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Fund Celebrates 30 Years of Partnership with Poor

TEAR Fund Press Release

For Immediate Release: 22/11/05

TEAR Fund Celebrates 30 Years of Partnership with the Poor

This week, aid and relief organisation TEAR Fund celebrates 30 years of working in partnership with poor communities in the developing world.

In 1975, New Zealand’s Evangelical Missionary Alliance embraced the idea of a humanitarian arm of local Evangelical churches, and an account was opened to receive funds for TEAR Fund New Zealand. The first grant provided was $2,000, to construct a village well in Guinea Bissau.

“From small and humble beginnings, TEAR Fund has grown to become one of the largest aid agencies in New Zealand,” says TEAR Fund Executive Director Stephen Tollestrup.

TEAR Fund has developed as a partnership based organisation, working through indigenous organisations to empower poverty-stricken communities. Today, TEAR Fund supports over 30 projects in 20 countries.

“TEAR Fund realises the poor have the intelligence and creativity to overcome the challenges they face. As an organisation, our mission is to resource and support them in that task.”

In 1984 TEAR Fund took a risk, and championed the revolutionary development method known as Microenterprise. Today, millions of the world’s poor have taken advantage of small, fair-credit loans to improve their lives. In fact, the effectiveness of Microenterprise in fighting poverty has been recognised as so significant, the United Nations has declared 2005 to be the International Year of Microcredit.

TEAR Fund remains New Zealand’s leading Microcredit agency, and continues to pioneer innovative development methods, alongside advocacy for the poor and oppressed.


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