“Blessed are those whose strength is in you.” Psalm 84:5a
This Mother’s Day, join us in honoring them by reading how three tenacious mothers, rooted in God’s strength, are overcoming obstacles to invest in bold dreams. 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.
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 Eckness, this year’s winner of savings group programs!
When Eckness was a teenager, her family could no longer afford to send her to school—a problem many Malawian families face. And like many Malawian youth in her situation, Eckness dropped out of school and got married. Continue Reading…
A senior at Messiah College, Mahelet has a passion for ministry and sharing the Gospel. Born and raised in Ethiopia until age 16, Mahelet says, “Helping others has always been a part of my life.” She credits her grandparents, who were involved in business, and her mom, who served as a missionary in rural areas of Ethiopia, for their positive influence in her life. Despite her Christian upbringing, Mahelet fell away from her faith in Christ until two years ago, when she recommitted her life to serving Him.
Mahelet heard about HOPE International when President and CEO Peter Greer taught a course at her college. She spoke to him after class and was encouraged to apply for an internship at HOPE. That summer, Mahelet served as the church and community outreach intern.
How does working at HOPE compare with other places you have worked in the past?
“The place I worked before, [my colleagues and I] had a professional relationship. Here at HOPE, I have spiritual relationships and personal relationships too. People are very genuine, sincere, and love their jobs.” Continue Reading…
by Luke Harbaugh, Church and Community Liaison
In just a few weeks, American schools will prepare to return from summer vacation. As a former public school teacher, I remember the anticipation of preparing to return to school.
In my two years of teaching in American public schools, I had many frustrations. There were the regular fights with the copier, the occasional disciplinary measures that needed to be handed out, the fear I experienced before my first parent-teacher conferences, and, of course, the hobgoblin of all new teachers: keeping law and order in a classroom full of middle schoolers. But even as I fought through the trials that all new teachers endure, one thought never crossed my mind: “What if I don’t get paid this week?”
In honor of Universal Children’s Day on November 20, we’re excited to share about the ingenuity and hard work of these children in Rwanda.
In southern Rwanda, two savings groups meet regularly to save between 7 and 73 cents a week. Named Dutezanyimbere, meaning “Let’s hold hands and move forward together,” and Dukomezumurimo, meaning “Let’s keep the calling,” these groups have big dreams. One plans to buy a cow for each member, while the other hopes to buy a house to use for rental income. While these might sound like typical savings groups, they’re unusual in one key demographic: They’re made up entirely of children, with members ranging in age from 12 to 17.
In Rwanda, 61 percent of the population is under the age of 24, and the median age is just 18. HOPE International typically impacts this age group indirectly by empowering parents to provide for their children—but the next generation is also learning the value of saving money. While only 79 of the 8,800 savings groups in Rwanda are made up of children, this small but impressive number is faithfully saving small sums for the future and learning more about God’s Word in community.
Oscar, the 17-year-old who serves as secretary of Dutezanyimbere, immediately saw the benefit of forming a savings group: “I had different needs as a child,” he shares. One of these needs is education. 16-year-old Vestine uses her savings to buy school supplies. Cecilia, another 16-year-old member, says, “I want to study hard and then get a loan from the group to pay for school fees in a good school.” She dreams of using that education to become a doctor.