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Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 can end much better than it started for children trapped in poverty

As 2015 draws to a close there is still time to ensure that the year ends much better than it began for children who have known only suffering and sadness.

You can choose gifts from our 2015 Catalogue of Hope.

You can give to our current special appeal and help children in South Sudan gain access to clean water, education, and proper sanitation.

If you prefer, you can give to "where most needed".

Giving made convenient for you.

You can give online using our secure donation pages or you can give by phone by calling toll-free 1-866-525-HOPE (4673).

Monday, December 21, 2015

The best Christmas gifts ever!


Celebrate this Christmas by giving the best gifts ever to young children in Ethiopia, Haiti, South Sudan, and the Philippines.

You can give orphaned children in Ethiopia safe shelter, nutritious food, medical care, counseling, and education, including school supplies and books. Your gift will help children regain their childhood and become free from poverty.

In Haiti, you can help impoverished children by supporting their education and development, along with other necessities, ensuring that they will have the opportunity to make their dreams become a reality.

You can create a supportive learning environment for children in South Sudan by providing teachers, desks, and access to proper sanitation, all of which will make it possible for today’s children to become tomorrow’s community leaders in South Sudan.

In the Philippines, you can give children a safe place to learn, schoolbooks, supplies, nutrition training, and vegetable gardens will enable indigenous children living on the Philippine island of Mindanao to overcome the poverty and prejudice they and their families face.

Give the best Christmas gifts ever today.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas is coming and so is hope for some of the world’s poorest families!



When you give a gift from HOPE International Development Agency’s 2015 Gifts of Hope catalogue you are giving a gift that does not fade, wear out, or go out of fashion.

Your gift, from this year’s giving catalogue, brings hope and transformation to families who are struggling under the weight of extreme poverty.

In addition to helping orphans in Ethiopia, transforming young minds in the Philippines, supporting learning in South Sudan, and nurturing children in Haiti, you can help families become self-reliant, earn sustainable incomes, gain access to clean water, grow bountiful harvests, and find the confidence needed to lift themselves further out of poverty.

Give gifts of hope this Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Water systems in southern Ethiopia will provide clean water to thousands of people

Friends of HOPE International Development Agency are providing thousands more families in southern Ethiopia with access to clean water.

Work on the clean water system in Banisha (and the greater area of Garbansa Karche) in southern Ethiopia’s Bonke region is progressing well.

About 5,000 people in these communities - representing 90% of the population in villages we are helping at this time - are on their way to having clean water to drink just steps from their homes.

To date, five water springs have been capped and 12 kilometres of water pipeline has been laid. Families in Banisha and Garbansa Karche have been very involved in both of these activities, spending hours digging trenches for the pipes and carrying materials to the spring capping site. This has been done with joy because it means clean water is coming soon. The construction of the reservoirs, water points, washbasins, and cattle troughs that make up the overall water system is about 90% complete.

Work on the spring capping system in Dorze Bele in Chencha is also progressing well. About 5,300 people in Dorze Bele will have clean water soon - representing 100% of the population in the villages we are working in.

To date, the spring has been capped and about 43% of the pipeline has been laid (2 kilometres). Families in Dorze Bele have also been very involved in both of these activities. The construction of a reservoir is about 30% complete, and work will soon begin on the water points, washbasins, and cattle troughs.

Our colleagues in Ethiopia also continue to work with the people of Banisha, Garbansa Karche, and Dorze Bele to organize them into community groups through which they will take care of their water systems, and to teach them simple ways to stay healthier, including washing their hands and digging pit latrines.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Finding a way in South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan, Africa’s youngest nation, faces considerable humanitarian challenges.

The terrible legacy of civil war and chronic underdevelopment weigh heavily on the ability of the new nation to provide basic services and respond to humanitarian needs. As a result, communities are vulnerable and struggle with insecurity, displacement, food shortages, outbreaks of disease, and seasonal floods.

Conflict has flared up again in the region, but despite the current situation, HOPE International Development Agency continues to work with families in the district of Ibba, helping them improve their lives.

In addition to helping families overcome food shortages by providing them with the knowledge and supplies needed to grow nutritious wheat and legumes, HOPE donors have also provided communities in Ibba with clean water, primary education for children, and sanitation and hygiene training that significantly reduce rates of disease among families.

Today, nearly 1,600 students are attending school in four primary schools in the area. Hygiene and sanitation training has helped 700 people learn how to reduce their risk of disease and improve their health, and more than 1,000 people have access to clean water.

The people of Ibba are doing whatever they can to improve their lives, despite the challenges, and so is HOPE as we walk with them on their journey out of poverty.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thoughtful gifts you can give this Christmas

HOPE International Development Agency's 2015 Gifts of HOPE Catalogue is full of Christmas gifts you can give to make the world a better place.

This year's catalogue features 12 thoughtful gifts that will change lives throughout the world.

In addition to helping orphans in Ethiopia, transforming young minds in the Philippines, supporting learning in South Sudan, and nurturing children in Haiti, you can help families become self-reliant, earn sustainable incomes, grow bountiful harvests, and gain the confidence needed to change their lives.

Each gift in this year's Gifts of HOPE Catalogue can change lives. Make this Christmas a special time for you and the poor by giving gifts that will not fade, wear out, or go out of fashion.

Give gifts to make a better world.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A promise to Chan - a new life!

In our latest film, “A Promise to Chan”, a young donor named Alison witnesses the amazing story of transformation that came once Chan's family had clean water readily available.

When the HOPE cameras first met Chan, she and her children were living in desperate poverty in a tiny shack on a dusty piece of land. Chan and her children had no access to clean water, education, or health care.

Watch "A Promise to Chan" and witness her journey out of poverty.



Donate to help provide clean water, education, food security, and income development for families in Cambodia.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Living in a tent for one year is part of Masresha’s commitment to the people of Wabe Shore

Helping people requires commitment. This is especially true among the people of Wabe Shore who live in a rugged, remote region of southern Ethiopia.

Masresha, a young Ethiopian man supporting the work of HOPE International Development Agency by helping communities learn how to help themselves, exemplifies the type of commitment it takes to help people lift themselves out of poverty.

For nearly nine months, Masresha has spent his days among the people of Wabe Shore and his nights sleeping in a tiny tent pitched on the edge of a small forest. By the time Maresha finishes his work, he’ll have been in Wabe Shore for one year.

Masresha, a HOPE community mobilizer in southern Ethiopia, is helping the families of Wabe Shore by supporting the ongoing development of Self Help Groups and Water Committees that will ensure the work that HOPE donors have funded remains self-sustaining for years to come.

When asked about living in a tent in such a remote area, Masresha replied, “What matters is helping the community and knowing that they have a bright future ahead of them. The tent doesn’t matter.”

One of Masresha’s favorite ways to explain why he feels the work is worthwhile and brings him so much satisfaction is to tell the story of Wachay, a local man who has benefited from the work of Masresha and HOPE.

“Wachay used to travel long distances across treacherous terrain to access water – it was a real burden for him,” says Masresha. “Today, because of our work, Wachay has clean water readily available right in his community, very close to his home. In addition to having clean water to drink, he also uses the water to irrigate his crop fields and grow more food. For me, it has been very rewarding to be a part of this amazing change”

Masresha personifies commitment. His love of people and desire to help them become free from poverty is a key reason the work of HOPE in southern Ethiopia is transforming lives for the better, day after day, and year after year.



