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In this one-minute field report, Annie Ansley, field communications fellow, shares about the joy she saw in women as they worship together in a repayment meeting through Esperanza International, HOPE’s partner in the Dominican Republic.

In this excerpt from a recent HOPE event, HOPE’s president and CEO, Peter Greer, demonstrates the urgency felt by those in poverty as they try to build a better future for their families. He also paints a picture of how Christ-centered microenterprise development can accelerate the process and make a difference by preparing people to work today.

Ghislaine

by Mara Seibert, HOPE fellow in the Republic of Congo, reposted from www.maraseibert.com

This Mother’s Day, HOPE is honoring the creativity, dedication, and love of the women we serve as they work to provide for their families. Join us in honoring the many roles mothers like Ghislaine play through our “We Heart Moms” campaign.

7 a.m. Early enough that clouds still cover the sky and the air is cool. Children in blue and white uniforms walk to school, and Brazzaville is waking up. Breakfast in Brazzaville depends on where you live. Some people prefer bread and eggs, others substitute manioc for the bread, and then you have one of the most bizarrely cross-cultural meals I have witnessed: spaghetti with beans and mayonnaise. Some of my colleagues eat it for breakfast, and the bite I had was surprisingly good.

One of my favorite Congolese breakfast items would have to be beignets—essentially a Congolese doughnut, sweet and fried in oil. Here, beignets and riz-au-lait (sweet rice in milk) are made by Congolese mamas all around Brazzaville early in the morning, and on this particular morning I was finally going to try some of Mama Ghislaine’s beignets.

Ghislaine holding beignets

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During business training in Malawi, Country Director Douglas Kulaisi was teaching a session on reconciliation.

Douglas Kulaisi

His question to group leaders: “Do Christian couples experience conflict?”

Malawian women

Women: No.
Men: Yes.
Women: It’s men that bring conflict.
Men: No, it’s not. We forgive first.
Women: Men never say “I’m sorry.”

Malawian men group leaders laughing

Some things never change. Whether in the U.S. or rural Malawi, relationships are messy.

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Since launching in July of this year, HOPE’s newest savings program in Malawi has grown to serve over 500 members. Anna Haggard, executive writing assistant, is in Malawi gathering stories from the new program. For more from Anna, follow the @HOPEstaff Twitter account.

Mary Moses

“Without education, no one goes far.” -Mary Moses, group member who saved to send her nine children to school

Marita John

“I have learned to take life as it comes. I am guided and protected by God.” -Marita John, member of the savings group “Love”

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HOPE’s newest savings and credit association (SCA) groups in central Burundi are only a few months into their first cycle, and already group members are pooling their savings to start businesses and buy land together. Ryan Severns, HOPE’s microenterprise technical advisor in Burundi, gives us a video update from Karuzi Province, where our partnership with a local denomination is seeing fruit.