Archives For solidarity

Clients

by Annie Ansley, Field Communications Fellow in the Dominican Republic

I am blessed to get the chance to interview clients almost every week, and what they share never fails to surprise or inspire me. They’ve already taught me more than I could ever learn from simply being in the office. One thing I like to find out is their favorite part of being a client of Esperanza, HOPE’s partner in the Dominican Republic. Incredibly, they hardly ever mention the money. Check out what clients told me they value most…

“The devotional”

Many say that learning about God is by far the most important feature of Esperanza: The group Bible studies, prayer, and praise songs have brought them closer to God or taught them a specific lesson.

Hearing about Abraham and Isaac, Miguelina was inspired to sacrifice her profits for her church. Hearing the story of the widow and the oil, Angela learned the importance of working diligently at her bakery. When Carolina went to her very first bank meeting, she was going through an economic crisis in her family. Her loan officer spoke on Psalm 37, which sparked Carolina’s desire to return to God and renew her trust in Him.

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On my recent trip to Peru, I met a woman who was struggling with a deep hurt. As I sat in her business, Luz (pictured on the right) shared with me and a few others how disappointed she was that she had never married or had children. Tears welled in her eyes as a friend held her close. Luz owns a costume shop in Lima, Peru, where she sells and rents costumes of all kinds, from recognizable Disney characters to traditional Peruvian icons. Her customers come to her shop to celebrate, but while she serves them, she’s filled with a sadness that struck at her core as a woman in Peruvian society.

Luz with Michelle, the program coordinator

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For those participating in HOPE’s savings and credit association program in Rwanda, membership means more than a safe place to save money or take out a loan. Savings groups also provide opportunities to build community, fellowship together, and learn from God’s Word. In this video journal, Christine Vuguziga, HOPE Rwanda program coordinator, shares how one group of military wives overcame issues of rank to build solidarity along with their savings.

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I recently had the opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe to visit savings and credit association (SCA) programs in person. In the local language, Shona, the groups are called Ndasunungurwa Trust, meaning, “I have been set free.” As I heard the stories of many clients’ transformation in Zimbabwe, it became evident that this translation was extremely telling of their life stories.

During one meeting, group members were given the opportunity to share their stories with the rest of the group and the visitors in the room. It was silent for a moment as individuals gathered their thoughts. I looked around, thinking of my own apprehension of speaking in front of a group, and wondered who would go first. Continue Reading…