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Friday, December 30, 2016




Thank you for all that you have done throughout 2016 to free children and families from poverty.

As 2016 draws to a close there are still opportunities to change lives this year and there are needs we have not yet been able to meet.

A special end-of-year gift from you today will ensure that 2016 ends much better than it began for families who have known only suffering and sadness.

Here are important opportunities to change lives in the closing days of 2016:
Giving made convenient
You can give online using our secure donation pages shown above or you can give by phone by calling toll-free 1-866-525-HOPE (4673).

Receive income tax savings on your final gift of 2016
As a reminder, give online on or before Saturday, December 31, 2016 and lower your cost of giving by as much as 40%, or more, through the income tax savings it creates in 2016.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Give an end-of-year gift that will transform lives in the Philippines

Nearly 5.6 million people do not have access to clean water in areas where HOPE International Development Agency is working among indigenous families.

Close to 75 percent of the population depends on farming for their survival.

Preventable illnesses, such as diarrhea, are among the top five causes of illness and death. Malnutrition is also currently a big problem for families.

You can help ensure that indigenous families in the Philippines gain access to clean water, and training and support that will create a sustainable source of food and income.

Please give a special end-of-year gift to transform lives.

Friday, December 16, 2016


GIVE A GIFT TODAY AND CHANGE LIVES

When you give gifts from HOPE International Development Agency's Gifts of HOPE catalogue, you are changing lives, including your own.

Each gift has been carefully selected in order to give you multiple opportunities to help children and families lift themselves out of poverty.

The gifts you give will last well beyond the Christmas season and will continue to transform lives for years to come.

Your gifts will make this Christmas a very joyous occasion for a father, mother, or child struggling under the weight of poverty this season.

You can give gifts that rescue children from poverty by providing them with an education that prepares them for a bright future and helps them overcome the prejudice and marginalization that accompanies poverty.

You can give gifts that enable families to create a much better life than what they currently endure.

You can give the gift of good health – something very few families have experienced in their lifetime.

You can give clean water, a gift that has the power to transform not only families, but their communities as well.

Giving a gift from this year’s Gifts of HOPE catalogue is also a wonderful way to show you care about the people in your life as well as the poor.

You can give a gift on behalf of family members, friends, neighbours, or colleagues.

Giving gifts that change lives and last well beyond the season is the best ways to celebrate Christmas.

GIVE A GIFT TODAY

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bio-sand water filters are a simple way to transform lives in Andra Pradesh, India

Devi and one of her children in front of their bio-sand water filter decorated with the Canadian flag.


Devi and her husband, an agricultural laborer, have two young children and live in a rural village in the province of Andra Pradesh, India.

Devi has belonged to a women’s self-help/savings group for 10 years, and has been treasurer for the last three years. It was through her participation in a self-help group that Devi heard about bio-sand water filters. She was immediately interested and later attended a training program to learn how to use the filter.

Bio-sand water filters, manufactured locally in India, are highly effective at removing bacteria and pathogens from drinking water and use relatively simple materials, like sand, to transform harmful water into healthy water.

Shortly after learning about the filters, and with support from HOPE International Development Agency, Devi received a bio-sand water filter of her very own.

Devi happily shares about the difference the filter has made for her and her family: “We use the water from the filter both for cooking and drinking. The water from the filter is very cool and clean. After we started using the filter we stopped falling ill. We are very happy about this.”

With the support of HOPE International Development Agency, 200 families similar to Devi’s received bio-sand water filters this year.

With the gift of clean water, they now enjoy better health and as a result, a chance to build a better life.

Visit HOPE International Development Agency's Gifts of HOPE giving catalogue and give a family a bio-sand water filter today.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seeing what is possible when communities have hope!

Chris and Georgie at a HOPE International Development Agency project site in Ethiopia.



From a friend of HOPE International Development Agency:

Recently my wife, Georgie, and I visited some of HOPE International Development Agency’s (HOPE) most recent projects to witness the impact. As we bumped along a newly constructed dirt road, cut into a steep hillside, we were struck by how HOPE seeks to work alongside and empower the communities it helps.

