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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

VIEW ANNUAL REPORT

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


VIEW ANNUAL REPORT

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.

BANGLADESH
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


CAMBODIA
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


ETHIOPIA
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.

GIVE CLEAN WATER TODAY

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.

DONATE

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.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Overcoming obstacles in Sri Lanka

Not being able to see hasn’t dampened the spirit of women and men with visual disabilities in Sri Lanka. It has, however, prevented them from attaining their dream of being free from poverty.

These are amazing people. They overcome disadvantage after disadvantage. They display grace and courage in the face of discrimination. They persist when most would give up.

Yet there is one obstacle that they have not been able to overcome – earning a reliable income. But you can change this today.

Specialized training and support will provide people with visual disabilities everything they need to start small businesses that generate reliable sources of income.

The training and small start-up loans will enable women and men with visual disabilities to start and successfully run small businesses, making products such as bricks, rattan chairs, braided rope, vegetables, and ground flour.

The income from their new businesses will enable women and men with visual disabilities to lift themselves out of poverty.

DONATE

Friday, February 23, 2018

More than Water. More than Money. Meet Aragesh.

Aragesh Kantifo (shown holding one of her children in photo) is a 20-year-old married mother of two children. This month HOPE International Development Agency colleagues and supporters visited her community of Kamale Barrye-Oro in southern Ethiopia. While there, they met Aragesh and heard a little bit of her story.

Late last year, construction of a gravity-fed spring cap water system was completed at high point above Aragesh’s community. As a result, community members now obtain clean water from taps at various water points conveniently located within the community.

There has been immediate improvement in health outcomes for the people living in Kamale Barrye-Oro, especially among the children. Many families have already attended training sessions where they’ve learned about good practices in the areas of health, hygiene, and sanitation.

And there is more. Over the past 4 months, 11 women’s self-help groups have been formed. Aragesh is a member of one of the groups and serves as its secretary. The women meet weekly to contribute to the group savings fund, share experiences, learn to solve common problems together, and learn about ways to start small businesses. The group savings fund has become a financial resource from which group members can borrow.

Recently, Aragesh took out her first loan of 200 Ethiopian birr, an amount equivalent to approximately $10 CAD. She used the loan to start a small business making a local beverage and bread which she sells café style outside her home. She plans to pay off the loan within two months, along with 10% interest. Once that is done she plans to take out a second, larger loan to expand her business.

Aragesh explained that until now she had never heard of the idea of saving money or investing in a business to earn a living. She spoke with great pride about being able to contribute to her household and support her children. She exuded incredible joy and confidence as she spoke with her visitors.

More than water. More than money. Aragesh has hope for her future and for that of her children.

Monday, February 5, 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.

BANGLADESH
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


CAMBODIA
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


ETHIOPIA
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