Archives For community

HOPE interns brainstorm on the whiteboard.

by Ruthie Claydon, Experience Team Assistant (summer 2021 intern) During my internship with HOPE International, I experienced spiritual growth in completely new and unexpected ways. Throughout the summer, I felt fully welcomed and integrated into the vibrant staff culture. Overall, here are four of the biggest ways I was impacted by HOPE’s employee-directed spiritual practices. […]

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“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV)

What is compassion fatigue?

The American Institute of Stress defines compassion fatigue, or empathy fatigue, as “the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events.” It most often affects individuals who are continuously empathizing with those they serve. And in the wake of a pandemic, it seems to apply to many of us as we see and experience needs in our communities and around the world. Continue Reading…

Living in a remote community on the outskirts of Comas, Peru, Margarita Moreno collects and sells discarded bottles and recyclables. This summer, Peru experienced a surge in COVID-19 deaths, leading the country to enter a time of severe lockdown. While this time could have left Margarita feeling more isolated than ever, her connection in community has instead grown stronger. Continue Reading…

by Colton Parks, Communications Fellow (HOPE Rwanda)

Everyone has their way of describing the unique times we find ourselves in today. For me, like many, the word is uncertain.

Uncertainty underlies my thoughts about job security, schools re-opening, the timeline for the virus spread to wane, the stock market, and a host of other facets of life I previously took for granted. I feel uncertain about what this pandemic means, and that feeling is present when I fall asleep, and it’s there when I wake up.

A few months ago, I was in a village called Mugina, visiting savings group members and hearing their stories. My third interview of the day was with a woman named Speciose. After greeting us, she guided us gently down a hill to her home, a small building nestled in the shadow of a much larger structure that was without a roof. The larger, open-air home stood empty, a shell of a house, exposed to the rain and wind. Almost a year before, a storm had pried off the entire roof and sent it flying, and the smaller house had served as a temporary shelter for Speciose and her husband ever since. Continue Reading…

by Robert Gonza, Quality Assurance Officer (HOPE Rwanda)

When I started working with HOPE Rwanda, I didn’t know if I believed in savings groups.

My job in quality assurance includes interacting with our field partner staff, training them about quality assurance processes like reporting documents, attending monthly mentoring meetings, and visiting and encouraging saving groups. I enjoyed my job and my team, but I was not always very sure how savings groups were transforming people’s lives.

Almost anyone you ask at HOPE Rwanda will be quick to share the statistics of how the saving groups are transforming lives—how many families we serve, how much they’ve saved, the number of cows, goats, and pigs they’ve purchased with their savings. Three years later, I now myself could share all these things. And I thought that the numbers were the most important things about these savings groups.

But I was wrong. They are about way more than just the savings, the number of loans, or those who attended the meeting—or pigs or cows. Continue Reading…

by Elizabeth Dewes, Field Journalism Fellow (based in Zambia)

This summer, Zimbabweans witnessed their first major transition of political power since their 1980 independence from British and white minority rule. With the recent changes, economic uncertainty came to a head in September when tax increases on fuel triggered a series of exorbitant price hikes, on everything from gas to imported goods. I witnessed this unfolding crisis on my recent trip to Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, in November. Continue Reading…