Archives For agriculture

Originally posted on Peter Greer’s blog.

It’s been more than a month since Russia laid siege to Ukraine. Their brutal and unrelenting attacks have crumbled historic buildings, laid waste to fertile ground, and devastated families, particularly in Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions. Seventy percent of the entrepreneurs HOPE Ukraine serves live and work in these regions. We’ve spent the last weeks checking in daily with staff members—doing all we can to ensure their safety—and connecting with the entrepreneurs we serve to learn how we can pray for and support them. These men and women have many reasons to despair, but once again, I am surprised and inspired by signs of resolute hope. Continue Reading…

Maria, a store owner, smiles as she holds cookies in her shop.

As HOPE International has walked with entrepreneurs in Ukraine over the last 25 years, we’ve come to cherish the dreams they have for their families and neighborhoods. We’ve seen them use their God-given talents to create incredible businesses that meet the needs of their communities and provide for their families.

Since Russia first invaded Ukraine, the headline images have shown destruction and the anxious faces of men and women who are facing the very real stresses of war. Yet amid the distress and displacement of millions, we remember the names, stories, and dreams of the people we serve. This is personal for us.

Below, we want to honor the entrepreneurship and hard work of the men and women that HOPE Ukraine walks with. As you learn about their businesses and take in their smiles, we invite you to pray for them by name.

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Reflecting on the last year, we’re amazed at how God has continued to show up throughout the HOPE network. Despite a myriad of challenges worldwide—political unrest, natural disasters, and an ongoing pandemic—God’s compassionate love has been evident to us, our partners, and those that we serve. Continue Reading…

Dried apricot, raspberry, brown sugar. No, these aren’t candle scents; they’re the delicate flavors of specialty coffees sourced from the highlands of Burundi and Rwanda. In my very caffeinated opinion, coffees from these two hilly countries in East Africa are among the world’s most delicious, and yes, they even fight poverty. Continue Reading…

Around the world, we see creative, industrious men and women committed to providing for their families and serving their communities through meaningful work. In this year’s gift catalog, we’ve included some of the tools HOPE International-network clients use in some of the most common jobs in the developing world: animal rearing, farming, tailoring, and store ownership. In this series, we’ll dive into some of the challenges faced by those in that profession.

For many families in the communities where HOPE serves, their dream is to own livestock—a goat, cow, chicken, or pig.

Owning livestock is a key component of food security, providing families with their own supply of milk, meat, and eggs. And since animal products can add greater nutritional and caloric value to a family’s diet, owning livestock can increase a family’s overall health.

Livestock owners can also use manure to fertilize their crops, cutting down the cost of purchasing fertilizer and increasing their yields. Many families also use smaller animals like sheep or goats as a means of investing their savings—it’s often a safer and more productive way to safeguard built-up sums of money.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization advocates that if more families have access to livestock ownership, global food security will drastically increase. 

That’s why HOPE invests in animal breeders.

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How can we design products based on feedback we’re hearing from clients? This was the question the HOPE Ukraine team sought to answer at a three-day retreat in July, using a process based on IDEO’s human-centered design approach. After collecting client feedback, HOPE Ukraine wanted to step back and brainstorm ideas based on their potential impact on clients. According to Dan Williams, HOPE’s director of spiritual integration:

It can be really easy to go into an operational mindset, to start problem solving, and to think about ideas from the perspective of, “Will it work?” without letting ourselves live in that space of, “What are our clients saying is important to them, and can we find a way to make it work even if our immediate response is that it would be tough?”

The process

First, the team dived into client feedback and came up with a number of observations, which they grouped into themes.

1.1 Grouping observations

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