We are inspired in the UBUNTU philosophy: "I am because you are!"
What is it?
TEACH How to Fish® is a Social Project for Sustainability that aims to empower people living in vulnerability and social exclusion conditions, through their own potential, in order to end the cycle of poverty in which they live, and the need for charity. TOGETHER we aim to transform dependency on charity into self-sufficiency!
In the first phase of work at THF, and whenever there is a need and lack of answers locally, we always start by responding to basic needs (food, housing, boreholes and drinking water, health, among others), but always working in parallel on the way to access education, as well as training and employment. We know that this process is new, challenging, and therefore very ambitious, as it includes training and, in the case of adults, also employability.
The Project started in May 2015, after the third international volunteering experience by the founder, Susana Garrett Pinto, early that year in Siem Reap - Cambodia, and started with 10 families and about 100 children. We are currently working on the Project in Portugal and Cambodia, but we know that we will be able to replicate our method and have an impact anywhere in the world where necessary.
While we've helped hundreds of children and families indirectly, numbers aren't the most important thing for us. We care about each one, each life. We know the history of each person or family we work with and we know their names, their main challenges and their precious victories.
Our Dream is to see the Children and Young People we work with today become the Leaders of the sustainable communities of the future. It means seeing each of the Women and Men we work with today become autonomous and live in dignity.
Based in some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined, by coincidence, in the same year, a new global model for ending poverty, promoting prosperity, and achieving the well-being of all, and obviously with the Universal Declaration of Children's Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Through the Project we intend to make all people who live in a situation of vulnerability and social exclusion autonomous, whenever their physical and mental condition allows, giving them the opportunity to develop their capacities so that they cease to be and live dependent on charity. We believe that everyone has the potential to reinvent themselves and that with support and monitoring, we will be able to reverse poverty.
We privilege all Partnerships with Companies, Associations, and other Projects that have the same vision, because we believe in Cooperation for Development and Success, in the creation of synergies that allow the exchange of ideas and knowledge in different areas, and with efficient use of all resources. available, human, and financial.
In this way, the PRINCIPLES that govern the Project are, unavoidably, Transparency, Respect for Culture and Diversity, Empathy, and Love and a sense of Service.
We want to be the bridge that connects all the neediest and vulnerable, and all the others who can and want to help but so often do not know how to do it.
The Project has an active role with CHILDREN who live in extreme poverty and with ADULTS in situations of vulnerability and social exclusion.
We intend to ensure that CHILDREN will always have access to healthy food, education, extra-school support, basic hygiene and health care, and access to sports activities, the arts and other areas that make sense in the communities in which they operate.
But our mission is also to train ADULTS through training, support, and follow-up, as well as in the search for workable solutions, either through supporting job search as well as in creating business and supporting entrepreneurship.
Always with a sustainability vision.
We work in 5 Areas: Housing, Food, Health, Education or Training and Work.
We define short, medium and long term strategies in two ways, "giving the fish" (assistance) and "teaching how to fish" (empowerment).
We first "give the fish" because we believe it is a factor that, although of a provisional nature, becomes essential to make the remaining path towards the main goal successfully.
The training of all and follow-up are essential. For this, a joint commitment must be established, in which the number one objective of our cooperation is clear: autonomy and self-support of all.
We created several Programs to be worked on by our social company by THF®️, the first social company in Portugal, which is based on a set of actions that allow a cooperative work where all sectors of society have an active and direct intervention in the sustainable resolution of problems related mainly to training and employment. SOON we will share all the good news related!
It will always being giving that we receive most!
YOU CAN HELP...
How to help?
Everything we do is voluntarily. We humbly serve those who need it most!
(Some of the Work Developed)
Since May 2015:
Since the creation of the Teach How to Fish Project, with confidence, work, and help, the daily lives of some children and their families in Cambodia were improved, but good partnerships were developed and voluntary support was given in Portugal too.
The Project supports all children for the success of their education and to enable them to attend public school, the only solution that will give them equivalencies and that is multidisciplinary, for example. In Cambodia's case, when children do not go to public school, it is usually for one of the following reasons: They have to work to help to their family income; They don't have school uniforms (about 8$ / each); Or they are in secondary education and need to pay a monthly fee for each of the extracurricular subjects needed to advance their studies.
The project initially helped 2 children from the village with the payment of these monthly fees, and bought till now dozens of school uniforms, in a system of donations or sponsorship, but we believe that these are unsustainable solutions and therefore will never be kept after the last phase of work with families, related to employability.
Still with regard to Education, in December 2020 we created the Education Support Program, with a local partner, with which we intend to create a necessary bridge between the public school and the family/caregivers of children.
As for the work of volunteers regarding education, we intend that all support is directed to local teachers, in methodology and themes and not directly with children, so it can be continued and sustainable.
The Project already helped to rehabilitate schools, invest in sports and arts so that it is accessible to all the needy children as well, established Partnerships to people or companies that voluntarily donated school supplies to them, water filters or other materials that are also extremely important for the proper functioning of this kind of spaces, but especially so that nothing was lacking to all the children who have in themselves the desire to learn.
THF provides support and follows family farms and animal caring (cows, buffalo, chickens or ducks, all those that can be useful), which, in addition to guaranteeing food and sustenance, respects the will of families and the needs, culture and environment in which they live.
Naturally it prioritises fruit and vegetable cultivation vegetables and fruits cultivation that can enrich the food of families and even help them to transform these foods and sell them, such as Moringa, Sweet Potatoes, Maize, and others that are important locally.
The Project has improved and built homes, as well as family toilets, to allow more security, privacy, health, and hygiene conditions, but also to offer more dignity to children and their families.
Three houses have already been rebuilt and another five have been made from scratch. Twelve family toilets were also built. Humble but a source of joy for all of us and for families, who help at every step. With an average cost of $100 for the toilet and $600 for building a house (* Values for Cambodia in 2019).
Small bridges were built and the access was improved as well as leisure spaces for the children.
The Project can receive some Donations of school supplies (backpacks, pens, etc.), clothing and footwear, as small toys and sports goods, preferably "second hand" in good condition.
We believe that everyone has goods that they no longer need but in a very good state, so it is not necessary to buy most things.
As THF doesn't have a storage solution in any country or a transport and reception solution, it is usually the volunteers who are going on a mission that carries everything in their luggage. Locally, in each country, when it is necessary, it's important to manage alternatives among the available volunteers.
In the last phase of the Project with each family, TEACH How to Fish helped to find solutions that would improve working conditions, in terms of remuneration but also in the number of hours and days of work, or, in the case of unemployment, such as finding work solutions.
We think together about the solution, share wills, dreams, and desires, and then we discuss possible scenarios and actors together and define the path.
In Portugal, we are working in partnership with Associação Jovem Despertar and Associação Torre Amiga to create training and work solutions, both through employment and business creation and encouraging entrepreneurship.
In Cambodia, we have already managed to guarantee better working conditions for 2 people in the hotel industry. We created 3 businesses for 3 different families in order to ensure and increase the family income while allowing the family to stay together in the village and the parents do not need to abandon their children to seek better living conditions.
We created the bracelet business for Kosal's family, Moringa's and Lotus tea business for Chaan's family, and the street food vending business for Channa's family.
The project does not profit from anything that is produced by any of the people it supports. When we buy something we always do it at the price we have charged when we have an "order", so 100% goes for who produces.