and reap the rewards.
  • Our partners provide these groups with extensive training, for example, in democratic decision making and budgeting.
  • These groups also have a positive social impact, like giving women greater rights and allowing girls to go to school. In some cases, women have been so empowered they have become politicians.
  • $50 to $200

    The return from every dollar invested into a Self Help Group in Ethiopia based on a cost-benefit analysis

  • 200,000

    The number of women connected to a Self Help Group in Ethiopia, covered by just 200 staff

  • 3x

    Agricultural growth in low-income countries is three times more effective in reducing extreme poverty compared with growth in other sectors

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Your donation will go to our Farming and Enterprise work.


  • $2.85 a day

    is the New Zealand equivalent of the international poverty line. Less than the price of a cup of coffee

  • 6

    The number of countries in which Tearfund works, empowering local people caught up in the cycle of poverty

  • 122,258

    The number of people whose lives have been impacted by your support of our work last year

Chadrewati's Story

Chadrewati's Story

“Before the Self Help Group, my husband was an auto-rickshaw driver and earned enough to support our family with basic things like food, but we were ashamed because we couldn’t afford our children’s education.

"I took a loan from my Self Help Group to start a poppadum business so we could save for our two eldest daughters’ high school fees. I’ll do anything to make sure my children achieve their dreams."

My eldest daughter wants to be an engineer, and my second eldest wants to be a scientist. If I hadn’t joined the Self Help Group, there would be no bright future for our girls, they would have got married very young and not had the opportunity to study. Their education will enable a good life for them."

Self Help Groups focus on the empowerment of women, their families and communities so people can provide for themselves. Through collective savings, they are able to gain access to small loans which members can borrow to pay for children’s school fees, start businesses and afford healthcare. Farming and Enterprise also trains and connects groups, like Chadrewati's, to local and national institutions to advocate for their communities needs. Members are banding together to transform their communities in Ethiopia and India!


How you can help

You can contribute towards starting another group of entrepreneurs on the road to dignity. You can help change the world not only for individuals, but familes and whole communities.

A monthly gift of $30 will:

  • Empower communities to create their own enterprises
  • Increase household income and well-being
  • Help connect communities to financial services through training and advocacy
  • Facilitate expansion and investment in local markets for farmers

Donate Now

Your donation will go to our Farming and Enterprise work.


Get Involved

Thank you so much for your interest in our Farming and Enterprise cause.

As Kiwis, our response is often pulling up our shirts sleeves and getting our hands dirty, mucking in, tackling it head on, and getting it done. You can support our work, volunteer, learn, pray, campaign, and partner with us.

Get Involved

View our resources available on farming and enterprise.

View: Farming and Enterprise resources