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Friday, September 28, 2012

Ethiopia: “Like a Mother and Father, HOPE International Development Agency Supported Me”

We are helping hundreds of children and young adults in Addis, Ethiopia, to transition out of a tragic past into a promising future. Most, but not all of these young people have been affected by HIV/AIDS, losing one or both parents to the disease. Helen Tekele’s family was not destroyed by the epidemic, but she still ended up, at a very young age, with no adults to fend for her. Her experience is typical of the children we work with:

"My name is Helen Tekele. I am 16 years old and living in the Gotera area of Addis Ababa. I am one of 7 children. We had been living off the pension of our retired father, but since my mother was an asthmatic patient she was not able to support us and medical care for her was expensive. Though our living standards were very low, my parents were happy. To increase the family’s income, my father started working as a guard in one organization. However, after some time my father became ill with Tuberculosis. When the case became serious, he was admitted at Zewditu Hospital. Shortly after, he passed away. So as not to be a burden on our family, four of my brothers married. My brother who remained at home was forced to put his education on hold because the tuition fees were too high. When my mother’s asthma became worse, I too dropped out of school to care for her. After being hospitalized for quite some time, she passed away. It was at that time that a HOPE International Development Agency employee introduced me to the organization. When I shared my story with them, they were very willing to support me. Like a mother and a father, HOPE supported me to continue my education, providing necessary school materials. The organization also has been providing me wheat, oil, and Famix monthly. With the support of the Almighty God and HOPE, I am studying the 11th grade. If it is God’s will, I want to support children who have lost parents like myself to complete their education."

We have no reason to doubt that Helen will go on to be an incredibly supportive and compassionate adult. This is what we see happen with ‘our kids’.

If supporting someone like Helen is something you’re interested in doing, learn more by visiting today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge’s ‘First Lady’ Released

It still remains to be seen whether survivors of the Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge nightmare — like the families we work with — will be served any semblance of justice. 

Ieng Thirith, otherwise known as the ‘First Lady’ of the Khmer Rouge and one of the few senior players of that regime to ever face justice for their crimes, was released by Cambodia's UN-backed war crimes court due to her failing mental health. The charges against her for crimes committed as social affairs minister have not been dropped. However, as with other Cambodian officials accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, Thirith is dogged in her refusal to take responsibility.

It is believed that Thirith is responsible for crafting the policies that were meant to reshape Cambodian society according to the Khmer Rouge’s bizarre vision of an agrarian utopia. Because of this woman, children were separated from parents, wives from husbands. The trauma suffered by Cambodians under her leadership is unfathomable.

Thirith, although judged unfit to stand trial, was reportedly energetic in her defense in a 2009 hearing. She repeatedly claimed that the Khmer Rouge’s top ideologue was responsible for “everything.” She cursed her accusers to the “seventh circle of hell.”

It is nauseating to think of what Thirith’s victims feel when they hear her words. We stand with our friends in Cambodia in hoping for as much justice as can be realized at this late stage in the world’s accounting of this atrocious regime.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Haiti: Picking up the Pieces in the Aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Families in remote mountainside communities throughout the Fon Batis and Delis regions of Haiti are picking up the pieces of their lives in the aftermath of tropical storm Isaac.

Already incredibly poor, and still trying to recover from the earthquake that devastated the country a few years ago, many families in Fon Batis and Delis lost their homes, food supplies, vegetable gardens, crops, and livestock.

This couldn't have happened at a worse time given that the most recent harvest of corn and beans never happened due to a recent drought throughout the area.

HOPE International Development Agency is responding with urgently needed items such as emergency food rations, crop seeds, tools, animals, basic household tools, and home repairs or reconstruction.

You can help the families of Fon Batis and Delis today.

Please visit to make a donation.

Ethiopia: A boost in the uphill battle of providing health care to the poor

Recently, Aklilu Mulat, HOPE International Development Agency’s Acting Executive Director, visited Ethiopia, the country of his birth, where he witnessed the delivery of a large shipment of medical supplies that we had arranged for a rural hospital to receive.

This is something we do all over the world: help struggling hospitals and clinics that serve the poorest of the poor to be better stocked and equipped.

We secure high quality medications and medical equipment (not expired pills and broken or useless tools!), and ship large quantities of them to health centers that can put them to good use.

Aklilu’s observations highlight the deprivation and struggle that these health centers experience on a day to day basis. The Hosana Hospital is typical of the institutions across the world that we are trying to help.

Aklilu writes...

The tour of Hosana Hospital was overwhelming. Supplies were in serious lack, which meant that services could not be delivered at the level necessary to ensure proper treatment of patients. It also meant that the hospital itself was unsanitary. The delivery room and the room in which they carried out some surgery, for example, were not clean, let alone sterile. Dr. Ayano (the medical director of the hospital) attributes this to lack of consistent supply of water, lack of cleaning and sterilizing supplies, and failure of some of their equipment.

There were very few pieces of equipment that actually worked.  Most concerning was that the sterilizing equipment did not work at all.

Overall, the hospital and regional officials expressed deep gratitude to HOPE International Development Agency as the medical supplies will enable the hospital - which has a service area of nearly 1 million people - to provide better care to patients. “Items like gauze, scissors, gloves, and syringes may seem ordinary,” said Dr. Avano, “but they save lives.”

It is encouraging to see the shipment of medical supplies received by the good people at Hosana Hospital, knowing that it will help the doctors and nurses - not to mention the patients - in their need. Because their need is beyond acute.