When Success Tatire’s church in Zimbabwe decided to form savings groups in 2016, they nominated Success to serve as facilitator. Initially hesitant to take on this new responsibility, Success is now grateful she agreed: “I realized it was not me or the [church] warden who chose me, it was God. We make our plans and our decisions, but He has the final answer.” Continue Reading…
Archives For Client Stories
By Malu Garcia, Savings Group Program Training Specialist (Philippines)
Several months ago, I joined a savings group that meets in an unusual location: a cemetery.
Since the 1980s, a growing number of people have chosen to live in the Cebu Chinese Cemetery—now totaling more than 100 families, some of whom have even given birth to their children in the cemetery. Some have transformed covered tombs into homes by hanging tarps for privacy—meaning that the gravestone serves as their table for meals and their bed at night. Others sleep on uncovered graves—no roof over their heads, no privacy, and no protection from animals. Some of the tombs are open, meaning that the relatives of the dead person have removed the bones and transferred them elsewhere. Near some of the oldest caskets, pieces of bone are littered on the surrounding area. The children run around these tombs as though they were in a playground. The young people and adults play cards over the tombs. I wondered where they take a bath, where their toilet is, where they wash their clothes.
To me, the heaviest part of their situation is that they expect to live out their entire lives in the cemetery. They have stopped dreaming of owning a proper home someday. But I believe that it is not God’s design for people to live with the dead; it is God’s design for people to be able to dream of more for their lives. He wants people and communities to flourish and experience Him.
Like 94 percent of Malawians,* Alinafe lacked access to formal lending services. This kept her and her husband from getting the funds they needed to pursue their dream of opening a store. And without consistent employment, the couple struggled to pay for adequate housing or schooling for their four children.
But poverty affected more than Alinafe’s finances. “I looked down upon myself,” she recalls. Knowing of Alinafe’s situation, a friend (also named Alinafe) invited her to join Chisomo (“grace”), a savings group formed through a local church. Still, Alinafe remained doubtful: “I felt too small and unworthy to join the group.” Continue Reading…
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (NRSV)
At HOPE International, we affirm the inherent dignity and worth of women, and we’re grateful to be one of many organizations working to remove the barriers that often keep women from realizing their full God-given potential.
We’re privileged to witness so many stories of women who are using financial tools to tackle poverty for their families and communities. As their stories demonstrate, these three women are loving God and their neighbors with boldness, action, and creativity. In the words of Proverbs 31, they are eshet chayil—”women of valor.” Continue Reading…
Around the world, we see creative, industrious men and women committed to providing for their families and serving their communities through meaningful work. In this year’s gift catalog, we’ve included some of the tools HOPE International-network clients use in some of the most common jobs in the developing world: animal rearing, farming, tailoring, and store ownership. In this series, we’ll dive into some of the challenges faced by those in that profession.
In the Dominican Republic, they’re called colmados. In the Philippines, they’re called sari sari stores. In Paraguay, they’re called dispensas. In Rwanda, they’re called boutiques. No matter the name, the corner store is a staple of life in developing countries.
Ubiquitous on many a corner in many a community, small convenience stores sell household essentials like flour, soap, cooking oil, and more. For families living in more rural areas, a corner store allows them to access the items that their households need without spending excess time traveling to larger cities. And since many families in developing countries don’t own a car, their local colmado or sari sari store saves them the expense of taking public transit.