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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seeing what is possible when communities have hope!

Chris and Georgie at a HOPE International Development Agency project site in Ethiopia.

From a friend of HOPE International Development Agency:

Recently my wife, Georgie, and I visited some of HOPE International Development Agency’s (HOPE) most recent projects to witness the impact. As we bumped along a newly constructed dirt road, cut into a steep hillside, we were struck by how HOPE seeks to work alongside and empower the communities it helps.

The road, for example, had been built entirely by the community in order to enable HOPE to transport construction materials to the community. It was no small undertaking driving along it, let alone building it - the community had done a great job just enabling HOPE to get there.

We visited an established water project where HOPE had nearly completed its three-year support program. It was obvious the whole community had been transformed. The agriculture was very organized, the housing was better, there was more infrastructure, it was more hygienic, and Women’s Self Help Groups were running successful businesses.

When asked how their businesses were changing their lives, the women told us about how they were now able to invest in their families, in their children's education, and their futures.

It was clear that the Self Help Groups have offered an additional means for empowerment. This was brought home to us when we saw a newly formed Women’s Self Help Group travelling to the nearby town to open bank accounts for the first time for their group business and personal enterprises.  Later in the day we saw them again, easily recognizable as they celebrated their achievement. It was a very significant day for them, one to be marked.

The long-term commitment to supporting these groups, and indeed the community as a whole, is having a tangible impact that is transforming lives and bringing hope. I for one am very glad to be a part of HOPE’s work!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Give a child a gift that makes a difference this Christmas with HOPE International Development Agency's GIFTS OF HOPE catalogue.

Transform Young Minds in the Philippines
A safe place to learn, schoolbooks, supplies, nutrition training, and vegetable gardens will enable indigenous children living on the Philippine island of Mindanao to overcome the poverty and prejudice they and their families face.

Create a Big Future for Children in Ethiopia
Safe shelter, nutritious food, medical care, counselling, and education, including school supplies and books, are what orphaned children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia need in order to regain their childhood and become free from poverty when they become young adults.

Support Learning & Health in South Sudan
Giving children in rural South Sudan access to teachers, desks, and latrines creates a supportive and healthy learning environment in which they can reach their full potential. Providing practical support, like desks and latrines, helps make it possible for today’s children to become tomorrow’s community leaders in South Sudan.

Nurture Young Children in Haiti
Helping impoverished children by supporting their education and development, along with other basic necessities, ensures that they will have the opportunity to become whatever they can dream of as they become young adults.


Monday, November 7, 2016


When you give gifts from HOPE International Development Agency's Gifts of HOPE catalogue, you are changing lives, including your own.

Each gift has been carefully selected in order to give you multiple opportunities to help children and families lift themselves out of poverty.

The gifts you give will last well beyond the Christmas season and will continue to transform lives for years to come.

Your gifts will make this Christmas a very joyous occasion for a father, mother, or child struggling under the weight of poverty this season.

You can give gifts that rescue children from poverty by providing them with an education that prepares them for a bright future and helps them overcome the prejudice and marginalization that accompanies poverty.

You can give gifts that enable families to create a much better life than what they currently endure.

You can give the gift of good health – something very few families have experienced in their lifetime.

You can give clean water, a gift that has the power to transform not only families, but their communities as well.

Giving a gift from this year’s Gifts of HOPE catalogue is also a wonderful way to show you care about the people in your life as well as the poor.

You can give a gift on behalf of family members, friends, neighbours, or colleagues.

Giving gifts that change lives and last well beyond the season is the best ways to celebrate Christmas.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Big Challenge
Far too many Ethiopians are forced to drink water gathered from filthy ponds, stagnant streams, and contaminated hand-dug pits. Prolonged drought has made the situation even more challenging. HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to tackle the water crisis in Ethiopia and we need your help.

Meeting the Challenge
Have dinner with us and help thousands of Ethiopians drink their first cup of clean water.