Friday, October 30, 2015

Gifts to make a better world

HOPE International Development Agency's 2015 Gifts of HOPE Catalogue is full of Christmas gifts you can give to make the world a better place.

You can help orphans in Ethiopia, transform young minds in the Philippines, support learning and good health in South Sudan, nurture children in Haiti and much more, including helping families become self-reliant and giving communities access to clean water.

Each gift in this year's Gifts of HOPE Catalogue can change lives. Make this Christmas a special time for you and the poor by giving gifts that will not fade, wear out, or go out of fashion.

Give gifts to make a better world.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

You're invited to our October & November Film Premiere & Dinner events




If you live in Edmonton, Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna, or Terrace, there's still time to get your tickets for a HOPE International Development Agency 2015 Film Premiere & Dinner event in your city.

A wonderful meal, live music, silent and live auctions, and the company of friends is what you can look forward to at our 40th Year Celebration HOPE International Development Agency Film Premiere & Dinner events.

The highlight of the evening is our latest film, “A Promise to Chan”, shot on location in rural Cambodia earlier this year. The deeply moving and highly uplifting film chronicles the journey Chan and her family took out of abject poverty and into self-reliance.

Please join us for what is sure to be a memorable evening for you and for the families in Cambodia you will transform though your giving.

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS TODAY

To reserve your tickets, or for more information, please visit www.hope-international.com today or call, toll-free 1 (866) 525-4673.

Edmonton – Saturday, October 24
6:00pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Shaw Conference Centre
9797 Jasper Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta

Victoria – Friday, October 30
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa
100 Harbour Road, Victoria, British Columbia

Abbotsford – Tuesday, November 3, 2015
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Ramada Plaza Abbotsford Hotel & Conference Centre
36035 N Parallel Rd, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Kelowna – Thursday, November 5, 2015
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Coast Capri Hotel
1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, British Columbia

Terrace – Saturday, November 7, 2015
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Northwest Community College
(House of Birch)
5331 McConnell Avenue, Terrace, British Columbia

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Getting from surviving to thriving

Life in rural Bangladesh is challenging on a good day. On a bad day, it’s hard to bear.

It was definitely a bad day when Parul’s husband left her and their two sons. The emotional trauma was difficult, but the physical challenge of surviving would prove to be equally difficult.

Work is hard to find in Barisal, an impoverished rural area of Bangladesh where Parul and her sons live, and Parul struggled to earn enough income to provide for her family. She would need help if she and her sons were going to do more than just survive.

Fortunately, Parul found the help she needed in a savings group supported by friends of HOPE International Development Agency. She joined the group and began attending meetings, along with 19 other women. At each meeting, Parul would learn more about basic money management, and she began contributing a small amount of money toward a group fund that would help women like her start small businesses.

Having learned what she needed to learn in order to start a small business that would support her family, Parul borrowed $85 from the group fund and used the money to start a small grocery business using the produce she was growing. Parul also attended additional training sessions focused on helping her maximize production and increase profit.

Parul paid back her first loan and then took a second loan to further increase the production of produce for her grocery store. Her second investment in growing her small business paid off. Today, Parul’s monthly income has doubled. She now earns roughly $170 a month.

“I feel blessed to be part of the savings group,” says Parul. “The loans and my business have made it possible for me and my sons to live without fear and have given us hope for the future!”

Parul (shown below with some of her produce) plans to use her new income to send her two boys to school. She also intends to purchase a cow and start selling milk at her grocery store.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



An AIDS Victim
As written by the author while in Ethiopia.


In a shack we saw him lying

As others before, surely dying.

For him any tears or crying?

Disease had been gripping,

Certain death now was nipping.

Life from him was slipping.

The look with hollow eye

On the mat where he lie,

Waiting for his hour to die.

We judge him the guilty one,

He had his day or two of fun.

And now his course has run.

But what about his wife?

Gone now, the precious life,

To think, he caused the strife.

Death, snatch him from the bed.

Surely as the one he’d wed.

For like her, he’ll soon be dead.

Question asks: “what to do?”

Answer responds: “who, and whom?”

Echo replies: “who but you?”


Postscript

An AIDS Victim was authored by a long-time friend of HOPE and the poor, after a journey into the slums of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.

"We saw the dying man. Then we visited the young dying mother, baby, and grandmother," recalls the author. "It was during the second visit that the doctor from England became so emotional and distraught that she left the house. I soon followed and met with her by the car as she wept." Later that day, the author penned the poem.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The need for kindness in South Sudan

Life has been horribly difficult for children in South Sudan. They desperately need the kindness friends of HOPE International Development Agency can give.

Many of these children, like Nyanath, have lived through the trauma of armed conflict.

Some, like Deng, have lost loved ones or friends - something no child should have to go through.

All of these children have experienced the suffering that drinking dirty water can cause.

None of these children has had the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn the skills that will free them from poverty.

It does not cost much for you to become a child’s friend. However, as you can see, it costs a child far more if they do not have a friend.

Providing one child with clean water, education, and hygiene training costs $150.

You can become a friend to a child in desperate need by giving what you can to help provide clean water, education, and hygiene training today.

Help a child in South Sudan.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

HOPE's October Film Premiere & Dinner events are just weeks away.


If you live in Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Edmonton, or Victoria, there's still time to get your tickets for these dates

Calgary – October 17
The Sheraton Eau Claire

Fort McMurray - October 19
The Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre

Grand Prairie - October 21
The Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre

Edmonton – October 24
The Shaw Conference Centre

Victoria – October 30
The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa

A wonderful meal, live music, silent and live auctions, and the company of friends is what you can look forward to at our 40th Year Celebration HOPE International Development Agency Film Premiere & Dinner events.

The highlight of the evening is our latest film, “A Promise to Chan”, shot on location in rural Cambodia earlier this year. The deeply moving and highly uplifting film chronicles the journey Chan and her family took out of abject poverty and into self-reliance.

Please join us for what is sure to be a memorable evening for you and for the families in Cambodia you will transform though your giving.

To reserve your tickets, or for more information, please visit www.hope-international.com today or call, toll-free 1 (866) 525-4673.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Overcoming poverty by working together to create local solutions

Even though 80 percent of families living in Layyah, Pakistan are completely reliant on livestock for their survival, no one could figure out how to reopen the only veterinary clinic in the region.

At first glance, the problem seemed to be the lack of veterinary services in the region, which is home to nearly 15,000 livestock.

A closer look, however, revealed that the real problem was that families were unsure of how to work together to get the clinic reopened.

HOPE International Development Agency assisted families in Layyah by helping them set up an action group focused on reopening the clinic. During the monthly meetings and training sessions held by the group, women and men in Layyah learned to work together to achieve common goals and build strategies for securing support from the local government.

The group raised awareness of the need for a veterinary clinic by holding press conferences and hosting other public events. After several events, the local government became aware of the need for a veterinary clinic and attended one of the press conferences.

Within a week of attending the conference, government officials not only appointed a veterinarian for the clinic, but also provided medicines for the clinic’s dispensary.

Today, the clinic is fully functional and providing services to Layyah and an additional 23 villages in the surrounding area.

With a bit of help and encouragement, families worked together to create a local solution that resulted in the veterinary clinic being reopened – a very important step in their journey out of poverty!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

It takes more than courage

Courage is no substitute for a life-changing gift.