The road, for example, had been built entirely by the community in order to enable HOPE to transport construction materials to the community. It was no small undertaking driving along it, let alone building it - the community had done a great job just enabling HOPE to get there.

We visited an established water project where HOPE had nearly completed its three-year support program. It was obvious the whole community had been transformed. The agriculture was very organized, the housing was better, there was more infrastructure, it was more hygienic, and Women’s Self Help Groups were running successful businesses.

When asked how their businesses were changing their lives, the women told us about how they were now able to invest in their families, in their children's education, and their futures.

It was clear that the Self Help Groups have offered an additional means for empowerment. This was brought home to us when we saw a newly formed Women’s Self Help Group travelling to the nearby town to open bank accounts for the first time for their group business and personal enterprises.  Later in the day we saw them again, easily recognizable as they celebrated their achievement. It was a very significant day for them, one to be marked.

The long-term commitment to supporting these groups, and indeed the community as a whole, is having a tangible impact that is transforming lives and bringing hope. I for one am very glad to be a part of HOPE’s work!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016




Thursday, November 10, 2016


GIVE A GIFT TODAY AND CHANGE LIVES

Give a child a gift that makes a difference this Christmas with HOPE International Development Agency's GIFTS OF HOPE catalogue.

Transform Young Minds in the Philippines
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.

Create a Big Future for Children in Ethiopia
Safe shelter, nutritious food, medical care, counselling, and education, including school supplies and books, are what orphaned children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia need in order to regain their childhood and become free from poverty when they become young adults.

Support Learning & Health in South Sudan
Giving children in rural South Sudan access to teachers, desks, and latrines creates a supportive and healthy learning environment in which they can reach their full potential. Providing practical support, like desks and latrines, helps make it possible for today’s children to become tomorrow’s community leaders in South Sudan.

Nurture Young Children in Haiti
Helping impoverished children by supporting their education and development, along with other basic necessities, ensures that they will have the opportunity to become whatever they can dream of as they become young adults.

GIVE A GIFT TODAY AND CHANGE LIVES

Monday, November 7, 2016


GIVE A GIFT TODAY AND CHANGE LIVES

When you give gifts from HOPE International Development Agency's Gifts of HOPE catalogue, you are changing lives, including your own.

Each gift has been carefully selected in order to give you multiple opportunities to help children and families lift themselves out of poverty.

The gifts you give will last well beyond the Christmas season and will continue to transform lives for years to come.

Your gifts will make this Christmas a very joyous occasion for a father, mother, or child struggling under the weight of poverty this season.

You can give gifts that rescue children from poverty by providing them with an education that prepares them for a bright future and helps them overcome the prejudice and marginalization that accompanies poverty.

You can give gifts that enable families to create a much better life than what they currently endure.

You can give the gift of good health – something very few families have experienced in their lifetime.

You can give clean water, a gift that has the power to transform not only families, but their communities as well.

Giving a gift from this year’s Gifts of HOPE catalogue is also a wonderful way to show you care about the people in your life as well as the poor.

You can give a gift on behalf of family members, friends, neighbours, or colleagues.

Giving gifts that change lives and last well beyond the season is the best ways to celebrate Christmas.

GIVE A GIFT TODAY

Thursday, October 20, 2016


A Big Challenge
Far too many Ethiopians are forced to drink water gathered from filthy ponds, stagnant streams, and contaminated hand-dug pits. Prolonged drought has made the situation even more challenging. HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to tackle the water crisis in Ethiopia and we need your help.

Meeting the Challenge
Have dinner with us and help thousands of Ethiopians drink their first cup of clean water.

Our Time Together
Join us for a wonderful meal, the company of friends, silent and live auctions, great music, a short feature film, and an important opportunity to transform lives in Ethiopia through your giving.

