Archives For poverty

When I heard that a whole generation of economic progress could be lost because of COVID-19, what might have been an abstract concept felt personal.

Like kids across the country, my first grader, Addi, spent this spring learning from home. One assignment had her interviewing a family member, and she chose her grandpa: my dad. She carefully printed questions in her notebook—using her best phonetic spelling—and as FaceTime connected, I settled in to hear the stories I remember hearing as a child: my dad and his brothers chasing each other across farm fields, dad knocking an aggressive farm goose senseless in self-defense, his exasperated mother shooing six boys out of her kitchen with a rolling pin—or whatever else was handy.

Addi and I giggled over several of these same stories, but hearing them as an adult, many were tinged with a sadness and struggle I hadn’t remembered. Like when my dad told Addi about his family’s two-seater outhouse, how the brothers competed to be first in line for a weekly bath so the tub water would still be clean, how glasses of water turned to ice on bedside tables in the wintertime, how his parents saved every bit of extra money to buy each boy a second-hand bicycle one Christmas, how they rarely visited a doctor, and how his parents buried their only daughter and a son before their fifth birthdays.

It dawned on me: Not in a faraway country or too long ago, my dad grew up in poverty. Continue Reading…

Over 2 billion people in the world live on $3.10 a day or less.

You’ve likely heard this stat, or something similar. But these statistics don’t tell the full story because $3.10 is just an average: Those living in poverty aren’t making that amount every day. Some days, they may earn $15, but most days, they’re more likely bringing in $0. Often operating their businesses in small communities and selling seasonal products or crops, these entrepreneurs cannot consistently rely on a certain amount of daily or even monthly income to cover expenses. Continue Reading…

If American people see that kid, they will think he’s really poor.”

My Rwandan colleague’s words jerked me out of my reverie.

Bumping along a rural Rwandan road, my eyes tried to absorb it all—the undulating hills, the downy clouds that dotted the wide-open sky, the goats and chickens. My eyes caught on a little boy running in front of a row of houses.

The little boy wore only a pair of shabby shorts that appeared to have once been khaki-colored. Reddish dust covered his body from his cheeks to his feet. I noticed that he was barefoot. Continue Reading…

Mauvalyn Bowen - Wedding

A passion for entrepreneurship can be kindled in a number of different ways.

For some, it’s the classic childhood lemonade stand that initially piques interest; others point to a formative internship or mentor; and for others, it’s building upon an earlier innovation. For Mauvalyn Bowen, a member of HOPE’s local board in Minnesota, it was riding on the back of a donkey as she and her mother (pictured above, along with Mauvlyn’s father and husband) made their weekly trek to market. Continue Reading…

At HOPE International, we’re motivated by Christ’s call to love our neighbor as ourselves and to make disciples of all nations. Seeking to break through the barriers of poverty, we use our skills as bankers, pastors, and development workers to affirm the God-given dignity of all people and offer them tools to escape poverty. Continue Reading…

‘The name Diaconía comes from the Greek word diákonos, meaning “servant” or “messenger.” Like the deacons in the Bible, the Diaconía team has a heart for serving and sharing the Good News. HOPE is excited to invest in Diaconía—our newest microfinance partner—as they are poised to reach more people. Continue Reading…