For Jing, the road to a better life seemed daunting.
Jing lived with her husband, Tan, in the hills of Northern Thailand. They endured much together, and cared for one another, even at times when this was very difficult.
“Our family had no money in savings,” she said to describe their earlier situation. “We had no money to go to the hospital for health treatments.”
This was a stressful situation for Jing and Tan. On top of that, they had to earn their living through farming, at a time when this was becoming more and more difficult. Escalating environmental challenges meant that they found themselves working harder and harder but producing less. The threat of climate change produced both physical and emotional exhaustion, not to mention anxiety towards the future.
Years ago, Jing and Tan were encouraged by some local Plant With Purpose leaders to plant some trees.
“We were told by the staff that planting trees will help secure more water and a good environment,” retold Jing. In addition, she was also trained with different methods of sustainable farming meant to improve her soil quality.
It started with small improvements.
Lasting change might not happen overnight, but it can happen much quicker than we expect. As Jing started to take to heart what she learned from her newfound Plant With Purpose community, she started to see why planting trees and sustainable agriculture were so important.
“With the encouragement of the project staff and community leaders, I had the opportunity to plant trees around my house and also in our small community forest. The trees help us to have more food, and wood for construction in the community. I can see that people in the community had better fellowship and relationships when we planted trees.”
Through this, the health of their ecosystem began to improve. Jing and Tan started to see their farmwork grow easier and easier.
After a while, Jing found herself being able to grow more crops than she used to. The abundance soon translated into increased economic opportunity. With the extra crops, she was able to expand her income, and that soon opened up even more doors.
Jing put the new income to use through a Plant With Purpose savings group in her community. She invested the money into the group, which gave her access to loan opportunities.
Don’t underestimate the small steps.
Jing no longer has to worry if she or her husband need medical treatment.
“Our community can have its own financial pool so we do not need to take out loans from outside,” she plans.
These improvements began as small changes to behavior that translated into visible changes in the ecosystem. Now, the positive transformation even extends into relationships in families and in the community.
“I know that my family has a better relationship compared to past years, because we have less worry. I say this knowing that we have some money in savings and we can also help our friends through saving activities. We can provide loans and visit sick people in our community.”
With hope, Jing and Tan are able to look forward to new dreams, bigger dreams than they would have previously imagined possible. Now they imagine sending their kids to higher education. Unlike before, they now know the small steps that can help get them there.
Want to help create change for partners like Jing and Tan? Your monthly gifts are able to help ensure those small steps that can bring about large change. If you’re feeling ready and excited about being part of the transformation, click here to become a Purpose Partner for just $22 a month.