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Simon RurihafiSimon Rurihafi (pictured right) is a coffee farmer who owns 350 trees—but he almost gave up on farming them.

In Burundi, the hurdles facing coffee farmers like Simon are many: The labor is demanding, farming techniques and expectations for bean quality have shifted in recent years, and there are gaps in the global supply and demand chains, making it difficult for smallholder farmers to connect with buyers at competitive prices. Simon recalls, “I thought of abandoning coffee in the past because of these challenges!”

On top of this, Burundian farmers have very few options to access financial services or training to update their farming practices, purchase additional land, plant more trees, or connect with buyers.

As a result, farmers have felt stuck, alone, and without options.

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Clarisa Huamani’s dream is for her three children to have the opportunities she didn’t. At a young age, she was adopted by a family in Lima, Peru. Her adoptive parents often forced her to stay home, and she was never really accepted as part of the family. She longed for belonging and the chance to work and make her own way.

Investing in family

At a low point in her life, Clarisa discovered the business idea that could help supplement her husband’s income. After she lost her father to COVID-19 in June 2020, a neighbor gifted her a pair of guinea pigs and a chicken to help her focus on something else. Once Clarisa realized the animals could be a source of income for her family, she found new purpose. She began to breed and sell guinea pigs, ducks, and chickens, finding new clients through word of mouth.

My first priority is my children–for their health, that they would have a profession and be able to provide for themselves.

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“I can connect with HOPE on multiple levels,” says Marcia Malzahn (pictured above), laughing.

Born in Nicaragua, Marcia was a teenager when she and her family had to move to the Dominican Republic (D.R.) as refugees. Her time there helps her feel a special connection to HOPE’s work with Esperanza International, HOPE’s partner in the D.R. Continue Reading…

We are now in the third month of the war in Ukraine, with heavy fighting continuing in the east and south of Ukraine where Russia has occupied several cities where HOPE Ukraine operates. Missile strikes continue in Kyiv and other areas across the country.

The United Nations is reporting that more than 5.6 million Ukrainians have now fled the country as a result of the war. And 7.7 million people are displaced internally—most fleeing the violence in the eastern and southern regions. Continue Reading…

Romania

It’s now been more than four full weeks of war in Ukraine. Despite Russia’s escalating violence against both the Ukrainian military and civilians, and despite multiple rounds of peace talks and negotiations, there has been no clear resolution.

Fighting continues to be concentrated in southern, eastern, and northern regions. There is a great spirit of unity among Ukrainians, but also great concern as Russia’s tactics grow more ruthless. Almost four million people have now evacuated Ukraine as refugees, and millions more are displaced within Ukraine, having relocated to areas farther away from bombing and Russian occupation. UNICEF estimates that half of Ukrainian children are now displaced, living in an unfamiliar place. Please join us in praying for peace!

HOPE continues to focus on four main priorities: Continue Reading…

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…