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Thursday, August 7, 2014

The strongest people we know

The kind of strength we see among the families we work with in the world’s poorest communities is not characterized by blazing speed or the ability to lift, carry, push, pull, or throw the heaviest of objects. Nor is it glamorized or rewarded with medals, trophies, and parades. The kind of strength we see is the kind that can bring even the mentally strongest and athletically gifted here at home to tears.

The strength we see is the kind that enables a mother to walk 4-hours a day, in what would be unbearable conditions for us, to find and gather water for her thirsty children. It is the strength that drives her to work from dawn to dusk to grow the few vegetables she will feed to her children, knowing there she will most likely go hungry. It is the strength that makes it possible for her to lift, carry, push, or throw well beyond her physical stature in order to provide for her family, even though her back-breaking labor produces less than $1.50 per day. It is the strength to wake up every day and do what must be done in order to care for the ones she loves, even though she is suffering from a debilitating illness.

These are the strong people HOPE International Development Agency connects to and works with every day. We work with people who, despite being in their darkest days, are eager and motivated to do better for themselves and their families – all they need is a little help and a little hope.

For nearly four decades, we have worked with strong people who despite their impoverished circumstance, find a way. It is grandmothers who find a way to become sole providers for their grandchildren as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic having taken their grandchildren’s parents. It is rural indigenous youth who find a way to succeed academically and become leaders in their communities. It is communities that find a way to build, with your help, their own wells, clinics, schools, and cooperatives.

You will never find this kind of strength gracing the cover of a magazine, but you will find it in the hearts and minds of the families and communities we are so privileged to work with because of the support people like you provide.

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