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Hugh Jackman helps launch new economic development program for world’s poor

Australia’s largest aid agency today launched a new fundraising program for economic development projects, which provides poor communities with business skills training and opportunities to help them improve their incomes and build a better future.

The idea for the program, Social and Economic Empowerment (SEE) Solutions, was conceived after World Vision CEO Tim Costello and World Vision ambassador Hugh Jackman visited a micro loans and business training project in Cambodia.

“SEE Solutions funds projects that provide communities with a hand up, not a hand out. It’s about empowering people with the right knowledge, skills and resources to build a future for themselves,” Rev Costello said.

“Each SEE Solutions-funded project is tailored to the community’s needs and may establish a range of initiatives such as education and skills training, agricultural development and access to finance, technology and markets.”

The launch of the new program coincides with the premiere of a documentary, Seeds of Hope, which will air on Channel Nine on Sunday 19 September at 4pm.

The documentary follows Hugh Jackman’s voyage to Ethiopia with World Vision where he meets a young Ethiopian coffee farmer, Dukale, and works with him for a day on his farm.

“The documentary follows my journey to learn more about poverty and how it can be overcome through economic development. It’s also about the life of a man called Dukale, whose story is truly one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever come across,” Mr Jackman said.

“With the help of World Vision, Dukale and his community have learnt more efficient ways to organically grow coffee, and have received financial management and market skills training to help them gain a higher price for their produce.

“Dukale’s farm is doing so well that he now employs other people from his community, so not only is he lifting himself out of poverty, he’s providing families around him with the opportunity to change their futures too.”

SEE Solutions currently funds nine projects - benefiting more than 200,000 people - across Asia, Africa and South America.

SEE Solutions supporters can access a website where they can watch videos featuring the community members benefiting from the project and view progress reports that detail each community’s achievements and challenges.

“SEE Solutions is a great way for Australians to help the world’s poorest people,” Rev Costello said.

“Most Australians would remember a time when someone offered them a hand up to help them through a rough patch. This is exactly what SEE Solutions is offering to poor people: a chance to get ahead and work their way out of poverty.”

For more information visit: www.worldvision.com.au/seesolutions


Ends

FOR IMAGES AND INTERVIEWS: Sacha Myers, World Vision media officer, on 0457 926 018 or sacha.myers@worldvision.com.au

FOR DOCUMENTARY PREVIEW AND SEE SOLUTIONS MEDIA KIT: http://www.worldvision.com.au/Community/SEECommunity/resources.aspx



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