Halgage, a young mother of three children, knows this to be painfully true. No amount of courage and hard work on her part brought her one step closer to becoming free from poverty.

“Our life was miserable. We did not have enough food, clothing, or income,” says Halgage, recalling the immense burden she felt in not being self-reliant.

Halgage’s husband labored in the fields of others and despite his best effort, he could not earn enough income to support his family. Halgage spent her days trekking through the countryside, fetching whatever water she could find, most of which made her and her family very sick.

Then something wonderful happened. Friends of HOPE International Development Agency gave so that we could collaborate with Halgage’s community to install a water system to provide a plentiful supply of clean water to the entire community.

The day the water system was completed and operational was the day Halgage said a joyful goodbye to the 5-hour treks she had endured for decades.

Halgage knew what she would do with her newfound hours each day. She would concentrate fully on making her family’s dream of being free from poverty become a reality.

But as Halgage quickly found out, it would not be that simple. A big obstacle stood in the way of achieving her family’s dream of being free from poverty.

“We had the potential to work and improve our living conditions, but we had nowhere to borrow the money we needed to get started,” says Halgage, recalling the hopelessness she felt.

The solution to overcoming this obstacle became apparent when Halgage joined a self-help group, a small group of 20 like-minded women in her village who come together to learn new skills, support each other in starting small businesses, and solve challenges faced by their community.

Halgage developed a plan, borrowed a small amount of money, and got to work making her family’s dream of self-reliance a reality.

With her borrowed money, Halgage rented a small plot of land and purchased tools and seeds to grow vegetables, which she continues to sell, for a good profit, in small markets in the neighboring towns of Gezeso, Laka, and Belta today.

Every basket of vegetables sold increased Halgage’s confidence and her family’s quality of life. With her ever-improving confidence, Halgage expanded her small business to include buying cereal crops in her village and selling them, at a profit, at the same local markets where she sold her harvest of homegrown vegetables. Halgage and her family, with the help of her friends and fellow self-help group members, also built a new home of bamboo and thatch, using some of the proceeds from her business.

All of this incredible change was made possible because a friend of HOPE International Development Agency gave a gift that made a huge difference for Halgage and her family.

“Now I am self-employed and can help my family and send my children to school,” says Halgage, her face beaming with pride. “Our income is dramatically increased from before and we now have enough food, clothing, medication, and things like education materials.”

“I never dreamed I’d have such a wonderful life, but it happened,” says Halgage, recalling how desperately poor she and her family used to be.

It takes more than courage for people like Halgage to become free from poverty. It takes your gift.

Help a family like Halgage’s become free from poverty today.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

An evening you'll remember

Celebrating 40 years & 20 million lives changed.

A wonderful meal, live music, silent and live auctions, and the company of friends is what you can look forward to at our 40th Year Celebration HOPE International Development Agency Film Premiere & Dinner events this fall in British Columbia and Alberta.

The highlight of the evening is our latest film, “A Promise to Chan”, shot on location in rural Cambodia earlier this year. The deeply moving and highly uplifting film chronicles the journey Chan and her family took out of abject poverty and into self-reliance.

Please join us this fall for what is sure to be a memorable evening, for you and for the families in Cambodia you will transform though your giving.

To reserve your tickets, or for more information, please visit www.hope-international.com today.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Embraced rather than ostracized



As a single parent living in abject poverty in rural Bangladesh, Ruma faced a tough choice.

She and her children could try to make a go of it living on their own, or they could all move in with her parents who were also poor.

Living on their own would most certainly put Ruma and her children at risk given that she had few skills and little or no income.

Living with her parents would mean placing the burden of her poverty on her parents, something Ruma did not want to do. Being unable to contribute to the household’s income would also put Ruma at risk of being ostracized or even abused within the community.

In the end, Ruma and her children moved in with her parents, the only real choice between the two very tough choices she faced.

Fortunately for Ruma, her children, and her parents, HOPE International Development Agency was working in the district of Pakhia where they live.

When HOPE first began working to help improve the health and well-being of women and children in Pakhia, more than one-third of households reported that their children were malnourished. Two-thirds of children in the district suffered from frequent fevers, and nearly one in five children suffered from diarrhea, typhoid, scabies, or pneumonia.

Today, because of the collaboration between HOPE and communities in Pakhia, 93% of households report that their children are better nourished and 78% report that they are consuming fruits and vegetables from their own gardens. In many cases, families are earning income with their gardening.

Ruma received training in the cultivation techniques needed in order to grow a variety of vegetables and fruits in a garden of her own. As her skills and garden grew, Ruma included more vegetables in the family meals. Today, vegetables are an important part of every meal, and as a result, Ruma’s children are now healthy and happy.

The training and skills Ruma possesses has also enabled her to earn income by selling a portion of her vegetable harvests at the local market. The income she receives helps support her parents and send her children to school.

Because of her success, Ruma is now the leader of a local community group and serves as a role model for others in her community looking for the inspiration needed in order to transform their lives.

Ruma is provider rather than a burden, and instead of being ostracized, she has been embraced by her community as an example of the amazing transformation that can take place when people receive the help they need.

Friday, August 21, 2015

New crisis emerging in Myanmar

Myanmar - August 21, 2015

A new crisis is emerging in the aftermath of Typhoon Komen, the huge storm that swept through Myanmar earlier this month.

The storm affected 1 million people and current estimates show that more than 700,000 acres of the 1.2 million acres of farmland flooded by the storm are damaged.

This is a big blow for farming families who rely on their crops for food and income. The next rice harvest is in jeopardy if they cannot restore their way of life and farm fields in the coming weeks.

HOPE International Development Agency is helping families in the aftermath of Typhoon Komen and we urgently need additional funds to meet to the enormous need.

Families need our help in order to avoid becoming unnecessarily dependent on food aid for months to come and taking on unaffordable debt in order to meet their basis household needs - both of which will draw them deeper into poverty.

PLEASE DONATE ONLINE TODAY

Donate by phone at (toll-free) 1-866-525-HOPE(4673).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Number of people affected by flooding in Myanmar rises to 1 million



Myanmar Update - 1 million people are now affected by widespread flooding in Myanmar and more help is urgently needed.

Concerns for the long-term food supply of families affected by the flooding and destruction continue to deepen as another 200,000 acres of farmland are now flooded.

In all, 1.2 million acres of farmland are currently under water, with 450,000 acres completely destroyed. The flooding is massive and has impacted all but 2 of the country’s 14 states.

One aid official in Myanmar says that people who are able to return to their homes are returning to nothing.

HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to help families affected by this terrible disaster by providing urgently needed items such as food, clean water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, fodder for farm animals, and support for farms.

The number of people affected by the flooding has increased greatly and additional help is needed in order to help as many families as possible.

PLEASE DONATE ONLINE TODAY

Donate by phone at (toll-free) 1-866-525-HOPE(4673).

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Survivors of Cyclone Komen need help right away

A woman with all that remains of her belongings.


Families in Myanmar were already coping with weeks of heavy rain when Cyclone Komen stormed into their lives earlier this week.

In addition to high winds, flash floods, and destruction on a massive scale, Cyclone Komen has also brought misery and suffering to the people of Myanmar, 70 percent of whom live on 2 dollars a day or less.