Our Time Together
Join us for a wonderful meal, the company of friends, silent and live auctions, great music, a short feature film, and an important opportunity to transform lives in Ethiopia through your giving.

For more information and to reserve tickets for any of the Film Premiere & Dinner events listed below, please visit


Tuesday, November 1, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Quality Hotel & Conference Centre Abbotsford
36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Saturday, October 29, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Laurel Packinghouse
1304 Ellis Street, Kelowna, British Columbia

Thursday, November 3, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Northwest Community College
(House of Birch)
5331 McConnell Avenue, Terrace, British Columbia

Saturday, November 5, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa
100 Harbour Road, Victoria, British Columbia


Friday, October 28, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Sheraton Eau Claire
255 Barclay Parade Southwest, Calgary, Alberta

Saturday, October 22, 2016
6:00pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Shaw Conference Centre
9797 Jasper Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta

Fort McMurray
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Grand Ballroom in Shell Place on MacDonald Island
1 C.A. Knight Way, Fort McMurray, Alberta

Grande Prairie
Thursday, October 27, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Pomeroy Hotel (Grande Prairie Inn)
11633 100 Street, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Education transforms lives

Michelle is proof that hope is more than just a word.

If you could have met Michelle when she was a child, you would have seen a young indigenous girl whose family lived in abject poverty on the Philippine island of Mindanao.

It is unlikely you would have envisioned that Michelle would grow up to graduate from university, with honors, and receive a one-year scholarship for on-the-job training at the United Nations in New York.

Michelle was able to achieve all this because of the generosity of friends of HOPE International Development Agency who made it possible for her to go to grade school, high school, and then university.

“I am truly blessed,” says Michelle. “The support did more than help me with my education; it taught me the importance of an education and how I can be of greater help to others, especially my fellow indigenous people.”

The people who have helped Michelle throughout her learning journey are blessed as well because they know they have freed her from poverty.

Without an education, Michelle would be living a completely different life today.

Poverty would be her teacher and the lessons would be heartbreaking.

Indigenous people like Michelle live on the margins of Philippine society. They suffer because they lack the basic necessities of life, such as clean water, healthcare, education, and livelihood opportunities.

HOPE International Development Agency is addressing these needs through spring capping to create clean water supplies, agricultural training to help farmers grow more food, and livelihood support to establish a means of family income – all of which transform the health of children.

Transforming the minds of children is equally important, especially when we see the opportunities an education can create - as it has for Michelle.

“Every school year did not only bring me closer to my dream, but also blessed me with meaningful insights and experiences. I treasure all these memories in my heart. They are a source of strength and joy as I begin a new way of participating in the task of building communities and my beloved country,” says Michelle.

Friends of HOPE made it possible for Michelle to grow up and become the kind of person we all admire.

She is now giving back to her community and beginning a cycle of hope!

You can make a child’s dream of going to school come true. You can be the person who transforms a child’s mind and life!

Donate online today

Friday, October 7, 2016

Haiti devastated by Hurricane Matthew

The United Nations is describing the destruction as the worst humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the earthquake of 2010.

Help with recovery efforts. Donate online today

Hurricane Matthew has left massive destruction in its wake in southwestern Haiti, which took a direct hit from the storm. Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk as a result.

Immediate Response Continues

The goal is to help people survive the coming days and weeks, and recover as quickly as possible. HOPE International Development Agency is providing emergency shelter for families affected by Hurricane Matthew. Lack of shelter puts families, especially women and children, at risk.

Helping Families Rebuild Their Lives

Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, HOPE International Development Agency was in the process of helping farming families in the Duchity area of southwestern Haiti by providing agricultural training and seeds. Assisting families with their emergency shelter needs keeps our commitment to help families rebuild both their lives and their agricultural livelihoods.

Powerful winds, sometimes more than 230 kilometres per hour, combined with torrential rains and massive waves has caused destruction on a scale not seen since the earthquake of 2010.

