Archives For microenterprise

When civil war broke out in Burundi in 1993, Edith Uwineza and her family sold their belongings and fled to Tanzania as refugees. It wasn’t until two years later that they were able to return to Burundi and begin life anew. Edith’s husband worked as the supervisor of a construction site and owner of a cement shop, and Edith managed a small roadside stand where she sold green peppers and tomatoes.

Despite her hard work and diligence, Edith found it difficult to earn a sufficient income and lacked the resources to expand her business. After learning about to Turame, HOPE’s local partner, Edith received a $30 loan that enabled her to sell a wider variety of vegetables at her stand. She has since taken out 14 loans, which she has used to diversify her inventory to include non-perishable items and charcoal for cooking. As Edith’s business grew, she began renting out her small kiosk to other vendors and moved to a local market where she could serve more customers.

Recognizing that she will eventually be unable to be as involved with her business as she grows older, Edith is using her sharp mind for business to plan for the future. She wants to purchase land and build a house to rent out, as well as continue her business through hired employees.

Today, Edith is a well-respected member of her community who takes care of five children, her sister, and her orphaned niece. She provides jobs for three families and frequently assists her neighbors in times of need. Edith testifies that through her involvement with Turame she has gained a family. “If I were to praise Turame, I would need to write a book,” she reflects. Seeing that God is the ultimate source of provision, Edith named her business Shimwa Yesu, which means, “Jesus be praised.”

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Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, 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 this year’s honorable mention from Asia: Danilo Papalid.

When his ice cream business didn’t do well, Danilo saw an opportunity to capitalize on a new Filipino food trend selling siomai, a tasty Chinese dumpling. He says, “Unlike with ice cream, siomai sales are high in cold or hot weather because people eat it on its own, as a snack, or paired with rice for lunch and supper.”

Launching this new business with his personal savings and loans from HOPE’s local partner, CCT, Danilo developed his own dumpling recipe and dipping sauces, using local ingredients he can get year-round. With a delicious, convenient product, Danilo’s business has now expanded to 12 mobile vendors, each selling siomai around their city. Danilo is grateful for CCT’s Christ-centered trainings and meetings, saying, “Because we listen to God’s Word frequently, we have been drawn closer to Him.”

Knowing God’s provision in his life, Danilo has shared with others the same opportunities he received through CCT. He invited ice cream vendors he used to work with to join his business, providing them with much more stable incomes. Even as he’s prospered and become more financially stable, Danilo is also excited about his spiritual impact. He says, “The impact of CCT on our spiritual lives has been great! Because of the weekly Bible studies, we have been able to invite our workers to go to church with us, and their lives have been transformed.”

With dirt still in her fingernails from digging in her garden, Victoria proudly displays her produce—green and red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans.

Six years ago, Victoria used her first loan from Invest-Credit, HOPE’s partner in Moldova, to buy the frame structure for her greenhouse. She uses it to grow produce, which she sells to retailers in bulk. The greenhouse enables her to continue growing produce throughout the cold winter months, thus increasing her profit. Continue Reading…

by Ben Lewis, HOPE Supporter

One of the things that I love about HOPE International is how they give people the opportunity to work.

For many of us, the difficulty or monotony of work can sometimes make us feel more like Job in the Bible rather than blessed with vocation. But all it takes is a story like this one in The Wall Street Journal to be reminded of the blessing of work. In it, the journalist describes how people with autism, who once were deemed unemployable, are finding meaningful work at corporations like SAP and Freddie Mac. Patrick Brophy, a 29-year-old man with Asperger’s (a milder form of autism spectrum disorder), said, “Four weeks before joining, I was steadily more and more nervous. Within a month, [the work] was second nature. I had found myself.” This is indeed a beautiful and noble thing—Mr. Brophy is experiencing the blessing and dignity of work. Continue Reading…

Each year, HOPE celebrates a client who demonstrates HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award winner. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, 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. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the stories of this year’s honorable mentions and overall winner.

When Elena Borisenko speaks, people listen. Throughout her community in Kamenka-Dneprovskaya, Ukraine, she’s seen as a woman of influence, not only because of her charismatic personality but also because of the changes she has seen as a successful businesswoman and a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

Hungry to learn

As a child, Elena loved the land and enjoyed tending her family’s garden, where new life was always sprouting. She moved to the city to attend college and continued living there after graduation. But when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Elena immediately moved home to care for her. Together, the two women cried out to God. In time, Elena’s mother grew healthy and strong again, and the answered prayer left Elena hungry to know more about Christ.

While living with her mother, Elena met and married her now-husband. She soon gave birth to a son. With her husband’s encouragement, Elena left her job at a local post office and began growing tomatoes. She and her husband built a greenhouse using income from his job at a feed mill, and Elena says her family had everything they desired.

In 2006, Elena’s husband fell seriously ill. Doctors offered little hope, and Elena again put her hope in the Lord. She prayed fervently for her husband, and from his hospital bed, he dreamed that a powerful ray of light ascended from Elena to the sky and then entered his body. “From that moment I got better,” he testifies. After this, Elena’s faith was strong, but she still hungered to grow spiritually.

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Continue Reading…

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.