More than 300,000 people are affected. Nearly 1 million acres of farmland are submerged. Food and clean water are scarce to non-existent. Shelter is equally hard to find. Roads have vanished and rivers, normally used for transportation, continue to rage and remain choked with tons of debris.

“Flash flooding submerged my seven metre high, two-story home,” says one father whose family survived the torrent of water that tore through much of Myanmar earlier this week.

HOPE International Development Agency is raising funds to help families recover in the aftermath of the huge storm.

It costs $100 to help provide one family with what they need in order to recover from this terrible disaster. Your gift of $50, $75, $100, or more would be a blessing as it helps provide a family with urgently needed items such as food, clean water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, fodder for their farm animals, and support for their farms.

DONATE ONLINE TODAY

Donate by phone at (toll-free) 1-866-525-HOPE(4673).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fall 2015 HOPE Film Premiere & Dinner events - join us as we celebrate 40 years and 20 million lives changed



Our story began 40 years ago when a few people in Canada came together to find ways to help the world’s poorest families lift themselves out of poverty.

This year, as we celebrate 40 years and 20 million lives changed, we invite you to join us at one of our Fall 2015 HOPE International Development Agency Film Premiere & Dinner events in British Columbia and Alberta this fall.

You will enjoy a wonderful meal, the company of friends, live music, silent and live auctions, and have an important opportunity to transform lives in Cambodia through your giving.

This year’s film, shot on location in Cambodia earlier in 2015, gives you an intimate glimpse into the lives of families living in rural Cambodia. You will also see the amazing work that is being done by these families to lift themselves out of poverty.

Please join us this fall for what promises to be a memorable evening, for you and the families we are helping in Cambodia.

Look for a HOPE Film Premiere & Dinner event in your area.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hope overcomes uncertainty

Lahtaw standing in her vegetable garden, the source of her family's self-sufficiency.



Life reaches a new level of difficulty when the uncertainty associated with leaving everything behind seems less daunting than staying where you are.

Such is the case for families in Myanmar’s conflict-ridden northern Shan and Kachin states. The two states are embroiled in an ongoing conflict between ethnic groups and the government-led military of Myanmar.

Lahtaw and her family of nine were forced to leave everything behind as they fled the conflict in their area. Their journey, fraught with uncertainty, concluded when they arrived at the Hpum Lum Yang camp for displaced persons.

“When we arrived in Hpum Lum Yang, we had nothing. No land, no money, and no food,” says Lahtaw, recalling what it was like when she and her family first set foot in the camp three years ago.

Soon after, however, things began to change for Lahtaw and her family as they received help and starting building a new life within the relative safety of the camp.

“We were provided with a piece of land, seeds, and tools to start a backyard vegetable garden,” says Lahtaw. “We planted dill, mustard, long bean, tomato, parsley, eggplant cucumber, cabbage, and cauliflower, and had a good harvest!”

Lahtaw and her family also learned how to make organic fertilizer and natural insecticides for their garden, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers and insecticides, while at the same time, improving the quality of the soil and saving money.

“Since we started gardening, we have produced enough food to meet our needs. Our family is healthy and we are saving money too because we no longer buy vegetables from the market,” says Lahtaw.

Lahtaw and her family, now self-sufficient, won’t be returning to their original home any time soon given that the conflict that forced them to leave shows no signs of subsiding. But with the help they have received thus far, they are a building a new life in the camp. A life that is full of hope and significantly less uncertainty.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Creating resilience among farming families in Muzaffargarh, Pakistan


When the floodwater receded, both the land and its people were scarred.

It was early September of 2014. The monsoon rains had arrived in Pakistan and were unusually heavy. In the region of Muzaffargarh, small creeks transformed into rushing torrents. Rivers and canals, swollen well beyond anything anyone had seen in a long while, overflowed their banks, enveloping everything in their path.

The destruction was on a scale approaching the unimaginable. Entire fields of rice, maize, vegetables, and sugar cane vanished, buried under water and mud – and just days before the harvest! Planting the next crop, a type of wheat popular in the region, was impossible. The torrent had ensured that nothing could be planted for weeks to come. Many homes, animal sheds, and seed storage buildings fell victim to brute force of the floodwater.
Meeting with flood-affected families to assess the damage.

Restoration for families and their farmland

HOPE International Development Agency sought out the poorest of the poor affected by the devastation in Muzaffargarh. The generosity of HOPE supporters made it possible for flood-affected families to rehabilitate their land and replant crops as soon as possible. It also restored a sense of hope and normalcy amidst the upheaval.

At the time, Noreen Mai, a mother struggling in the aftermath of the flood said, “The flood destroyed all of our stored food and my family is facing serious problems. But due to this support, my family will overcome this situation.”

Improving the long-term outlook for farming families

Beyond the work of meeting the needs of flood-affected families in the weeks and months following the disaster, HOPE has been helping families learn new skills and pool their resources. Both of these initiatives make the families, and their communities, more resilient – a crucial aspect of life in a region frequented by natural disasters.

HOPE has also helped form, train, and support community groups in Muzaffargarh and four other neighboring districts. The work with the community groups continues, helping them further increase their skills, knowledge, and ability to work together and with local government in order to access additional resources. In addition, the poorest of the poor among farmers are being supported in their efforts to start new farm-based income enterprises, including village-based food processing.

Natural disasters, like flooding, will strike again and threaten to undermine the courage and tenacity of farmers in Pakistan. But through the support of generous friends of HOPE, farmers in Muzaffargarh are using this respite from disaster to strengthen their resiliency, overcome the challenges they face, and prepare for future challenges.

A new crop and new hope for families who lost everything during the flooding of 2014.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Clean water is on the horizon for the people of Muyange, Burundi


There are two obstacles standing between the 3,400 people in Muyange village and a life-long supply of clean water; 7 kilometres of rugged terrain, and the funds needed to complete the work.

Muyange is located in Bubanza, a rugged region of Burundi, an impoverished country in the northwest of Africa.

The people of Bubanza are among the poorest people in Burundi and suffer greatly because they don’t have clean water. High rates of disease and death, especially among children, are evidence that clean water is crucial.

HOPE International Development Agency has been helping people in the Bubanza region gain access to clean water. So far, 2,700 people in three villages have clean water.

The challenge today is to raise the funds needed to pipe clean water to Muyange, a village 7 kilometers away from the main water spring that supplies the other three villages.

Supplies, like water pipe, connectors, and other materials used in the construction of water tap basins in the village need to be sent to Muyange so that the water system can be completed. In addition, people also need to learn how to care for their new water system and their health.

Having an abundant supply of clean water, right in their village, will ensure that the 3,400 people in Muyange, especially the women and children, will not be forced to trek 10 kilometres every day in search of water, nearly all of which is teeming with life-threatening diseases.

Ndazina, a village chief from Muyange knows the incredible impact clean water will have on his village and he shared his heartfelt thoughts with us recently, “We told you of our needs, and thank God that you listened”.

If you'd like to help ensure that supplies, like water pipe, connectors, and other materials used in the construction of water tap basins in the village, are sent to Muyange so that the water system can be completed, you can give online today.

Everyone is excited about completing the water system - even the children are helping out!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nepal Earthquake Update

HOPE International Development Agency continues to work among survivors of two massive earthquakes that struck Nepal in late April and mid-May 2015.



