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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Nearly 5,000 families displaced by violent conflict in Myanmar’s Kachin State are coming out of hiding. Unfortunately, no one is ready for them.

Camps for displaced persons are already at capacity and are not equipped for such a large influx of families.

Terrified by the spread of armed conflict, families fled their home villages. Until recently, they have been hiding deep in the forests. Exhausted and disoriented from their time on the run, they are leaving the relative safety of the forests in search of shelter, food, and care.

Arriving in already overcrowded displaced person camps, parents and children are further traumatized as they discover, after all they have been through, that shelter, food, and other supports are not available.

In the more than 10 years we have been helping families in Myanmar overcome adversity and poverty, the current situation is beyond anything we have seen. In response to the crisis, we have found a way to significantly increase the help we provide.

We need your help to make it happen.

When matched, your generous gift of $50 becomes $200. A gift of $75 becomes $300. A very generous gift of $100 becomes $400!

Your gift today will help provide the shelter and other assistance families displaced by violence so desperately need right now.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Hope comes in many forms.

For Marie, a mother in the Ubangi Mongala region of Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo, hope arrived in the form of a small fish called Tilapia.

Marie and her children were descending deeper into poverty. Despite Marie’s best efforts, her family was stuck in a hopeless situation.

Fortunately, hope arrived when Marie learned about Tilapia and fish farming. After participating in a training session and witnessing the success other families had achieved through fish farming, Marie decided raising Tilapia for food and income was how she would lift her family out of poverty.

In fact, Marie was so convinced fish farming would save her family she moved them to a piece of land on the outskirts of her small village, built a new thatch hut, and hand dug a huge pond for the Tilapia that would transform her family.

Marie’s determination, along with the initial support she received, enabled her family to begin their journey to self-reliance. Today, Marie is a leader in her community and is helping other families lift themselves out of poverty through fish farming like she did.

Help other families like Marie's.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Hope is coming for Sancha and family

The fear Sancha felt when the earthquake devastated her village in rural Nepal remains with her today.

During the earthquake she feared for the safety of her children. Today she feels an equally intense fear for their well-being and future.

The earthquake that took the few possessions Sancha and her family owned continues to dominate their lives today, 36 months later. The same is true for tens-of-thousands of Nepalese families who have not yet received the help they need to rebuild their lives.

Chin, Sancha’s husband, toils as a day labourer when work is available. He is often far away from home in search of work as he tries to earn income to feed his family. “It is very difficult because I would love to stay with my family, but I have to leave them and go away for work”, says Chin.

For Sancha, Chin, and their children, poverty is brutally simple. “When we work there is food”, says Chin. “When there is no work there is no food”. Sancha and Chin have a small plot of land on which they grow maize and millet. The harvest usually provides food, albeit in meagre portions, for up to six months. Beyond the challenges associated with not having enough food throughout the year, the situation is made worse by the fact that the nutritional quality of the food they grow and consume is very low.

“I feel worried when I see other people feeding their children and I can’t feed my own”, says Chin. When there is a bit of money, Sancha buys rice. Otherwise the one or two meals they eat each day consist of low-quality maize and millet grown on their small plot of land.

When Sancha needs money to buy food, she is forced to go to the local moneylenders who charge high rates of interest, especially to people like Sancha who live in abject poverty. The moneylenders profit from poverty and the borrowers suffer the consequences as they slip deeper into debt just to put food on their tables.

Sancha and Chin are caught in a cycle of poverty that worsens with each year. The earthquake shattered their confidence and it has not recovered.

There is, however, hope for people like Sancha and her family.

It begins with women’s groups. The groups provide mutual support, literacy training, skills development, micro-loans to help women start income-earning businesses, and most importantly, a feeling of confidence rarely found among women living in poverty in rural Nepal. The opportunities are as varied as the women in the group.

HOPE International Development Agency is supporting new groups for women in Nepal and if recent history is any indication, the groups will produce women that are confident in their ability to improve their lives, feed their families, and send their children to school. Transformation in remote villages devastated by the earthquake begins with women taking their first steps out of poverty by participating in women’s groups.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mun Maya, a portrait of confidence

Mun Maya sharing her success with the local women's group.

