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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…

By Maddie Conley, Social Media Intern

Each year, HOPE International receives hundreds of applicants for our summer internship program. Those accepted work alongside HOPE staff in a variety of departments doing work that has an impact across the globe. This past summer, 11 interns joined the HOPE team in Lancaster, PA. Some commuted no more than 30 minutes from home, while others left family and friends in other states. 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…

Farmers in rural, agricultural areas of Burundi face a number of challenges unique to their remote location, including limited access to educational opportunities and financial exclusion:

40 percent of Burundian adults living in rural areas qualify as “illiterate*”[1]

5.3 percent of Burundian farmers hold an account with a formal financial institution[2]

Yet it is precisely among underserved communities that Turame Community Finance, HOPE’s microfinance institution in Burundi, seeks to work. Clients living in rural villages hold over 90 percent of Turame’s current outstanding loans.

Unlike a traditional bank, however, Turame’s mission goes beyond financial transactions, offering biblically based business training to its clients, and even to those who do not hold an account.

But Turame had a challenge: how to share robust stewardship training with those who may not only be accessing financial services for the first time, but may also have limited reading skills. Continue Reading…

By Roger Morgan, Africa Regional Director

It was in September 2017 that I, along with HOPE’s senior management team, recommended to the board of directors that we close operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

As one of the world’s most difficult places to do business, HOPE DRC’s history had been fraught with challenges. Since launching in 2004, we had faced numerous environmental, political, and operational hurdles. With HOPE’s desire to serve underserved places, we remained committed to working in DRC, even when so many organizations could not. But after more than a decade of combating challenge after challenge, we recognized that the program had stagnated, unable to grow in the increasing tumultuous environment and creating ongoing risk for other HOPE-network programs.

We could not provide a plan for improvement; we made the difficult decision to close.

Continue Reading…

It’s back-to-school season in the United States. Yellow school buses once again join the morning commute; teachers prepare lesson plans for the year to come; social media brims with photos of eager, sharply dressed children.

But around the world, many children are again seeing their peers don neat, identical uniforms and walk to school—and wishing they could join them.

Where education at a young age is both an expectation and a requirement for many of us, it is a hard-earned luxury for much of the world. The numbers are staggering: Around the world, an estimated 62 million elementary school-aged children are not enrolled in school, according to the World Bank.

Continue Reading…