Crops, already at risk due to an extended period of drought earlier this year, are destroyed. Roofs have been torn off homes, churches, schools, and public buildings. Trees were ripped out of the ground and floodwaters have strewn debris everywhere. Roads have been destroyed and a major bridge is completely gone.

Currently, more than 300,000 people are in need of immediate assistance. This figure will most likely rise significantly in the coming days. The death toll, currently over 300, is expected to rise as well.

You can help provide the assistance and emergency supplies families need in order to recover.

Donate online today

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti. Help is urgently needed.

Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti today. Torrential rains and winds of up to 230 kilometres per hour ripped through the areas where HOPE is working, causing severe damage and putting thousands of families at risk.

Your gift today will help provide the assistance and emergency supplies families need in order to recover.

Help with recovery efforts by donating online now.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

We Ride Africa - Much more than an amazing adventure!

“Adventurous people generally don't ask why. They just do!”, says Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson, an adventure cyclist from Alberta and friend of HOPE International Development Agency.

Jeffrey’s upcoming adventure, We Ride Africa, is different from his usual treks. “This time, why we are riding is more important to us than the adventure,’ says Jeffrey. We Ride Africa, is raising funds to support the work of HOPE International Development Agency among impoverished rural Ethiopians.

“The funds we raise through We Ride Africa will enable families in the remote region of Bonke, southern Ethiopia to gain access to clean water and in doing so, create a foundation for sustainable social and economic development,” says Jeffrey.

Jeffrey started We Ride Africa to leverage people's natural curiosity with adventure to raise money that will transform lives.

“We have committed to a 9-day adventure cycling expedition through the Bonke region of southern Ethiopia to raise funds for much needed water infrastructure projects in remote villages throughout the region,” says Jeffrey. “Every dollar we raise will be used to build water infrastructure that will carry clean, life-giving water, down from the hills and into the villages."

By adventure cycling standards, the remote and mountainous terrain of the Bonke region is some of the most challenging riding in the world.

Kilometer after kilometer on a bike in the most remote corners of Ethiopia will provide an intimate glimpse into what the prospect of clean water can do for the human spirit. “Our adventure, and your generosity, will empower not just individuals, but villages,” says Jeffrey.

Learn more about We Ride Africa

Donate online to We Ride Africa

Friday, September 30, 2016

Remarkable progress in the face of huge challenges

Droughts, massive forest fires, powerful storms, and flash floods continue to receive a lot of news coverage worldwide.

It appears that the severe weather patterns that can trigger these disasters are becoming the norm, and families here in Canada, and overseas, are living with the consequences.

Many severe weather events are linked to El Niño and La Niña, both of which are periodic departures from expected sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Warmer or cooler than normal ocean temperatures affect weather patterns around the world by creating high and low pressure systems, with stronger winds, large amounts of precipitation, or extreme heat.

In some cases, the result for affected regions can range from too much water to too little water – both of which create humanitarian and development challenges on a massive scale.

El Niño and La Niña have a significant impact on agriculture and the environment. Parched or eroded farmlands, decreased agricultural production, widespread food scarcity, interrupted livelihoods, and failed markets are the hallmark of these big weather patterns.

El Niño and La Niña also affect the health of people. Rates of water-borne diseases rise with the flood waters. Malnutrition intensifies in areas affected by drought. In both scenarios, food insecurity is present. El Niño and La Niña also cause mass displacements of people in arid regions of the world as they move in search of basic needs such as food and water.

There are, however, effective ways to help families and communities respond.

Communities in countries such as Cambodia, the Philippines, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Haiti, and Honduras are more resilient today than previously because friends of HOPE International Development Agency provided the funds needed to provide the support that saves lives, crops, and livelihoods.

Water systems have been installed to ensure sufficient access to water, even during times of drought. Communities are using new infrastructure and equipment to irrigate farm fields during the driest months. Farmers have learned special techniques to preserve plants and crops with minimal water, until the rains come again. In some cases, farmers have even been able to make modest gains in producing more food than in previous years by applying these techniques.