For more information and to reserve tickets for any of the Film Premiere & Dinner events listed below, please visit www.hope-international.com.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Abbotsford
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Quality Hotel & Conference Centre Abbotsford
36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia


Kelowna
Saturday, October 29, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Laurel Packinghouse
1304 Ellis Street, Kelowna, British Columbia


Terrace
Thursday, November 3, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Northwest Community College
(House of Birch)
5331 McConnell Avenue, Terrace, British Columbia


Victoria
Saturday, November 5, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa
100 Harbour Road, Victoria, British Columbia


ALBERTA

Calgary
Friday, October 28, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Sheraton Eau Claire
255 Barclay Parade Southwest, Calgary, Alberta


Edmonton
Saturday, October 22, 2016
6:00pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Shaw Conference Centre
9797 Jasper Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta


Fort McMurray
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Grand Ballroom in Shell Place on MacDonald Island
1 C.A. Knight Way, Fort McMurray, Alberta


Grande Prairie
Thursday, October 27, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Pomeroy Hotel (Grande Prairie Inn)
11633 100 Street, Grande Prairie, Alberta


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Education transforms lives

Michelle is proof that hope is more than just a word.

If you could have met Michelle when she was a child, you would have seen a young indigenous girl whose family lived in abject poverty in Baguio City in Northern Luzon in the Philippines.

It is unlikely you would have envisioned that Michelle would grow up to graduate from university, with honors, and receive a one-year scholarship for on-the-job training at the United Nations in New York.

Michelle was able to achieve all this because of the generosity of friends of HOPE International Development Agency who made it possible for her to go to grade school, high school, and then university.

“I am truly blessed,” says Michelle. “The support did more than help me with my education; it taught me the importance of an education and how I can be of greater help to others, especially my fellow indigenous people.”

The people who have helped Michelle throughout her learning journey are blessed as well because they know they have freed her from poverty.

Without an education, Michelle would be living a completely different life today.

Poverty would be her teacher and the lessons would be heartbreaking.

Indigenous people like Michelle live on the margins of Philippine society. They suffer because they lack the basic necessities of life, such as clean water, healthcare, education, and livelihood opportunities.

HOPE International Development Agency is addressing these needs through spring capping to create clean water supplies, agricultural training to help farmers grow more food, and livelihood support to establish a means of family income – all of which transform the health of children.

Transforming the minds of children is equally important, especially when we see the opportunities an education can create - as it has for Michelle.

“Every school year did not only bring me closer to my dream, but also blessed me with meaningful insights and experiences. I treasure all these memories in my heart. They are a source of strength and joy as I begin a new way of participating in the task of building communities and my beloved country,” says Michelle.

Friends of HOPE made it possible for Michelle to grow up and become the kind of person we all admire.

She is now giving back to her community and beginning a cycle of hope!

You can make a child’s dream of going to school come true. You can be the person who transforms a child’s mind and life!

Donate online today

Friday, October 7, 2016

Haiti devastated by Hurricane Matthew

The United Nations is describing the destruction as the worst humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the earthquake of 2010.

Help with recovery efforts. Donate online today

Hurricane Matthew has left massive destruction in its wake in southwestern Haiti, which took a direct hit from the storm. Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk as a result.

Immediate Response Continues

The goal is to help people survive the coming days and weeks, and recover as quickly as possible. HOPE International Development Agency is providing emergency shelter for families affected by Hurricane Matthew. Lack of shelter puts families, especially women and children, at risk.

Helping Families Rebuild Their Lives

Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, HOPE International Development Agency was in the process of helping farming families in the Duchity area of southwestern Haiti by providing agricultural training and seeds. Assisting families with their emergency shelter needs keeps our commitment to help families rebuild both their lives and their agricultural livelihoods.

Powerful winds, sometimes more than 230 kilometres per hour, combined with torrential rains and massive waves has caused destruction on a scale not seen since the earthquake of 2010.

Crops, already at risk due to an extended period of drought earlier this year, are destroyed. Roofs have been torn off homes, churches, schools, and public buildings. Trees were ripped out of the ground and floodwaters have strewn debris everywhere. Roads have been destroyed and a major bridge is completely gone.

Currently, more than 300,000 people are in need of immediate assistance. This figure will most likely rise significantly in the coming days. The death toll, currently over 300, is expected to rise as well.

