Follow us by email

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gifts of Hope Christmas catalogue brings joy to the giver and receiver!

Selecting gifts from HOPE International Development Agency’s annual Gifts of Hope giving catalogue brings joy to both the giver and the receiver.

The gifts in this year’s gift catalogue do not fade, wear out, fall out of fashion, or lose their value. Each gift has the power to transform lives and free people from poverty.

You can change a child’s life by giving them an education. You can make it possible for families to become self-reliant by giving them the tools, training, and other resources needed to generate income. You can give medical supplies that will save lives that would otherwise be lost. You can give families safe water to drink, and much more!

You can give hope and joy this Christmas!

Give as many gifts as you wish. You can even give gifts on behalf of loved ones, friends, or co-workers. We'll send them a personal note, telling them about the gift and the giver.

Browse this year's Gifts of Hope giving catalogue.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Building resilience around the world

There’s a global movement of resilience happening, but it’s far from complete.

Since 1990, the rate of hunger in the world has fallen by 33%, according to the Global Hunger Index (GHI).

In all, 23 countries have managed to reduce their GHI scores by 50%; a laudable accomplishment!

Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Ethiopia – places where HOPE International Development Agency has worked for decades – rank among the “Ten Most Improved Countries”.

Other countries, such as Burundi, in Africa, have not yet been able to make substantive gains in reducing hunger - Burundi is ranked among 19 countries that have “alarming” or “extremely alarming” rates of hunger. HOPE International Development Agency has recently begun working in Burundi, helping families gain access to clean water.

Despite significant improvements, more than 870 million people are still going hungry worldwide.

These are the men, women, and children who wake up hungry every day. They don’t know if there will be food or not. These are the women who walk miles to fetch unclean drinking water that destroys their health and that of their children. These are the men who labor until their hands are raw – all for wages so meager, they can’t even buy the most basic of items.

To overcome this, we focus on building resilience within communities. This means understanding the root issues, and working hard to bring people together to fight poverty as a group rather than alone. 

A resilient community doesn’t crumble when drought occurs or when there’s a food shortage. It overcomes these shocks, and keeps itself out of poverty. This is what HOPE International Development Agency’s focus is when we work with communities.

We are committed to building resilience around the world.

Building resilience among people enables them to pull themselves out of poverty and remain out of poverty. And being resilient means that a community works together to overcome poverty.

When people come together in this way, they shine and come alive. They begin creating positive changes in their communities such as creating co-ops, constructing water systems that provide ample supplies of clean water, learning skills that result in more income, and sending their children to school.

We are so privileged to be a part of this transformation. Communities whose futures once felt hopeless are now bright and resilient. Families are excited about the possibilities that lay ahead, and they feel whole once again.

We are committed to always being a part of this change.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pakistan: Education unlocks the potential for lasting change

Just over a year ago, a teenage girl in Pakistan was shot in the head by the Taliban because she dared to believe – and to give loud, enthusiastic voice to that belief – that girls in her country should be allowed to go to school.

Today, Malala Yousafzai has recovered from the attempt on her life and continues to be a vocal advocate for girls. More than 43% of Pakistani girls do not go to primary school, and the situation is not much better for Pakistani boys.

In a country with over 60 million school-aged children, this represents an astounding 13 million girls who have never set foot in a classroom and never will unless things change substantially. Things are worse in rural, poor, isolated communities.

Malala is a vivid symbol of a deep-rooted problem that exists not only in Pakistan and did not begin when extremists picked up guns. The struggle to educate all children, and especially girls, is ongoing in many countries where we work.

It is a vital struggle. We have seen over and over again that education is the key to unlocking the potential for lasting change. Children who never have the chance to learn are more likely to stay poor and remain unable to educate their own children. And so the cycle continues.

But it can be broken. In Pakistan, HOPE International Development Agency is working with women and men in communities to break the barriers that prevent girls from going to school. By encouraging mothers and fathers to examine the beliefs and other factors that keep their daughters and sons at home, and offering ideological and practical alternatives, we have started to see encouraging changes.

In one very rural, traditional community, 57 girls started kindergarten this September. These are the first girls to ever attend school in their community.

It does not seem like a lot: 57 girls against 13 million. But for these girls, their sisters, future daughters, and their neighbors, a whole other world has opened up in which they too will be able to give voice to their beliefs – and so a new cycle has begun.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Building a secure future; tomorrow and in the years to come in Burma/Myanmar

It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the steady stream of updates about innocent civilians losing their lives around the world as they are caught up in various conflicts. Before we even feel we can get a handle on the complexity of the news from one country, yet another event in another country grabs our attention.