Families and communities are doing remarkable things in the face of huge challenges brought about by severe weather.

Now, as El Niño has tempered into a “neutral phase”, many of these same families and communities are bracing for the next wave of tropical storms and floods of an ensuing La Niña season.

The good news, amidst all the difficult news, is that the families who have received help from friends of HOPE are now well positioned to deal with the challenges associated with severe weather.

While it can be distressing and discouraging to grasp the full implications of weather patterns that are out of our immediate control, understanding the cycles and effects enables us to stand in solidarity and react with generosity to support our partners around the world as they work with communities to build resilience amidst a changing climate and respond to disasters brought on by El Niño and La Niña.

If you would like to learn more, The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) released a comprehensive report this week containing an overview of the impact of El Niño over 2015-2016.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Transforming immediate solutions in times of disaster into a long-term vision.

When Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines in late 2013, it devastated much of the country and left lives in ruin.

HOPE International Development Agency’s partners in the Philippines used their expertise and vast knowledge of the country to plan an immediate response to help families in the areas worst affected and most often neglected. Equally importantly, the planning also included initiatives to address the need for people to restore their livelihoods, grow food, and increase their resiliency in the face of future disasters.

Friends of HOPE International Development Agency responded generously to the call for help and provided the funds needed to provide immediate help, including food, vegetable seeds, and materials to repair damaged infrastructures such as roofs on homes and schools.

While the immediate relief was vitally needed and well received, it could only address a small portion of the long-term needs of the people affected.

In the months and years after the storm of 2013, HOPE and its partners in the Philippines have continued to work with families and communities to create solutions to poverty, including solutions focused on making families and communities better prepared for future disasters and more resilient in the aftermath.

This work has included disaster risk reduction training, which helps government and community leaders plan for quick and effective action when future disasters occur, minimizing human suffering and expediting relief and recovery efforts. Some of the long-term responses have included providing rice seeds and fertilizer, training for farmers, fishing boats and fishing nets for families who had lost their livelihood.

Recently, Barugo, one of the communities that HOPE has worked with since the disaster was featured in a national newspaper in the Philippines.

According to a national ranking, Barugo has improved immensely on the indicators of economic dynamism, governance efficiency, and infrastructure.

Barugo’s ranking among similar municipalities jumped from 436th in the country to 56th in one year. In real terms, this increase means more people have access to economic opportunities, and more effective and supportive government agencies. Instead of just recovering and getting back to the way life was, the people of Barugo are looking at new investment opportunities and partnerships with new sources of income such as tourism. The building of resilience to future disasters also will ensure that the gains made will not be lost if another natural disaster wreaks havoc on the area.

While many factors have contributed to this success, the recognition for what has been accomplished is best directed at HOPE supporters who made it possible through their generosity and desire to create lasting change.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Resiliency in Sri Lanka

Resiliency is a bit of a buzzword these days as world leaders consider how to prepare for and address the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

Resiliency is the ability to spring back into shape after being bent, stretched, or compressed; it is the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from challenging conditions.

Recently, we were humbled by the resiliency of families in Sri Lanka who survived a massive storm and lived through months of hardship and challenges.

Three months ago, Cyclone Raonu crashed into Sri Lanka. More than 300,000 people were affected by the massive storm. In the aftermath, 100 people were dead and 113 were missing.

The communities of Aranaya and Rambukkana were hit hard. During the storm, nearly 23 metres of mud came rushing down the nearby mountain, destroying both communities to the point where every family had to leave and find refuge nearby.

In the days and weeks that followed, friends of HOPE International Development Agency ensured that the families of Aranayaka and Rambukkana received shelter, food, clothing, and medical support, enabling them to remain healthy enough to begin rebuilding their lives.

On behalf of these very resilient families, thank you for your support.

A father receiving emergency supplies for his family in the aftermath of Cyclone Roanu