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What am I doing here?!


So first things first.  My name is Becky, and I work for HOPE International’s Central Service Unit as a grant writer.  Part of my job is to serve as a go-between bridging the informational gap between HOPE supporters (typically in the U.S.) and HOPE’s 14 international microenterprise development programs – including the 270,000+ entrepreneurs HOPE serves.  On a daily basis, I find myself doing some pretty cool things – interviewing interesting field staffers, researching living conditions, answering donors’ questions, and learning about and describing the inner mechanics of microfinance institutions and the challenges our staff and clients face.  I love my job!  But the thing is…I do all of these things from the gray stillness of my very American cubicle in a very American office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

So I’ve been shipped off to the Republic of Congo, and I couldn’t be more pleased!  After years of planning, coordinating, and waiting patiently, HOPE recently launched its newest microfinance institution (MFI): HOPE Congo!  Last Monday, our local staff successfully disbursed small business loans to 50 aspiring entrepreneurs who make a living selling products and services to the people of Brazzaville.  I couldn’t think of a better place to be right now to experience the realities of how this all works.  So for almost a month, I’m here to learn:

  1. What it takes to launch an MFI
  2. What it’s like to live and do business in a place like Congo
  3. How our clients creatively combine ideas, skills, training, and HOPE capital to begin to pull their own families out of poverty.

Feel free to follow along and learn with me!

Becky Svendsen


Becky serves HOPE as the communications team manager. One of her greatest joys has been getting out from behind her computer to interact with HOPE’s clients and field staff to see the impact of HOPE's work firsthand.

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