Hello there, everyone. My name is Dave Wasik, and it’s my pleasure to serve as the vice president of operations for HOPE International. I am writing this post from a Chipotle restaurant at Washington Dulles airport, about to begin my journey to Manila, Philippines, to visit the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), our partner in the Philippines. CCT is a cherished partner for HOPE, and we have learned a tremendous amount from them over the years.
CCT and HOPE are similar in many ways. We strive every day to put Christ at the center of our work, proclaiming and living the Gospel in the poorest places in the world. We both focus on poverty alleviation through small loans, savings and credit associations (SCA), and biblically based business training.
CCT was founded in 1992 by Ruth Callanta, who is still its president today. Over the last 20 years, they have developed thriving programs in many sectors of ministry, including community housing, education, microfinance, and church planting. This highlights one significant difference between HOPE and CCT: HOPE has a strategy of providing a narrower range of programs (loans, savings and credit associations, and training) in many countries, whereas CCT has a much broader range of programs within one country.
I have two purposes for my trip, which is my first visit to CCT and to the Philippines. First I am representing HOPE in a leadership conference that CCT hosts for their partners. Second, we are supporting CCT in growing their savings and credit association program, and I will be joining three of my HOPE colleagues in visiting their savings programs.
I will be posting daily to HOPE’s blog, with highlights from my trip and lessons learned at the conference. I will also be trying out Twitter for the first time in my life, at @hopestaff. The journey begins soon, with flights from Washington to JFK to Tokyo to Manila. I hope that you enjoy these blog posts, and I’d be happy to respond to questions if you put them in the comments.