Finding the most vulnerable
As with all HOPE International Development Agency efforts to help people in need, we seek out the most vulnerable. In Nepal, we are working in the villages of Sipapokhare and Sunkhani, both of which are located in remote, mountainous regions that are difficult to access. Most of the people in Sipapokhare and Sunkhani are considered outcasts by other societies in the region and were highly marginalized before the two earthquakes shattered their lives.

Ensuring the most vulnerable survive
Realizing that people in Sipapokhare and Sunkhani would struggle to survive in the aftermath, HOPE established earthquake relief camps to provide temporary shelter materials, food, and non-food essentials. So far, more than a 1,000 people have received items such as heavy-duty tarpaulins, emergency food rations, clothing, and hygiene products.

Helping people rebuild
In addition to supplying people with important essentials needed in the aftermath of the two major disasters, HOPE is also helping the most vulnerable rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes. The new homes are being constructed with locally available materials, and people in the villages are participating in the clearing of earthquake debris as well as the construction process - giving them a sense of ownership and hope amidst all the destruction and loss.



You are changing lives!
Thank you for helping families in Sipapokhare and Sunkhani restore what was taken by the two earthquakes. There is much more to do given the size of the disasters.

If you would like to help further, you can donate here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Restoring hope and dignity for families in Mynamar

It will soon be five years since families in Mynamar’s conflict-ridden North Shan and Kachin states fled their homes in search of safety. The camps families currently inhabit were never meant to be permanent, but rather, a safe respite from the violence that plagues the region.

Life in the camps is tough on children and parents alike. A high proportion of people in the camps are farming families who are used to being self-reliant rather than dependent. And while the families recognize they need aid in order to survive, what they really want is to be self-reliant again and regain the dignity stolen from them by the conflict that surrounds them.

It is hard to maintain a sense of dignity while being dependent on outside support for food, shelter, and other aspects of life. Mothers and fathers do whatever they can to make themselves available for any type of odd job that comes their way, but odd jobs are in short supply and not always available, leaving parents and their families vulnerable.

HOPE International Development Agency is helping ensure that children living in the camps can continue their education are not be lost to poverty because of the conflict (see recent post).

We are also working with parents who are having a very difficult time providing for their families. Skills training and assistance are being provided to help parents enhance their camp-based livelihoods. These initiatives reduce dependency, enhance dignity, and build up the capabilities of families.

In camps where agricultural land is available, communal farming tool sets, including rakes, hoes, watering cans, have been provided in order to give families what they need in order to till the soil and grow their own food. Families also collect local seeds, including dill, mustard, long bean, tomato, parsley, eggplant, and cucumber, and share them amongst themselves so that seeds do not have to be purchased. Aside from saving money, using local seeds enables families to collect and save their own seeds for subsequent crop plantings.

In camps where agriculture is not possible due to space constraints, we are helping families establish savings and loans groups.

Local staff work with group members to develop viable business plans, provide financial management training, and create group rules to manage savings and loans. Each group receives a cash grant to provide low-interest short-term loans to their group members. Small businesses created so far include small vegetable shops and grocery stores, pig raising, noodle shops, and handicraft enterprises.

To date, 100% of the small loans given to group members have been paid back to their groups, enabling the funds provided through this initiative to be used many times over to help even more families attain self-sufficiency.

Income earned through new businesses is helping parents send their children to school, buy nutritious food, and make repairs to their modest dwellings.

Families living in the camps are regaining their dignity and a sense of hope, as well as skills for the future when they return to their home villages.

A savings and loan group member tends her small grocery stall.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Seeing past the statistic to the person

You would think that a United Nations (UN) statistic as troubling as 4,500 children dying every day because of water related diseases would catch everyone’s attention. Certainly it has not, as a worldwide water crisis continues. Perhaps it would, however, if more focus was placed on the stories of the children hidden in the statistic rather than the statistic itself.

While the UN statistic speaks to the scale of the problem, it is the stories of the children, hidden in the statistic, that speak to the humanity of the problem.

Children in La China, a rural community located in the rugged hills of the Dominican Republic, used to be numbered among those hidden in the grim UN statistic. It was their story, not just a statistic, which caught our attention at HOPE International Development Agency and brought them into our work and lives.

To help the children of La China, the entire community needed to be helped. HOPE International Development Agency worked in partnership with the people of La China, helping them gain access to clean water, right in their community. The abundant supply of clean water that will flow into the community at the conclusion of water system’s construction next month will not only provide safe water for drinking, but also a reliable source of water that will be used to irrigate vegetable garden plots and small crop fields.

The clean water, and all the benefits it brings - not the least of which is eliminating the loss of life among children - will enable families to restore and maintain their health.

Much can be accomplished in the lives of the poor when we focus on their story, rather than just a statistic which, by nature, can overshadow and obscure what really matters – the people who need our help.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ensuring that children in Myanmar are not lost to poverty because of conflict

In Myanmar, newly constructed classrooms are helping children lead a normal life, despite everything around them having been turned upside down.

Children and their parents have spent the last four years avoiding the violence of a reignited conflict in North Shan and Kachin States between ethnic minorities and the government-led military of Myanmar. The conflict has forced families to leave their homes and flee to the relative calm of temporary camps.

The camps were never intended to be permanent, but with each passing day their permanence becomes more likely given that the conflict shows no signs of subsiding soon and there is nowhere else families can go. While the camps do offer respite from the conflict and a measure of safety, they are very challenging places to live.

Families, many of whom are young and headed by women, struggle to find ways to earn the modest amount of income required to meet their daily needs. In some of the camps, children have not been able to go to school for years because there are no educational facilities, school supplies, or teachers.

Conflict has stolen homes, communities, education, and stability from children. And while HOPE International Development Agency is addressing, in other ways, the needs of families affected by the armed conflict raging throughout the countryside, we are also working to restore the lives of children by providing educational facilities, materials, teachers, and teacher training right in the camps.

Education cannot wait for more stable times. If children do not receive an education in their early years, then they, among their generation, will be lost to poverty.

HOPE International Development Agency donors have helped construct four more early childhood education centres. In addition, teaching materials and supplies have been provided to 13 existing schools and centres. Teachers have also received training, an especially important aspect of the work considering that many of the people doing the teaching do not have formal training.

Putting pencils in the hands of children, supplies in their school bags, and teachers in their classrooms does not solve the conflict that continues to rage outside the camp. But for children who are growing up in the relative safety inside the camps, education is helping give them a sense of normalcy, stability, structure, and hope for the future.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Standing alongside families in South Sudan

When the fourth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence arrives in a few weeks, it will not be easy to find something to celebrate.

In the years since its founding in July 2011, South Sudan has managed to fall back into old habits that plague much of this region of Africa: ethnic conflict, corruption, and willful brutality against anyone who merely tries to live their life and not pick a side in conflicts driven by the aforementioned.

On its fourth birthday, the fledgling African nation will be home to 3.7 million people without enough to eat on a daily basis, 50,000 chronically malnourished children, and nearly 1 million people living in limbo, having fled their homes for fear of being killed or maimed in the crossfire between warring ethnic groups.

During all of this conflict and chaos, HOPE International Development Agency donors have stood alongside families forced to live in limbo. They have given generously to ensure that families displaced or affected by conflict have clean water to drink. They have supported education programs for children, ensuring that precious childhood learning years are not lost to conflict. And, they have helped families with food support, and more importantly, enabled them to grow their own food, despite being displaced from their homes and lands.