You can help provide the assistance and emergency supplies families need in order to recover.

Donate online today

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti. Help is urgently needed.

Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti today. Torrential rains and winds of up to 230 kilometres per hour ripped through the areas where HOPE is working, causing severe damage and putting thousands of families at risk.

Your gift today will help provide the assistance and emergency supplies families need in order to recover.

Help with recovery efforts by donating online now.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

We Ride Africa - Much more than an amazing adventure!

“Adventurous people generally don't ask why. They just do!”, says Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson, an adventure cyclist from Alberta and friend of HOPE International Development Agency.

Jeffrey’s upcoming adventure, We Ride Africa, is different from his usual treks. “This time, why we are riding is more important to us than the adventure,’ says Jeffrey. We Ride Africa, is raising funds to support the work of HOPE International Development Agency among impoverished rural Ethiopians.

“The funds we raise through We Ride Africa will enable families in the remote region of Bonke, southern Ethiopia to gain access to clean water and in doing so, create a foundation for sustainable social and economic development,” says Jeffrey.

Jeffrey started We Ride Africa to leverage people's natural curiosity with adventure to raise money that will transform lives.

“We have committed to a 9-day adventure cycling expedition through the Bonke region of southern Ethiopia to raise funds for much needed water infrastructure projects in remote villages throughout the region,” says Jeffrey. “Every dollar we raise will be used to build water infrastructure that will carry clean, life-giving water, down from the hills and into the villages."

By adventure cycling standards, the remote and mountainous terrain of the Bonke region is some of the most challenging riding in the world.

Kilometer after kilometer on a bike in the most remote corners of Ethiopia will provide an intimate glimpse into what the prospect of clean water can do for the human spirit. “Our adventure, and your generosity, will empower not just individuals, but villages,” says Jeffrey.

Learn more about We Ride Africa

Donate online to We Ride Africa


Friday, September 30, 2016

Remarkable progress in the face of huge challenges

Droughts, massive forest fires, powerful storms, and flash floods continue to receive a lot of news coverage worldwide.

It appears that the severe weather patterns that can trigger these disasters are becoming the norm, and families here in Canada, and overseas, are living with the consequences.

Many severe weather events are linked to El Niño and La Niña, both of which are periodic departures from expected sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Warmer or cooler than normal ocean temperatures affect weather patterns around the world by creating high and low pressure systems, with stronger winds, large amounts of precipitation, or extreme heat.

In some cases, the result for affected regions can range from too much water to too little water – both of which create humanitarian and development challenges on a massive scale.

El Niño and La Niña have a significant impact on agriculture and the environment. Parched or eroded farmlands, decreased agricultural production, widespread food scarcity, interrupted livelihoods, and failed markets are the hallmark of these big weather patterns.

El Niño and La Niña also affect the health of people. Rates of water-borne diseases rise with the flood waters. Malnutrition intensifies in areas affected by drought. In both scenarios, food insecurity is present. El Niño and La Niña also cause mass displacements of people in arid regions of the world as they move in search of basic needs such as food and water.

There are, however, effective ways to help families and communities respond.

Communities in countries such as Cambodia, the Philippines, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Haiti, and Honduras are more resilient today than previously because friends of HOPE International Development Agency provided the funds needed to provide the support that saves lives, crops, and livelihoods.

Water systems have been installed to ensure sufficient access to water, even during times of drought. Communities are using new infrastructure and equipment to irrigate farm fields during the driest months. Farmers have learned special techniques to preserve plants and crops with minimal water, until the rains come again. In some cases, farmers have even been able to make modest gains in producing more food than in previous years by applying these techniques.

Families and communities are doing remarkable things in the face of huge challenges brought about by severe weather.

Now, as El Niño has tempered into a “neutral phase”, many of these same families and communities are bracing for the next wave of tropical storms and floods of an ensuing La Niña season.

The good news, amidst all the difficult news, is that the families who have received help from friends of HOPE are now well positioned to deal with the challenges associated with severe weather.

