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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 or toll-free at 1 (866) 525-4673, ext. 20.