So, when the fourth anniversary of the world’s youngest nation arrives in a few weeks, we will celebrate thousands of lives saved and changed, while at the same time, being very mindful that a lot more needs to be done because thousands of people have yet to be helped.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Telling the story that matters

The story of HOPE International Development Agency began when a few people here in Canada came together to find ways to help the world’s poorest families lift themselves out of poverty.

The idea was simple. Rather than just giving people what they needed to survive, why not also provide the knowledge, tools, training, and support needed to create their own solutions to poverty.

Our story, however, is not ours at all. It belongs to the poorest of the poor.

The poorest of the poor are the authors of our story, and a new chapter is written every time a person or family becomes free from the soul-crushing poverty that has held them captive for generations. In addition to the poorest of the poor, compassionate people here at home are also the authors our story.

The generosity and faithfulness of people here at home has enabled HOPE International Development Agency to help 20 million of the world’s poorest people transform their lives over the past 40 years.

The support for the poorest of the poor provided by friends of HOPE is best expressed by the outcome of their giving in 2014 – more than 820,000 people finding their way out of poverty!

Learn more by viewing our most recent annual report.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Approaching monsoon season threatens to worsen the situation for survivors of the double disaster in Nepal

It has been a race against time since the first massive earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing more than 8,000 people, injuring 17,000, and leaving 600,000 displaced from their homes. The pace quickened even further in the aftermath of a second earthquake that struck the country on May 12.

Now, the monsoon season is just a week away, and it's arrival will make life even more challenging for survivors.

HOPE International Development Agency is working to help survivors recover as quickly as possible.

The need in Nepal, one of the poorest nations in the world, is staggering.

Estimates put the damage at $10 billion dollars – nearly half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Rebuilding roads, bridges, and homes damaged or destroyed by the two earthquakes could cost up to $5 billion dollars.

Help is the best remedy for broken hearts and lives

The need for hope amidst all of the devastation - especially when you consider that 600,000 people have been displaced from their homes and thousands have been killed or injured - is equally staggering.

The emotional toll that accompanies this level of destruction can only be remedied by providing as much help as quickly as we can.

Keeping pace with the need is challenging as survivors remain in a race against time to recover and rebuild their lives.

The Government of Canada, in an effort to increase the impact donors can have in the aftermath of this double disaster, is continuing to match all eligible donations, dollar-for-dollar, but this opportunity will ends on Monday, May 25, 2015.

DONATE ONLINE TODAY


Donate by phone at (toll-free) 1-866-525-HOPE(4673).

(Learn more about the Government of Canada's donation match).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A SECOND MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE STRIKES NEPAL - survivors are struggling!


A second massive earthquake struck Nepal this week and survivors, already reeling from the first killer earthquake just weeks ago, are fearful and hurting.

More donations are urgently needed to help survivors of the two massive earthquakes.

Work continues in an effort to save lives in the aftermath of the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated the nation and a second one that struck this week. Sadly, the death toll has climbed to 8,000 people. More than 17,000 are injured, and 600,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

A donation of $50, $75, $100 or even more if you are able, given the growing need in the aftermath of the most recent earthquake this week, will ensure that devastated families can begin rebuilding their lives as soon as possible. The Government of Canada, recognizing the enormous need, is matching all eligible donations dollar-for-dollar up until May 25, 2015 (Learn more about the Government of Canada's donation match.).

Please give what you can so we can help as many survivors as possible in the aftermath of these two terrible tragedies.

DONATE ONLINE TODAY


Donate by phone at (toll-free) 1-866-525-HOPE(4673).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

In San Jose de Ocoa, health care is as important as clean water

 Dr. Castillo, a colleague of Dr. Arias, with some of the donated medical supplies.

Decades have passed since HOPE International Development Agency began helping impoverished families in the mountainous region of San Jose de Ocoa in the Dominican Republic.

Much has been done over the years to improve the lives of thousands upon thousands of families through education, training, and infrastructure work such as rural roads, schools, community centers, latrines, clean water, and simple irrigation systems that increase food production.

Yet the benefits of all this work, including freedom from poverty, can depreciate rapidly if families become sick or injured and medical treatment is not available or unsafe.

Time away from the farm field or classroom, due to sickness or injury, can quickly turn a family’s situation of gradual improvement into one of desperation.

In essence, health care is as important as clean water, food, education, and income.

Helping families in San Jose de Ocoa stay healthy is crucial if they are to become, and remain, free from poverty. HOPE International Development Agency supports the health of families by providing medicines and medical supplies that enable doctors and health workers to diagnose and treat ailments in safe and sanitary manner.

Juana Arias, a doctor working at the region’s main hospital that serves hundreds of patients each day, is one of the medical professionals that is able to provide services safely and effectively because of the medicines and medical supplies received through HOPE International Development Agency.

Every day, Dr. Arias helps mothers deliver their babies safely, whether naturally or by caesarian section. In one day alone, Dr. Arias performed three cesarean operations, including one for Elisa, a teacher and proud mother of newborn Fredalisa. Without the drapes, gloves, needles, and other basic medical supplies provided by HOPE International Development Agency for the maternity ward, Dr. Arias would not be able to perform these procedures as safely, because the hospital does not always receive enough supplies from the government.

The government of the Dominican Republic is committed to providing health care in rural and remote areas. However, it is a struggle to keep the clinics and hospitals stocked with basic medicines and supplies. This means that good health care is not always available to families. If there are no examination gloves or other supplies and medicines, patients are often required to purchase these items and bring them to the clinic in order to receive treatment. Unfortunately, the patients most in need cannot always afford the supplies or medicines and their injury or illness goes untreated.

HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to partner with communities to help maintain and improve health. By supporting the health care system in a key way, other efforts, such as education, food production, and improving incomes will continue to flourish.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE - Helping survivors recover and rebuild their lives as soon as possible


Donations are urgently needed to help survivors of the killer earthquake in Nepal.

Efforts are underway to save lives in Nepal in the aftermath of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has devastated the nation. So far, the death toll has climbed to more than 5,000 people. Thousands more are injured, and nearly 450,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

The long-term implications of this tragic disaster are frightening in this impoverished nation.

We are asking for your help today so that we can begin helping families recover and rebuild their lives, even as disaster relief efforts continue.

A donation of $50, $75, $100 or even more if you are able, given the enormous need, will ensure that families devastated by the earthquake can begin rebuilding their lives as soon as possible. The Government of Canada, recognizing the enormous need, is matching all eligible donations dollar-for-dollar up until May 25, 2015 (Learn more about the Government of Canada's donation match.).

Please give what you can so we can help as many survivors as possible in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.

DONATE ONLINE TODAY


Donate by phone at (toll-free) 1-866-525-HOPE(4673).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alem's Journey


Alem Alazar, a dear friend of HOPE and former Commissioner of Ethiopia's Water Resources Commission, shares his personal journey in this poem, "On The Move".


On The Move

Childhood Journey

My first journey that I recall,
Happened before I was aged four,
A joyful trip for mom and me,
Eager as I was my father to see,
Leaving his native village in the north,
We moved to his new home far in the south,
To live happily in one house,
A family united for ever at last,
Forgetting the hard days of the past,
A child’s wish came true,
A move that brought me a break thru,
Under God’s wing and in his guidance,
Healthy I grew in lasting sustenance.

