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Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of this year’s honorable mention from Asia: Gemma Vasquez.

When digital photography began growing in the Philippines, the small photography studio where Gemma Vasquez’s husband worked quickly went out of business. Scrambling to find other work, Gemma and her husband soon landed on a new business venture: selling popcorn.

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Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of this year’s honorable mention from Latin America: Clari Santana.

After a serious car accident claimed one of Clari Santana’s legs and one of her hands, she didn’t know what to do next. A single mother of two boys, she now couldn’t continue in her business of delivering food to factory workers. “I thought the world had ended,” she shared. That’s when she heard about Esperanza International, HOPE’s local partner in the Dominican Republic.

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Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of Savera, this year’s winner!

For years, Savera Mutemariya and her husband struggled to support their family. Like many people in the community of Kigabiro, Rwanda, they supported their family mostly through what they grew in their fields, making it difficult to consistently provide for their family’s needs.

“My life was very bad,” Savera remembers. “Getting food was very hard. I didn’t have a house. I had three kids, but I wasn’t able to pay for primary school fees.”

When Savera heard about Urwego Bank, HOPE’s microfinance bank in Rwanda, it sounded too good to be true. Surprised to hear that Urwego would work with women—something that many banks refused to do—Savera eagerly signed up. With her first loans, Savera began selling peanuts at market. “I started to realize I was capable,” she says. “I used to believe I couldn’t do much, but I came to realize I was quite capable.”

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Rather than favoring the religious elite, Jesus chose to spend time with the marginalized. Desiring to emulate our Savior, HOPE has a strategic objective to serve communities that are not open to the Gospel and those that have little access to microenterprise development services. Worldwide, the HOPE network intentionally reaches out to some of the most disenfranchised communities in the countries where we serve.

Serving the Batwa in Burundi

In 2016, HOPE Burundi launched a savings program with the Batwa, an ethnic group that has historically faced discrimination and abuse. Making up less than 2 percent of Burundi’s population, the Batwa rarely own land, and few have access to an education. Many Batwa survive by selling clay pots for less than 3 cents each. Often unwelcome in traditional churches, a large number of Batwa practice animism, a belief system that ascribes spiritual qualities to objects, places, or creatures. Continue Reading…

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by Annie Rose Ansley, HOPE Trips Liaison

This blog post was originally posted on Esperanza International’s blog.

I like to be independent. I like to accomplish and improve things without relying on or waiting for anyone else. Anyone with me?

0P7A8134Yet here in the Dominican Republic, microfinance groups with HOPE’s partner, Esperanza International, are opening my eyes to the beauty and paradoxical freedom of dependence. Forming a group is the first requirement to taking out a small loan with Esperanza. If an individual cannot repay their loan for any reason, the responsibility lands with the group. This system may sound scary, but it works. Social collateral—neighbors and friends—can be a very powerful guarantee. Members of solidarity groups live in small, close-knit communities, which positively influence each member to repay.

But, of course, there are times when someone is unable to pay back. I have been at many meetings where one client readily covers the meeting’s loan payment for another. Likewise, I have seen these advances repaid time and again. These examples of community dependence are a slice of humble pie for my spirit of skepticism and self-reliance. Continue Reading…

HOPE Intl

HOPE Intl

Apr 26 2017

HOPE Intl

News
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by David Fuller, Spiritual Integration Fellow

An important theological concept that undergirds our work at HOPE International is Missio Dei, a Latin term meaning, “Mission of God.” It is the basic idea that God has a purpose and goal for His whole creation.

We read about God’s mission in the first three chapters of Genesis. God said, “No!” to nothingness and “Yes!” to relationship with His creation. After our Fall from His created intent, God’s mission took a redemptive turn. In Genesis 3:9, God’s mission is articulated when He calls out, “Adam, where are you?” Despite Adam and Eve’s sin then and our own sin today, God is pursuing us, calling out, “Where are you?” Continue Reading…