Burma/Myanmar is one example where HOPE International Development Agency has worked for over a decade.

In past years Burma/Myanmar has received a lot of positive attention from the international community for perceived political progress, culminating with the United States restoring full diplomatic relations.

At the same time, the country still faces many challenges and ongoing fighting happening that we do not hear about. While recent headlines focused on talks in Syria and Iran, news about fighting escalating in Kachin state between the Kachin Independence Organization and Burmese Army never reached our ears.

In Kachin and Northern Shan States, for example, there are thousands of families displaced by conflict that have fled their villages in search of safety.

It is estimated that over 100,000 women, men, and children are living in temporary camps where HOPE International Development Agency is working.

The families are very vulnerable as most have lost everything they owned and many are separated from other family members.

Every day is a challenge to find food, water, and shelter and sanitation facilities are not adequate to meet the needs of so many people. Many people arriving in the camps are sick, injured, or traumatized, including a large number of children. Those in greatest need include women-headed households, unaccompanied children (girls in particular), pregnant women, and women with young children.

HOPE International Development Agency is committed to supporting a peaceful transition in the country for the long term, and is also concentrating its efforts on saving lives and providing basic services to these families that have lost so much already.

Right now, this means providing things like clothing and shelter, access to latrines and a nearby source of clean water, and building schools so that education of children is not interrupted.

While we partner with communities striving for peaceful, long-term solutions, there are still many immediate needs that we are also meeting so that the children and youth especially can have a secure future, both tomorrow and in years to come.

(L) Displaced families participate in community work 
to install a water system that will bring clean water 
to thousands of families living in the temporary camp.

(R) Community members connect water 

pipes that will bring clean water to the camp.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Responding in the aftermath of two killer earthquakes in Pakistan

Within minutes of the massive earthquake, a large area of southwestern Pakistan’s Balochistan region lay in ruin.

Unbelievably, four days later another earthquake, nearly as massive as the first, demolished what little remained of people’s lives. Officials estimate that as many as 300,000 people are affected by the two killer earthquakes.

The people of Balochistan are bracing for more heartache.  The death toll, already estimated at over 800 already, is expected to rise sharply as more bodies are recovered from the rubble that used to be people’s homes.

Already working in the region, we responded immediately...

Within hours of the first earthquake, we began transporting large quantities of urgently needed medical supplies and equipment – enough to fill a massive ocean-going shipping container – to the areas hardest hit and reachable. Additional medical supplies have been sent to hospitals in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital city, where many of the most severely injured survivors are being treated.

An emergency gift today will help us continue to ensure that survivors don’t become victims in the aftermath of these two killer earthquakes...

The destruction is massive. Communities, like Nokjo for example, have been nearly completely flattened. Nokjo’s entire population of 15,000 people now have nothing but what they can scavenge from the ruins of their community. 

Having survived the earthquakes is no guarantee of continued survival.

As we expand our emergency work one of our biggest concerns is for the 2,000 pregnant women we’ve identified so far. They are in desperate need of the medical supplies and equipment you can help us provide.

An emergency gift of $50, or as much as you can given the massive need, will enable us to provide more medical supplies and equipment, as well as other urgently needed help that will ensure that survivors, already severely traumatized, do not become victims in the coming days and weeks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Clean water begins the journey out of poverty in Burundi, Africa

Batwa children living in the villages of Matara and Bubanza in Burundi, East Africa, know the risks that come with drinking unsafe water.

The evidence is all around them; sick brothers and sisters, frail parents, and young friends that are no longer alive.

Yet despite all the suffering and death, children continue to drink unsafe water - they have no choice, nor do their parents for that matter. Safe water is not available in or near their villages.

As a result, children and their families drink water from wherever they can find it, including filthy tire ruts carved into the muddy dirt road that passes through their villages.

We’re helping the families of Matara and Bubanza construct a water system that will provide an abundance of clean water right in their villages.

Families in Matara have found a water spring 3kms up the mountain from their village. In Bubanza, families found a spring on a hilltop about 4kms away from their village.

The challenge, in both cases, is bringing the clean water to the villages. At the moment, the water is simply too far away and inaccessible.

We are helping the families of Matara and Bubanza, a water system that will bring clean water from the mountains right into their villages.

When completed, the two water systems will bring an abundance of clean, life-sustaining water to nearly 4,000 people.  The water will also be used to irrigate family vegetable gardens and fields, enabling families to grow enough food to ensure they never go hungry again. Excess harvest will be sold at the local market and will create a reliable source of income.
Batwa families are the poorest of the poor in Burundi, a country ranked among the ten poorest countries in the world. As indigenous people, they exist on the far margins of society.