Moving Thru Maturity
Learning to succeed aspiring for better,
Went to study more and moved on further,
Into the south country deep to its center,
Commenced a future of cherishing water,
Precious and essential for life so ever,
A divine gift requiring our care,
A scarce commodity in many dry regions,
Where drought and famine regularly happen,
Resulting disaster for millions that suffer,
Thousands perishing in saddening manner,
Desiring to assist in lessening the pains,
Determined and committed for community gains,
Acquired the skills and lead several teams,
Searched for water, got it near and clean for users,
Managed it well and taught about it to several others,
For three decades provided service,
Until hard times of no peace no justice,
When one must depart for personal safety,
And move on forward looking for security.

From Nairobi to Vancouver & Beyond
Stateless refuge unsure of the coming,
Transit by Kenya to a new beginning,
In western Canada beautiful Vancouver,
Happily resettled hopeful of the future,
My family intact all of us together,
But I still remain mindful of water,
A dear commodity to the poor near or far,
Everyone and everywhere mutually belonging,
Prepared and willing in generous giving,
What one knows and cares for the good of passing,
To fulfill my duty and purpose in life,
Even in hard situations continued to strive,
In dry or wet regions fittingly doing,
What is good and worthy so real in meaning,
A two-decade mission carried out from here,
Completing works in regions that are poor,
Closing the finals of the field work motions,
But remain active in community functions,
Benefiting my being in leisure-most actions,
Still will keep on rolling in the water-rich BC,
Respecting habitat in all its lands and seas,
Enjoying the beauty and cherishing the essence,
Of the province blessed in natural presence,
Glory and honor to the utmost enabler,
Who made it possible for me to reach so far.



Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 HOPE Film Premiere & Dinner in Vancouver is just one week away!



A new chapter will be written in the life of HOPE International Development Agency and the lives of impoverished families in Cambodia one week from today when friends of HOPE gather in Vancouver for our 40th Anniversary Celebration 2015 Film Premiere & Dinner at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

You’re invited to join us and enjoy a wonderful meal, the company of friends, live music, and an opportunity to transform lives in Cambodia through your giving.

This year’s film, shot on location in Cambodia, gives you an intimate glimpse into the lives of families living in rural Cambodia. You’ll also see the amazing work that's being done by Cambodia’s poorest families as they lift themselves out of poverty.

HOPE International Development Agency
2015 Film Premiere & Dinner

Friday Evening, April 17, 2015
5:30pm Reception & 6:45pm Dinner
Vancouver Convention Centre (West Building)
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

For more information, and to reserve your tickets, please call us at 1-604-525-5481. Ask for Jet Takaoka (ext. 19) or John King (ext. 11).

Not in Vancouver? Look for events in your province this April and May and plan to join us as we celebrate 40 years and 20 million lives changed.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The community of Midh Ranjah works together to reduce suffering and vulnerability in the wake of flooding

In September 2014, the Chennab River in the Sargodha district of Punjab, Pakistan, wreaked havoc on hundreds of villages. The river overflowed its banks and flooded hundreds of acres of farmland.

Farmers watched in horror as the murky water flooded their crops and destroyed their main source of livelihood. The flood pushed the already poor families further into extreme poverty as they lost everything they had, including their homes.

Farming families were devastated. And in the midst of all this suffering, support from the government was insufficient to compensate the families for their losses.

Finding hope

Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, HOPE International Development Agency was able to partner with a community in Midh Ranjha and provide them with emergency help and supplies.


In response to the offer of help, the community formed a relief committee made up of community leaders, farmers, religious leaders, laborers, and government workers to determine the best way to distribute the emergency support and relief to community members, especially those most in need.

The committee identified the most vulnerable members of their community, such as women that are widows or have very small land holdings, and women with large families but only one income source. These families were truly the most vulnerable, uncertain as to where they would find their next meal in the wake of the flood. The community worked together to assemble and distribute ration packages of ghee, sugar, flour, rice, tea, onion, lentils, matches, salt, and chilies to these families.

The community had found a way to help the most vulnerable among them. And the recipients of this help were both overjoyed and amazed. None of them had ever been given this type of support.

The support provided not only met the immediate needs of the most vulnerable but also started the community on its journey of recovery. Equally importantly, especially for the women in the community, the support showed them that someone cared enough to give this support, and their own community cared enough to make sure the women received the help they so urgently needed.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Celebrating 40 years by telling the story that matters most.


Our story began 40 years ago when a few people here at home came together to find ways to help the world’s poorest families lift themselves out of poverty.

Our story, however, is not ours at all – it belongs to the poor.

The poorest of the poor author our story, and a new chapter is written every time a person or family becomes free from poverty.

Compassionate people here at home also author our story. It is their generosity that has enabled 20 million people to transform their lives over the past 40 years.

This year, as we celebrate 40 years and 20 million lives changed, we invite you to join us at one of our 2015 Film Premiere & Dinner events across Canada.

You will enjoy a wonderful meal, the company of friends, live music, silent and live auctions, and have an important opportunity to transform lives in Cambodia through your giving.

This year’s film, shot on location in Cambodia earlier in 2015, gives you an intimate glimpse into the lives of families living in rural Cambodia. You will also see the amazing work that is being done by these families to lift themselves out of poverty.

Look for events in your area this April and May and plan to join us as we celebrate 40 years and 20 million lives changed.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sasikala overcomes her disability and poverty!

When Sasikala permanently injured her left arm and leg she knew life was going to get even harder.

Sasikala’s first concern wasn’t for herself. She was used to hardship. War had torn through her small Sri Lankan community years earlier and her family lost everything when they fled the violence.

Her biggest fear was that she wouldn’t be able to care for her family like she had before her injury. Three young daughters and an ailing husband were depending on her, but her disability was making it almost impossible to earn even a little bit of income.

Yet amidst all the suffering and worry, Sasikala and her family found hope!

Sasikala joined a self-help group in her community. The group helped her overcome her disability by providing training, a small low-interest loan to purchase a few goats, and a connection to her community that’s restored her self-esteem.

Today, Sasikala continues to raise goats. There’s ample income from the sale of milk and meat, and even more to come as she expands her herd.

There’s food on the table, and money to care for her chronically ill husband and put her children through school.

You can enable people in Sri Lanka, just like Sasikala, overcome disabilities and become self-reliant. And when you do, you’re also helping the entire family of a person with a disability.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Reducing Malnutrition in Honduras

Throughout Honduras, rural communities are deprived of food, water, and other basic needs. Families are vulnerable to malnutrition and a variety of illnesses.

In 2013, HOPE International Development Agency started working to improve the living conditions and health of people in Comayagua County, one of the most isolated and neglected communities in Honduras. A large majority of rural Hondurans lack the basic knowledge and know-how to protect and nourish their health.

A World Bank study shows that 10% of newborn babies in Honduras are underweight due to malnutrition, 50% of children between 2 and 6 months of age suffer from anemia, and 29% of Honduran children 5 years and younger have a slow growth rate.

HOPE International Development Agency began to working with families in Comayagua County to help lower these percentages and increase the overall health of their communities.

At the beginning of 2013, the program’s area of operation had a malnutrition index of 10%, but by the end of the year the overall malnutrition index was reduced to just 7% in the 248 communities where the program has been implemented.

