Archives For hope-international

By Dan Williams, Director of Spiritual Integration

A seven-week series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

The flight attendant came on the intercom announcing our final descent into Rwanda. Giving up on my attempt to nap, I began gathering my things in preparation for landing, ensuring that my seatback was in the upright position, my tray table stowed, and my carry-on under the seat in front of me. Fully prepared for landing, I noticed my row companion taking out his earbuds, so I began conversing with him for the first time. An eager short-term mission trip participant, this was his first visit to Rwanda.

“What brings you to Rwanda?” he asked.

“I work for a microenterprise development network called HOPE International,” I told him. “We have two programs here in Rwanda.”

Somewhat familiar with microfinance, he was intrigued, recalling prior reading about how access to small loans and a safe place to save can be transformational for families living in poverty. He’d even heard of HOPE. “What do you do for HOPE International?” he asked.

Despite knowing the reaction I often get when I describe my role, I risked honesty. “I’m the director of spiritual integration,” I told him.

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Unity Savings Group, Malawi

By Kevin Tordoff, Vice President of Marketing

I recently found myself in Malawi, known colloquially as the Warm Heart of Africa. Driving into a southern community, we stopped by the side of the road by Nixon, a volunteer church facilitator for savings groups. Nixon has been serving in this role for the past four years—almost since HOPE Malawi’s inception. Riding his trusty bicycle, Nixon weaved his way through the dusty dirt roads, guiding us to the home where the savings group meeting was held.

Like many savings groups around the HOPE International network, the Mgwirizano (“unity”) savings group is comprised of 14 multi-generational members. As the meeting began, they enthusiastically shared how the loans from their pooled savings had allowed them to build and repair their homes, how goats had been purchased for breeding and other productive purposes. Their hard work farming small plots of land and selling the produce at market enabled the members to have the funds needed to pay back any loans disbursed from the group’s savings.

Leading HOPE’s marketing department for over a decade, these stories had begun to feel standard—I’d read and heard countless stories like the one the group shared, and I’d even had the opportunity to visit savings groups in the past that looked very similar to this one.

But then, a young man, Samson, from the group arose and directed an unexpected question at me: “Where have you been, HOPE?”

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For the first time in eight years, HOPE International is expanding microfinance operations to include another country: Paraguay! The HOPE network will reach Paraguay through a partnership with Diaconía, a microfinance institution with a mission of empowering those living in poverty.

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HOPE International is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Compassion International to equip their local church partners with savings group programs. Read more in this press release:

Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate our values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award winner. 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 Sixbert, this year’s runner up for savings group programs!

Living on just $60 each month, Sixbert Nteziryayo struggled to afford rent and other basic needs for his family. After getting behind and missing several rent payments in a row, Sixbert, his wife, and their seven children were evicted from their home in Rwanda. Needing to provide shelter for his family, Sixbert faced the challenge of finding a new way to generate income. Continue Reading…

HOPE Intl

HOPE Intl

Jun 27 2018

HOPE Intl

News

HOPE recently released its first children’s book, Keza Paints a Bright Future, written by former field journalism fellow Kenny Burkey, who served with HOPE in Rwanda, and former staff member Jill Heisey, who recently co-authored Rooting for Rivals with HOPE’s president and CEO, Peter Greer, and vice president of development, Chris Horst.Keza Paints A Bright Future

Keza Paints a Bright Future follows a young Rwandan girl, Keza, who loves the brilliant colors she sees in hills and fields around her home. More than anything, Keza dreams of joining the other children at school to learn how to read and write. But she and her family are struggling to make ends meet. There’s simply just not enough money saved to buy the blue school uniform that Keza needs to attend school. Continue Reading…