“It is not so much about giving more to the people in the Third World, but about stealing less from them” – Jean Ziegler
Mati is an organisation that aims to join all its human forces, energy, and love in the universal fight against poverty and towards a life in dignity for all human beings, regardless of gender, status, colour or creed.
Mati was founded in 1998 through the personal conviction of its founder Lenen Rahaman that the extreme poverty in rural Bangladesh is a severe form of injustice (as it is anywhere else in the world), which cannot be tolerated in any society that claims to be civilized.
With a small group of friends, who shared his basic humanist ideas, they started the first Mati-project in the small village Huzurikanda, Sherpur District. From the beginning, poverty reduction through people’s empowerment, especially of women, and self-defined, participatory development methods were at the core of Mati’s activities. Since those early days, Mati’s activities have continuously expanded, and its mission, vision and goals have been fine-tuned over the years.
– To Eradicate Poverty through self-defined, sustainable Development. We believe that societies already hold the tools for their own development in their hands. So together with those concerned, the poor, we try to find ways how to activate these tools. Poor people have a lot of ideas and initiative how to make a change towards the better, what they lack is capital or the access to capital, which would help them make a start. Additionally the poor are often locked into exploitative social structures. So it is Mati’s task to access funds, which can be used towards the improvement of livelihoods, in such a way that whole communities benefit.
– To Guarantee Access to the Most Basic Human Necessities:
- – safe drinking water & sanitation
- – medical care
- – basic training and education
- – food, clothes, shelter
– To Empower the Weakest Links of Society, especially women, but also all others, who are marginalized, such as beggars, landless, disabled people, religious or other minorities.
– To offer Help for Self-Help. Our ultimate goal is for our people to achieve independence, so that they do not need our programs any more, because they can manage on their own. We see our role as mediators to help them climb up on the first steps of the development ladder and from there to continue on their own. We believe that our task is to break up dependencies not to create them. Yet, there are people who are beyond the capacity to help themselves, we do not close our doors on them either.
– To Raise Awareness on Human Rights Issues. Through continuous awareness training, we help people to become aware of their most basics rights, so they cannot be exploited so easily on account of their ignorance.
– To Provide Practical Ad-Hoc Support in Times of Crisis and Disaster. One reason why development projects sometimes fail, is that there is no backup-support in times of crisis. However this we consider imminent in a country that is so prone to natural calamities. So in order not to lose our achievements mid-way, we try to offer immediate help when possible to support people in overcoming the crisis and in continuing on the path to development.
-To Promote Peace and Non-Violence even in times of conflict. We want to contribute towards a peaceful society, where opposing opinions can be voiced and discussed without fear.
We strongly believe in a universal right to a life in dignity for all human beings. Through all our actions we do our best to reflect the principles of equality, fairness, democracy, good governance and human rights. Conflicts have to be solved solely through peaceful means. We see an intact eco-system as prerequisite for successful, sustainable development and the well-being of all people.
Ever since the beginning of Mati’s work, we have put all our good faith and effort – together with our partners on local, national and international level – towards the realization of our ultimate goal: to realize our dream of One World where also secure livelihoods for the poorest of the poor are guaranteed, a dream based on the universal principles of love and compassion for every human being.
We regard our work as a most needed statement of solidarity and fairness, and of maximum companionship in contrast to maximum profit. We perceive ourselves as just one tiny part in the bigger picture of all those who are working towards a better tomorrow for all sentient beings – in this world of plenty.