Nelson, a young child from one of the communities of Comayagua County, exemplifies how a small amount of support can build up and empower families with knowledge and capacity that enables them to live healthy lives.

Nelson’s mother shares their story...

“My fifth son Nelson was born weighing 6lbs, 12oz. He was a beautiful baby.

Twelve days after his birth, I took Nelson to his first weight monitoring appointment with the HOPE program in my community.

I learned that my son had lost 1lb, 4oz. in just a few days. I told the health volunteer that I was not producing enough milk. The health volunteer taught me how to make soy milk and to add ferrous sulfate. I gave this to my son for a couple of months and he began to improve little by little.

But then I stopped the treatment. I didn’t know it was so serious that he wasn’t gaining more weight. When Nelson was 4 months old, he became constantly sick with diarrhea. I was told that he was extremely dehydrated and he was given an electrolyte solution from the medical volunteer team that HOPE brought to my community. I started treating Nelson with this solution and he became much better in a week’s time.

Today, Nelson is 13 months old and is at an adequate weight for his age. I am so happy to see him healthy and gaining weight!”

The story of Nelson and his mother shows how the poorest of the poor have the ability to care for themselves if they have the knowledge and support needed.

HOPE International Development Agency’s mandate is to build up people like Nelson and his mother and help them learn how to lead healthy lives.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Alex tells her story of hope from Cambodia

Since 1975, HOPE International Development Agency has been helping the world’s poorest people change their lives for the better. The generosity of donors has enabled us to touch the lives of 20 million people worldwide over the past 40 years.

Throughout much the organization’s history, HOPE International Development Agency has also been providing opportunities for Canadians of all ages to experience life in the developing world by participating in our Understanding Needs in Other Nations (UNION) volunteer program.

Last summer, Alex Taneda, a student at Walnut Grove Secondary School, travelled to Cambodia with a UNION team to gain greater insights into how poverty affects people in the developing world and see first-hand how small contributions – both financial and physical – can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives.

Alex documents her amazing experience in this short film that helps shine a light on the exciting work happening in Cambodia and the types of life-changing experiences that HOPE International Development Agency is helping create for Cambodians and Canadians alike.



HOPE International Development Agency has been working to improve the lives of people in rural Cambodia since 1979. As one of its flagship initiatives, it is only fitting that this year’s annual fundraising dinners, held across Canada, will showcase the organization’s history and work in Cambodia.

You can learn more about our work in Cambodia and help us celebrate 40 years and 20 million lives changed by joining us at one of our upcoming 2015 Film Premiere and Dinner events in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Our first event is on Friday, April 17, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

For more information on UNION opportunities, or to join the next UNION team travelling to Cambodia from July 6 to July 24, 2015, please contact Rainbow Choi, UNION Program Manager, at rainbowc@hope-international.com or toll-free at 1 (866) 525-4673, ext. 20.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

40 years of helping the world's poorest families

“What is past is prologue.”
William Shakespeare, The Tempest

As we reflect on the past 40 years and what has been accomplished through the commitment of so many supporters of HOPE International Development Agency, we also reflect on who we are as an organization.

An obvious focus of our organization revolves around the attribute of hope - it’s in our name, after all.

Dr. Gordon Livingston, a psychiatrist who has studied human happiness for more than 30 years, says there are three things that make people happy: meaningful work, meaningful relationships, and a sense of hope for the future.

While the first two points seem relatively straightforward, we reflect the third. How do we find hope for the future?

Dr. Livingston points out that we must reflect on the past objectively, and not romanticize it with too much nostalgia. Nostalgia is the enemy of hope, tricking us to believe that our best days are gone. If we have a realistic perspective of history, recognizing both the triumphs and challenges, we open up possibility for change. We look forward to our best days being ahead, not behind.

What a poignant reminder for us as supporters, volunteers, and staff of HOPE International Development Agency. We do not forget what is behind. We value the lessons we have learned over the past 40 years.

No period in our history is superior to another. Each period of time unfolds with its own merits, as we struggle to help the poor in different unique contexts. We wrestle with the world we live in. And at the same time, we grow in our understanding of what helping the poor means as we continue to strive forward, looking to the possibilities of change for so many disadvantaged communities around the world and to the changes we experience ourselves as history unfolds.

What is past is prologue. Our past forms who we are today as the next story of extending compassion to the neglected poor unfolds.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A little encouragement and help goes a long way!

Farming families in the Ubangi region of Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo have been through a lot lately.

A difficult growing season, and fear caused by Ebola as it spread across West Africa, made life very difficult this past year. Yet despite the difficulties, the families thrived - growing nearly five times more corn than usual because of the training, tools, seeds, and other support they’ve received.

A recent event, however, has shaken their confidence. A catastrophic barge accident, caused by a massive windstorm, sent one-third of their hard-earned corn harvest to the bottom of the Congo River. Had the corn reached its destination it would have earned the families four times more than if sold locally.

You can help these families recover from their loss, increase the amount of corn they plant and harvest, and significantly increase their income this year.

A portion of your gift helps provide low interest loans, immediately after harvest, to cover the cost of transporting some of the corn to the big markets where it fetches four times as much money as it does at local markets. The corn that isn’t transported to the big markets is sold in local markets or kept for personal consumption, ensuring that the community and families benefit locally as well.

Growing and selling more corn, at a fair but higher price, is crucial to the success of families in Ubangi as they work their way out of poverty.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Grannies and Gardens: Taking steps to improve resiliency for victims of HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Today, approximately 35 million people are currently living with HIV worldwide. Since the 1980s, the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa has been at the heart of global development efforts.

Although prevalence rates have remained relatively stable since the early 2000s, at nearly 18%, South Africa has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. What’s more, in the province of KwaZulu Natal, where HOPE International Development Agency has worked since 1981, the prevalence rate is dramatically higher. The most recent available data has assessed KwaZulu Natal’s HIV prevalence rate at 39% – double the national average.

The crisis in KwaZulu Natal is exacerbated by the fact that roughly half of the province’s 10.2 million inhabitants live in poverty. Lack of access to proper nutrition and healthcare increase the likelihood that those who are afflicted with HIV/AIDS will fall victim to complications associated with the disease.

Sadly, many who die leave children behind. These children are usually cared for by relatives, often elderly, who are themselves deeply impoverished and struggle to meet the children’s nutritional needs.

Over the past four years, our work in the province has taken the form of providing direct food aid for 40 vulnerable families headed by elderly women (“grannies”) with no other means to support the 120 orphaned children they care for.

In 2014, we helped these 40 grannies establish gardens in two communities in the township of Pietermaritzburg to significantly increase the fresh and nutritious food available to them and the orphaned children under their care.

Fresh spinach is now readily available and cabbage is a staple
With the support of their communities, grannies like Ma Thembi have begun gardening activities that are not only improving general health and nutrition, they are also increasing individual self-sufficiency and reducing community reliance on direct food aid.

Ma Thembi showing the successful lettuce harvest
Even the children are excited to help Ma Thembi in the garden
Through sustainable gardening activities, entire communities are now working alongside the needy, helping to reduce existing stigmas associated with poverty and HIV/AIDS.

In Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, communities are coming together to address both the physical and social needs of those most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Over the long-term, these important activities will lay a foundation for the empowerment, education, and transformation of these communities by increasing their independence and enhancing their resiliency against future hardships.