In a few terrifying moments a massive earthquake killed 9,000 people, injured thousands, shattered millions more lives and reduced remote villages across Nepal to unrecognizable piles of rubble.

Within 24 hours of the disaster, an additional one million people were added to the twenty-five percent of the country’s population living below the poverty line. Mun Maya and her family survived the earthquake, but her home and belongings were reduced to dust and debris.

“Before the earthquake, life was difficult”, says Mun Maya, whose family was poor and without the skills needed to earn an income. Som Bahadur, Mun Maya’s husband, did what he could, toiling as a day labourer when work was available. Their relationship strained and their children hungry, Mun Maya’s family was on the brink of collapse.

“I felt awful because I could not look after my children”, says Mun Maya. “I was ashamed. I had no voice and no way out of poverty”.

HOPE International Development Agency began responding right after the earthquake, providing urgently needed supplies of rice, drinking water, and shelter materials.

Mun Maya and her family are among the families we continue to help today because it is not just a matter of rebuilding a home, but rather, rebuilding a family deeply traumatized by poverty and the earthquake.

After the home rebuilding efforts were completed, the equally important work of helping families, like Mun Maya’s, find a way out of poverty began in earnest.

Mothers, while thankful their homes had been rebuilt, were keenly aware that a rebuilt home cannot in and of itself lift a family out of poverty. Mothers would have to do the work of transforming their families and communities.

Women’s groups were formed to bring a new sense of community, hope, and confidence through mutual support. Mun Maya joined one of the women’s groups because she realized she needed training, literacy skills, family health education, and equally importantly, a way to earn a reliable income. “When I joined the women’s group I wanted to do poultry farming”, says Mun Maya. She requested training and a small loan to start their poultry business, alongside with her husband. The loan she received would be paid back to the group so the money could be loaned out to the next woman. Mun Maya’s poultry business did well. It was profitable within three months and the loan was paid back in six months. Today, Mun Maya continues to expand her business. Recently she purchased a motorbike to transport her poultry to other markets. In addition, she has started raising goats.

Reinvesting the profit from her business is also making it possible to expand into grinding rice and maize and her husband has opened a carpentry shop that makes window frames for the local market. Mun Maya’s three children are now all in school and going hungry is no longer an issue.

“I am confident now”, says Mun Maya. “Even with a small investment, if we work hard we can do great things”.

Life is now much better than it ever was for Mun Maya and her family and the future looks nothing like the past.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Communities are revitalizing agriculture in Duchity, Haiti

It’s been two years since Hurricane Matthew dealt a brutal blow to Haiti. The southern area of the country, including the Duchity region in the province of Grand Anse, was hit hard. Families lost their homes, crops, and livelihoods.

Before the hurricane struck, the Duchity region of Haiti was a thriving agricultural community where HOPE International Development Agency and its local partner had established three agricultural cooperatives with a total of more than 3,000 members.

In the period after the hurricane, the three cooperatives continued to provide strong leadership in the region and today they are taking the next step in helping members revitalize their communities.

With help from friends of HOPE International Development Agency, the three cooperatives are engaged in the Kreyòl Garden, a three-year pilot project that will improve food security and livelihoods for households and communities while also repairing the environmental damage caused by the hurricane and deforestation.

Cooperative members are being trained in sustainable farming techniques that nurture the environment and preserve its ecological health. Test gardens are being used to determine the best crops and growing methods, using both annual and perennial crops specifically selected for markets, reforestation and fuel. In addition, different varieties of Haitian coffee, an important product in the local economy, will be tested in various gardens. The work done through Kreyòl Garden will result in a new model of agroforestry being established in the Duchity region of Haiti and a revitalization of the region's agriculture.

As part of the initiative, local cooperative leaders recently participated in a four-day learning exchange and site visit to the Dominican Republic, meeting with a local organization that has significant experience in coffee production and agroforestry gained over a period of 30 years.

