Archives For COVID-19

In the Dominican Republic, a batey (pronounced “bah-TAY”) is a community made up primarily of families who immigrated from Haiti to work in surrounding sugarcane fields. These underserved communities are often located hours away from the nearest city. As immigrants, many families living in bateyes lack the necessary legal status to receive financial services, education, or medical services.

When Esperanza, HOPE’s microfinance partner in the Dominican Republic, first arrived in Batey Margarita in 2006, Jacobo Benjamin was the first of his neighbors to take out a loan. Previously, Jacobo had worked in the nearby sugarcane fields, cutting and processing the crop. But when the processing company announced it was closing, Jacobo knew he’d need to find a new source of income.

With his loan from Esperanza, Jacobo opened a colmado, or corner store, allowing him to provide for his family and meet a key need for his neighbors.

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K-shaped recovery

The United States is currently experiencing what economists are calling a K-shaped recovery. This occurs when, following a widespread and significant economic dip, certain portions of the economy begin to move toward economic recovery, while others stagnate or fall even further. A K-shaped graph helps explain why recovery following the pandemic seems to be occurring unevenly—while some industries (and people) are returning to normal or even improving, others are experiencing the very opposite.

This phenomenon seems to be occurring globally, as well.

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Featured image: A church partner’s building damaged in the earthquake

Our hearts continue to break as we hear about the ongoing challenges in Haiti: the culmination of a global health crisis, heightened political tensions following the assassination of the country’s president in July, escalating gang violence that’s affected 1.5 million people, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the southern portion of the country in August, and the tropical storm that followed it.

We grieve with our neighbors in Haiti—and we know that out of our ache, we’re called to respond in love, prayer, immediate action, and ongoing support to help shoulder the burden they are carrying. Continue Reading…

Carrole Moussengue

2020 was the most challenging year in HOPE International’s 23-year history. Although we felt the strain of the pandemic on HOPE’s operations, the hardest part was witnessing many of the men and women we serve endure illness, loss of life, overwhelmed health care systems, shortages, halted businesses, and falling income.

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the HOPE network rallied to assist struggling entrepreneurs, but with markets closed and commerce grinding to a halt, the outlook was grim for both MFIs and those we serve. We began to see a chain reaction play out across our network’s operations:

COVID-19 hits, mandated lockdowns instated, businesses close and/or sales decrease, household income lost, loan repayments missed

But today, we’re excited to report that we’re seeing encouraging signs of recovery in HOPE-network microfinance institutions. We celebrate these because they indicate not only that our operations are returning to health but—even more importantly—that the families we serve are seeing their lives stabilize. Thanks be to God! Continue Reading…

In 2020, the HOPE network continued to serve men and women in the world’s underserved communities. And no part of HOPE’s work or operations was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite all these challenges, we still felt God’s faithful love and compassion toward us, our partners, and the families we serve.

In the last year, we’ve shared a few of these stories of challenge and resilience, along with insights into HOPE’s work and the communities where we serve. We hope that you’ve been encouraged, challenged, and inspired in your own life to grow in faith and service to the Kingdom.

In case you missed any of these insightful and inspirational stories, here are our five most-read posts from 2020: Continue Reading…

Last month HOPE did something we had never done before: We hosted a global virtual event, with the aim of welcoming 2,500 friends and raising $2 million to impact 100,000 families! But we didn’t do it alone. Continue Reading…