Archives For poverty

2017-Best_7

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, 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: Gemma Vasquez.

When digital photography began growing in the Philippines, the small photography studio where Gemma Vasquez’s husband worked quickly went out of business. Scrambling to find other work, Gemma and her husband soon landed on a new business venture: selling popcorn.

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clari

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 Latin America: Clari Santana.

After a serious car accident claimed one of Clari Santana’s legs and one of her hands, she didn’t know what to do next. A single mother of two boys, she now couldn’t continue in her business of delivering food to factory workers. “I thought the world had ended,” she shared. That’s when she heard about Esperanza International, HOPE’s local partner in the Dominican Republic.

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Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award. 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 Savera, this year’s winner!

For years, Savera Mutemariya and her husband struggled to support their family. Like many people in the community of Kigabiro, Rwanda, they supported their family mostly through what they grew in their fields, making it difficult to consistently provide for their family’s needs.

“My life was very bad,” Savera remembers. “Getting food was very hard. I didn’t have a house. I had three kids, but I wasn’t able to pay for primary school fees.”

When Savera heard about Urwego Bank, HOPE’s microfinance bank in Rwanda, it sounded too good to be true. Surprised to hear that Urwego would work with women—something that many banks refused to do—Savera eagerly signed up. With her first loans, Savera began selling peanuts at market. “I started to realize I was capable,” she says. “I used to believe I couldn’t do much, but I came to realize I was quite capable.”

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by Lauren Sheard, HOPE Burundi Program Manager

Two years ago, soon after I first moved to Burundi, I was chatting with another expatriate I’d just met. Explaining what I do, I described the basic premise of HOPE International’s savings group ministry, how rather than giving out money or goods directly like a traditional charity we’re teaching people how to save their own money to make a difference in their families and communities. I was pleased with my elevator speech but was caught off guard when the expatriate and his Burundian friend laughed! “This is Burundi,” they said. “That sort of thing can’t possibly make a difference. People don’t have anything, and you’re trying to teach them to save? Maybe in a few decades when the country is better off.” And at that, the conversation ended with another laugh and a sarcastic “good luck!”

I am not one to be offended easily, but in that moment I felt rather indignant. Not only is it rude to laugh at what I just said I do and believe in, but to so easily brush off even the thought that Burundians could have skills and abilities to help themselves was discouraging to me. Continue Reading…

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“I train lots of people, freely, without asking any money,” Moise said, proudly smiling. “What I have, I give.”

Sitting on white plastic chairs at Moise’s home in the Republic of Congo, I looked out at the fields of newly sprouted cabbages as I mulled over Moise’s words. The grey sky overhead mirrored the heaviness of the conversation as Moise described his considerable challenges—his wife’s deteriorating health, the immense cost of her treatment, losing his loan repayment when a fellow group member left it behind in a taxi. And after this string of hardships, he was still willing to give of his time to train farmers in his community?

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Jeff Galley serves as central group leader for LifeGroups and missions at Life.Church in Oklahoma City, OK. He and a team from Life.Church recently traveled to India to visit HOPE’s local partner, who is helping to equip churches and underserved communities through savings groups, and to visit Tearfund. In this blog excerpt, he shares about the people he met and what he learned from them about human trafficking. Read the full post on his blog.

Observers estimate there are more than 20 million slaves in India and that one new person is trafficked into slavery every 10 minutes. Some slaves are forced to do manual labor as a house servant or doing hard, backbreaking labor. Some are forced into prostitution. Trafficking isn’t just a problem in India. It’s a global issue, even in my own city.

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