The Haitian cooperative members, all of whom learned best practices and techniques that can easily be replicated in Haiti, are now serving as the primary leaders for the Kreyòl Garden pilot project.

The excitement continues to grow as members begin sharing their knowledge with their respective communities. The return to a thriving agricultural presence in Duchity is well on its way.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Helena is leading her family out of poverty

Helena, a mother living in Mollakanda, Bangladesh, embodies the resourcefulness found in people who have learned to survive in abject poverty. That same resourcefulness, when supported with a little help, transforms families and communities.

Helena knew her family was in trouble and she needed to come up with a solution. Her work as a day laborer paid close to nothing. Shahabuddin, her husband, was struggling as well. Between the two of them they were not earning enough income to send their children to school and could barely afford food for their family. Their home, a shack that leaked incessantly even in the lightest rainfall, was damp, cramped and unsafe.

Helena came up with a solution. She would open a small store to earn the income her family needed.

Helena received training in basic business skills and learned about the inner workings of the market that served her community. With this new knowledge Helena opened her small store, carefully tracking the products that sold best at the market and investing in the more profitable or popular items. Helena’s efforts paid off and soon she was earning between $45 to $55 per month, significantly more than she or her husband had ever earned.

A portion of the earnings was used to start a small garden to grow vegetables for sale at her store. Another portion was set aside as savings which were eventually used to purchase two sheep. The plan is to sell the sheep at a profit and then purchase a cow.

Shahabuddin helps Helena with sales. With the income they earn they are able to feed their children three healthy meals per day, send them to school, and buy medications when they are sick.

In addition to the initial training, Helena and her family received a new home and latrine which has enabled the family to live a healthier life.

“I am very grateful for the unconditional support. It has changed our lives,” says Helena. Without this support, Helena and her family had no hope of transforming their lives.

Today, Helena and Shahabuddin are the parents they always wanted to be and are also helping others in their community break free from the cycle of poverty.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Our confidence is in families and you


Confidence is a powerful force in the positive transformation of the world’s poorest families and communities.

Without confidence, poverty continues unabated. Life remains a tragic story authored by where a person is born, not their value or potential. The tragic story remains true for generations to come. The opposite is true when confidence is present, brought about by the generosity of people like you and the caring actions of our partners working directly with families caught in poverty.

When confidence is present families believe and envision, often for the first time, that they can build a life that is something other than poor.

They can be the first in generations to begin lifting themselves out of poverty.

With your compassionate help and the direct support of our partners, families develop imaginative solutions to their poverty. They grow more food, improve their health, create family-run businesses that generate sustainable income, and participate in skills training and education.

At HOPE International Development Agency, we have confidence in the families you enabled us to help through 60 initiatives in 19 countries worldwide.

Your confidence in how we steward your donations to help mothers, fathers, and children transform their lives is deeply appreciated and we honour your support by ensuring that costs are kept as low as possible and outcomes as profound as possible. Thank you for having confidence in us and the families you enable us to help each year.

Together we are changing the world.

Dale W. Bowler
Executive Director/CEO


Friday, May 4, 2018

Join us for dinner in May and change lives

HOPE In Nepal
When a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the heart of Nepal on April 25, 2015, HOPE International Development Agency responded quickly.

At first, efforts were focused on the immediate needs of food, water, and shelter. As relief efforts wound down, HOPE International Development Agency remained to help rebuild devastated rural communities, creating a strong bond with the people of Nepal.

“HOPE in Nepal” highlights this bond and tells the story of the ongoing need and the enormous potential of struggling families in Nepal.

Join us at a HOPE International Development Agency Film Premiere & Dinner in your area in May.

View 2018 Events

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Join us for dinner and changes lives in Nepal

Join us this for dinner this Spring and help thousands of people in Nepal transform their lives.

You'll enjoy a wonderful meal, the company of friends, silent and live auctions, great music, a short feature film shot on location in Nepal, and an important opportunity to transform lives through your giving.

