No family should have to call the edge of a rubbish dump home.

No family should have to call the edge of a rubbish dump home.



446 slums

can be found in the city of Nagpur, India

2.5 square metres

is the size of many slum dwellings in Nagpur, some housing 5-8 people

34% of slums

have no access to a water distribution system at all.

$131.50 – that is all Philomina, Walter and their two daughters have had to live on for an entire month.

For Philomina and her family in Nagpur, India, this kind of poverty meant moving to a home on the edge of a rubbish dump...

In what could be considered the family’s front yard sit piles of junk and broken-down cars. The house itself is a makeshift structure made from tarps and bamboo – there are only two rooms. Inside, Philomina has done everything she can to make it a home, but it is not a home they ever imagined themselves living in.

They moved here out of necessity. Walter earns only Rs.7,000 (A$131.50) a month as a labourer at a gas agency – a job he works hard at despite a back injury. The family are careful to divide the pay cheque between the basics – rent, food and electricity. Desperate for their daughters Stephy and Silvia to get an education, they were grateful to receive scholarships to send them to school.

Then a few years ago, Philomina heard about the loans being offered by Opportunity International Australia’s program partner in Nagpur. Philomina applied and received her first small loan, investing it in bangles and accessories to start her own jewellery shop. Her income soon grew.

The family began to save for the first time ever, and it was these savings that helped them survive when COVID-19 hit. During lockdowns, Philomina had to close the shop for months.

Small loans have helped Philomina and her family stand in the face of countless hardships – first giving them a pathway out of poverty with their own business, and then by enabling them to survive COVID-19. And it is small loans that will enable Philomina to grow her business to the point where she will one day be able to move away from the rubbish dump.

My desire is to grow the shop a little bigger so that we can sell stationery items like books and pens. Then I dream of one day being able to have my own proper house for our family,” says Philomina.

No family should have to call the edge of a rubbish dump home. Many more families like Philomena's need our help. Please, will you give a hand up to families in need?


Philomina’s family live in a makeshift home on the edge of a rubbish dump.
Philomina's two-room home is made of tarps and bamboo thatching.
A small loan has enabled Philomina to start her own shop selling jewellery and accessories
The business will help the family save enough money to move somewhere safer
The income has already helped daughter Silvia begin study to become a nurse
“If I think I am weak I will be weak, so I need to be bold and carry on,” says Philomina.

The need in Nagpur

• At the most recent count, an incredible 36% of Nagpur’s population were living in slums – 859,487 people.

• Just 66% of the slums have a water system, and it’s only available for 2-3 hours a day.

• Almost a third of households have no toilet, while those that do suffer with choked pipes and irregular water supply, leading to sewerage flowing out into storm water drains in the streets.

• Dwellings are tiny and overcrowded, and an absence of official garbage collection leads to rubbish being dumped next to homes like Philomina’s.

Donate now

How you can help

Nfamily should have to call the edge of a rubbish dump home. donation from you this end of financial year can help families like Philomina’s pave a pathway out of poverty. 

With a small loan to grow a small businessfamilies like hers are empowered to earn regular incomes and afford:

• proper shelter in safer areas
• clean water and sanitation
• nutritious meals
• medicine
• and an education for their children.

And it all starts with a hand up from you.

$160 can help 1 family begin to leave poverty behind
$480 can help families begin to leave poverty behind
$1,120 can help families begin to leave poverty behind

Please, will you consider making a very special gift to give a hand up to families like Philomina’s?