Meet Darius, a Dignity employee working in our Waste Disposal Unit.
Before joining our team, life was hard. With a wife and 9 children at home, the income he was making from fishing and farming simply could not sustain his family’s needs. This led to large debts and high loan interest rates making it difficult to pay school fees for his kids. He could only afford to give P5.00/day ($0.11 USD) for primary school and P10.00/day for secondary school. There were times when he had no money to give at all, leaving his kids no choice but to skip their classes. Struggling with poverty also resulted in constant arguments with his wife. He tried working in the larger city but was forced to come home to help take care of their sick son. During this time, he had no choice but to succumb to yet another loan but with an even greater interest rate of 20% per month.
Now that Darius is employed at Dignity, he has been able to turn a corner. With his regular income, he can consistently provide for his kids' school allowances with a 100% increase from P5.00/day to P10.00/day for primary school and P20.00/day for secondary levels. Their tuition fees are now being paid on time. His debts are decreasing. From their savings, Darius and his wife have been able to purchase household items including a washing machine and begin renovations on their home using more durable materials like concrete blocks for walls. He has also invested in a small business that raises hogs. The relief of a higher income and assurance of consistent work has brought peace to his marriage.
This is why we are working so hard. Because when sustainable jobs are provided, lives change. Education increases. Health improves. Renovations begin. Marriages mend. Hope increases. Dignity is being restored.