A Better World helps thousands

A Better World’s numbers stagger the mind:

Eric Rajah

Eric Rajah

A Better World’s numbers stagger the mind:

• 109,100 people with clean drinking water

• 68,100 patients treated in health clinics

• 60,000 people helped in emergency situations

• 54,260 students getting educations

• 9,700 people eating from their own gardens

• 2,000 jobs created through microfinancing

Yet after 22 years, A Better World’s modest founder doesn’t call his Lacombe-based aid agency a charity.

“We take other people’s money and we want to invest and we want returns,” said Eric Rajah.

“Are we getting the most value for the dollar? What’s the money doing in the end?”

Rajah said 2013 brings another ambitious year of helping abroad. Eight trips to Kenya are scheduled, with the first in just a few weeks with 22 Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton members.

“They’re all 55 plus and the oldest is 84 years old. All have funded a school and they’re going to open it.”

Another 11 Australian seniors are also on the trip, enticed to come through a Lacombe senior who is also going.

Rajah said older donors “want to leave their money in a way that outlasts their lives.

“People are thinking about what they can leave for the world as a legacy.”

Next year also brings the expansion of Neighbours, A Better World’s new program focusing on local projects.

“We’re looking for people who are missed because of gaps . . . and not covered by grants or government subsidies.”

For example, he’s negotiating to partner with Central Alberta businesses to provide vouchers for car oil changes and family photos, saying these are services commonly overlooked or ignored as families struggle to make ends meet.

“These little things can give a lot of hope to people.”

Rajah said A Better World’s efforts wouldn’t be possible without tremendous support over the years.

“Thanks to Central Albertans, we’re approaching $1.7 million (donated) and thank all the volunteers for travelling and following up on their donations.

“We’re grateful to the community.”

More information about A Better World’s activities is available online at www.a-better-world.ca.