Archives For Client Stories

In the developing world, children are often among the most vulnerable. Living on less than $1.90 a day, an estimated 385 million children live in extreme poverty, experiencing chronic malnutrition, food shortages, and lack of clean water.

HOPE believes one of the best ways to care for children living in poverty is to empower their parents. Using HOPE-network services, parents and caregivers start savings accounts or build up small businesses, providing for their children’s needs themselves rather than relying on outside charities or services. Continue Reading…

Header image: slum neighborhood of Asunción, Paraguay

In the 1990s, the World Bank interviewed more than 60,000 individuals living in low-income countries, asking one primary question: What is poverty?

When asked this question, Western audiences often respond with what those in poverty lack: food, money, clean water, etc. But the families interviewed by the World Bank described poverty in much more multidimensional terms, naming the lack of options, strained relationships, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness.

A HOPE staff member once asked a savings group in Rwanda the same question—how do you define poverty? Most of their descriptions framed their experience of poverty as emotional and relational: Continue Reading…

For countless families around the world, financial need has crushed dreams. Over time, poverty can suppress even the ability to dream. Yet, at HOPE International, we believe in a God who rekindles dreams.

In underserved communities around the HOPE network, nearly 900,000 men and women are harboring dreams like launching new businesses, seeing their children graduate, and owning their own homes. These same families are investing their own time, hard work, and funds—and leveraging HOPE’s financial services—to see those dreams come to fruition.

In these photos, members of the Let’s Fight Poverty savings group in Rwanda share their dreams. Meeting by meeting, cent by cent these savings group members faithfully pool their resources and seek the Lord, their eyes fixed on what could be.

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When Kafelini Daudi’s husband told her to take their children and go ahead of him to Ntcheu, a small village in rural Malawi, she assumed that he would meet them there. But he never did. Unable to locate him, Kafelini had no choice but to move forward. She needed to find a way to provide for her five children, even if they only ate one meal a day. She remembers, “I had no money.” Continue Reading…

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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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 Peter, this year’s runner up for microfinance institutions!

After a severe case of measles left him blind at age 8, Peter felt he had limited options for his future. In a culture where blindness is highly stigmatized, many blind people are vulnerable to living as beggars. To support their three children, Peter and his wife, Mukanziza—who also lost her sight due to measles as a child—decided to start a business building rental properties.

Prejudiced by his disability, every bank he and Mukaniza approached for a loan turned them down. And that’s when Peter learned of Urwego Bank, HOPE’s microfinance bank in Rwanda.

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