HOPE International Development Agency has been helping families worldwide since 1975, enabling them to transform their lives as they gain access to clean water, education, training, and new ways to earn income and grow more food.

View 2018 Events

Last year, the kindness and generosity of people who attended HOPE International Development Agency events in cities across Canada enabled well over 30,000 people in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Ethiopia to begin transforming their lives.

Microcredit loans are enabling families to start small businesses.

In addition, families in Bangladesh are gaining access to:
  • Clean water for better health
  • Basic health care and medicines, especially for mothers & children
  • Secure shelter through newly constructed homes

Learn More

Wells, latrines, and agricultural training are enabling families to transform their lives.

In addition, families are gaining access to:
  • Improved education opportunities at newly constructed schools and school rooms
  • Increased nutrition and health through tools and seeds to plant home gardens

Learn More

Clean water is changing everything for families in southern Ethiopia

In addition to clean water, families are gaining access to:
  • Centrally located water points throughout communities
  • Latrines for improved sanitation, health, and privacy
  • Self-help groups and loans to start new livelihood activities

Learn More

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Going beyond awareness on World Water Day, March 22

According to the United Nations, more than 663 million people do not have a safe water supply close to home, spending long hours trekking to distant sources and coping with the negative health impacts of using contaminated water.

World Water Day, March 22, serves as a reminder that water is fundamental to our very existence.

No one among us knows this better than families in countries like Ethiopia, where access to clean water is a major issue in the southern region of the country.

World Water Day means something different to people depending on where they live.

It is likely that no mother, father, or child living in a rural village in southern Ethiopia is concerned with World Water Day or its promotion. Their concern is centered around the question of whether they will have water today, and if they do, will it make them sick again.

Our concern, at HOPE International Development Agency, is the same as theirs. Clean water is a crucial part of lifting families out of poverty. Every family needs clean water.

The best way to ensure that World Water Day is not just another day in a calendar full of “awareness days" is to give a gift that helps bring clean water, for life, to families in rural villages throughout southern Ethiopia.

Celebrate the fact that you have clean water, in abundant supply, by giving the same to a family that does not have clean water.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Self-reliance is one step away for families and a gift from you will make it possible.

Raising small farm animals, like pigs, is a way for families to increase the amount of food and income they have throughout the year, enabling them to become self-reliant.

Your gift of $60 will help ensure that a family receives a female pig, which they will raise and breed to produce piglets. Some of the piglets will be kept and others will be given to families in the village who will begin raising pigs and doing the same.

Your gift to a family today will grow to help many more families this year as the pig’s offspring are shared throughout the village. The positive impact of your gift will increase multiple times this year alone.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Celebrating the contributions and achievements of rural women on International Women’s Day

Elfinish (Upper Left), Aragesh (Upper Right), Kavitha (Lower Left), Phat (Lower Right)

Rural women make up over a quarter of the world population and on International Women’s Day, March 8, we celebrate their accomplishments in transforming their lives, their families, and their communities.

From food production, water management, disease prevention, health, education and skills training to small business development and economic progress, women are leading the way forward out of poverty in communities in countries like Ethiopia, Cambodia, and India.

Women like Elfinish are lifting themselves out of poverty through training and micro-loan support that enables them to start and successfully run family-based businesses that generate a reliable source of income that is transforming their families and communities.

Aragesh, a young mother we featured in a recent Perspective article, is among a group of women in Kamale Barrye-Oro, southern Ethiopia working together to solve common problems in their community and start small businesses that are improving the local economy.

Kavitha, a mother in Kannivadi, India, and her local women’s self-help group are working together to increase their incomes and savings by building better livelihoods for their families.

Phat, a mother in rural Cambodia has succeeded in transforming her family from impoverished to prosperous by taking full advantage of the new water well she received. She has used the water to improve the health of her children and grow nutritious vegetables for her family’s consumption and for sale on market days, generating an income that has enabled her to rebuild her modest home and send her children to school.

On International Women’s Day we celebrate the spirit, strength and amazing abilities of rural women throughout the developing world as they continue to transform their lives, their families, and their communities.