Archives For hope-international

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…

Leah Mshani

Leah Mshani lives in Chitipa, a district in northern Malawi, with her husband and their three children.

A year ago, Leah 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 “Light” savings group through their church (a HOPE partner), Leah started saving 500 kwacha (roughly 67¢ USD) at each group meeting.

As she paid her shares, she took out several loans from the group: 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…

Update (1.31.2020)—This morning, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s partner in the Philippines, shared an encouraging update on the situation involving the Taal volcano:

“Praise God that the Taal Volcano’s status has been lowered to Alert Level 3. … Indeed, the Lord hears our every prayer!”

Continue Reading…

by Robert Gonza, Quality Assurance Officer (HOPE Rwanda)

When I started working with HOPE Rwanda, I didn’t know if I believed in savings groups.

My job in quality assurance includes interacting with our field partner staff, training them about quality assurance processes like reporting documents, attending monthly mentoring meetings, and visiting and encouraging saving groups. I enjoyed my job and my team, but I was not always very sure how savings groups were transforming people’s lives.

Almost anyone you ask at HOPE Rwanda will be quick to share the statistics of how the saving groups are transforming lives—how many families we serve, how much they’ve saved, the number of cows, goats, and pigs they’ve purchased with their savings. Three years later, I now myself could share all these things. And I thought that the numbers were the most important things about these savings groups.

But I was wrong. They are about way more than just the savings, the number of loans, or those who attended the meeting—or pigs or cows. Continue Reading…