Friends,

As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we are acutely aware of the significant health and economic challenges, as well as the opportunity that we have to courageously love our neighbors in a moment of fear and anxiety.

This brief post provides a high-level overview of how COVID-19 is impacting HOPE’s work and how our team is responding. As with every circumstance, we work knowing that God is sovereign and pray that our response will point others to Jesus. You can also watch my video update. Continue Reading…

Nicole Kinzonzi’s generosity ripples throughout her community in the Republic of Congo.

When a neighbor said she was going to a loan shark, Nicole referred her to HOPE Congo instead. When Nicole saw that another neighbor’s child had been out of school for a year, she paid the $15 needed to get the child back in school. When Nicole’s church couldn’t afford its water bill—$21 a month—she made the payments. Continue Reading…

HOPE’s mission is buoyed by so much more than our supporters’ financial generosity. We know that we can’t accomplish our work without the prayer, volunteer hours, and creative ideas of our supporters. Whether money is tight or you already support HOPE financially and want to do more, we’ve compiled a list of meaningful ways you can support HOPE, no donation required. Continue Reading…

Material poverty is a complicated reality, with many causes and perhaps just as many proposed solutions. According to the World Bank, just over 1 in 10 people lived in extreme poverty in 2013, categorized as living under $1.90 a day. While this number is falling, it still represents 767 million people.

Those living in material poverty face many challenges: lack of basic resources like food, shelter, and money; corrupt social systems; poor education; and limited access to health care.

But those who haven’t experienced poverty often overlook one of its most profound impacts: hopelessness and shame. Material poverty can compound the brokenness that exists in our relationships with each other, with God, with ourselves, and with the rest of creation. Material poverty says to those in its grasp: You are not worthy.  Continue Reading…

Leya Mshani

Leya Mshani lives in Chitipa, a district in northern Malawi, with her husband and children.

A year ago, Leya and her nearby neighbors each spent around 35 hours per week—the equivalent of a full-time job in the U.S.—collecting water for their families.

When friends invited her to join Ungweru (“light”) savings group through their church (a HOPE partner), Leya started saving 500 kwacha (roughly 67¢ USD) at each group meeting.

As she paid her shares, she used her first loan from the group to take an intensive tailoring course in order to pursue her dream of becoming a seamstress. Over the next two years, Leya used funds from her savings, loans, and profits to start a sewing business, make home improvements, purchase livestock, support her husband in starting a taxi business, and teach other women how to sew to earn income. Continue Reading…

If given the opportunity, 50% of Moldovans would leave their country to work abroad.

And many have left. Moldova’s emigration rate is the eleventh highest worldwide. Since the 1990s, a shortage of stable jobs has led thousands to move abroad in search of work, and this trend continues today: Between 2000 and 2014, the number of people who traveled abroad to find work grew from 138,000 to 341,900—a 147% increase.

To keep Moldovan workers close to home, stable jobs are critical. And for a developing economy like Moldova’s, small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) fill this employment gap, with 63% of employable Moldovans working for an SME. As these businesses grow, the economy adds more local jobs—and fewer people must leave their families and communities.

Yet, credit barriers prevent many small businesses with the potential to provide much-needed jobs from expanding their businesses further. That’s why Invest-Credit, HOPE’s microfinance partner in Moldova, equips entrepreneurs with larger loans to help them scale their operations and reach their potential. As these two stories demonstrate, entrepreneurs like Petrov and Sergiy are tackling the challenges of poverty in their communities. Continue Reading…