While it can be distressing and discouraging to grasp the full implications of weather patterns that are out of our immediate control, understanding the cycles and effects enables us to stand in solidarity and react with generosity to support our partners around the world as they work with communities to build resilience amidst a changing climate and respond to disasters brought on by El Niño and La Niña.

If you would like to learn more, The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) released a comprehensive report this week containing an overview of the impact of El Niño over 2015-2016.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Transforming immediate solutions in times of disaster into a long-term vision.

When Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines in late 2013, it devastated much of the country and left lives in ruin.

HOPE International Development Agency’s partners in the Philippines used their expertise and vast knowledge of the country to plan an immediate response to help families in the areas worst affected and most often neglected. Equally importantly, the planning also included initiatives to address the need for people to restore their livelihoods, grow food, and increase their resiliency in the face of future disasters.

Friends of HOPE International Development Agency responded generously to the call for help and provided the funds needed to provide immediate help, including food, vegetable seeds, and materials to repair damaged infrastructures such as roofs on homes and schools.

While the immediate relief was vitally needed and well received, it could only address a small portion of the long-term needs of the people affected.

In the months and years after the storm of 2013, HOPE and its partners in the Philippines have continued to work with families and communities to create solutions to poverty, including solutions focused on making families and communities better prepared for future disasters and more resilient in the aftermath.

This work has included disaster risk reduction training, which helps government and community leaders plan for quick and effective action when future disasters occur, minimizing human suffering and expediting relief and recovery efforts. Some of the long-term responses have included providing rice seeds and fertilizer, training for farmers, fishing boats and fishing nets for families who had lost their livelihood.

Recently, Barugo, one of the communities that HOPE has worked with since the disaster was featured in a national newspaper in the Philippines.

According to a national ranking, Barugo has improved immensely on the indicators of economic dynamism, governance efficiency, and infrastructure.

Barugo’s ranking among similar municipalities jumped from 436th in the country to 56th in one year. In real terms, this increase means more people have access to economic opportunities, and more effective and supportive government agencies. Instead of just recovering and getting back to the way life was, the people of Barugo are looking at new investment opportunities and partnerships with new sources of income such as tourism. The building of resilience to future disasters also will ensure that the gains made will not be lost if another natural disaster wreaks havoc on the area.

While many factors have contributed to this success, the recognition for what has been accomplished is best directed at HOPE supporters who made it possible through their generosity and desire to create lasting change.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Resiliency in Sri Lanka

Resiliency is a bit of a buzzword these days as world leaders consider how to prepare for and address the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

Resiliency is the ability to spring back into shape after being bent, stretched, or compressed; it is the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from challenging conditions.

Recently, we were humbled by the resiliency of families in Sri Lanka who survived a massive storm and lived through months of hardship and challenges.

Three months ago, Cyclone Raonu crashed into Sri Lanka. More than 300,000 people were affected by the massive storm. In the aftermath, 100 people were dead and 113 were missing.

The communities of Aranaya and Rambukkana were hit hard. During the storm, nearly 23 metres of mud came rushing down the nearby mountain, destroying both communities to the point where every family had to leave and find refuge nearby.

In the days and weeks that followed, friends of HOPE International Development Agency ensured that the families of Aranayaka and Rambukkana received shelter, food, clothing, and medical support, enabling them to remain healthy enough to begin rebuilding their lives.

On behalf of these very resilient families, thank you for your support.

A father receiving emergency supplies for his family in the aftermath of Cyclone Roanu

Friday, September 9, 2016

Everything changes when clean water is present

In many respects, Dalume Zalla is a typical small community in southern Ethiopia, with one very notable exception. The community has clean water!

Sinafikish Tolba, a 34-year old mother of six children remembers what it was like when clean water was not available. Sinafikish and her children, ranging from 6 months to 15-years old, would begin their day well before sunrise as they set off in search of water for the day.

On some days, the journey would take them as far as 4 kilometers away from their community. On each day, the water they did find was sure to make them sick because it was gathered from stagnant ponds frequented by animals.

Today, because of the support received, Sinafikish and her family, along with every other family in Dalume Zalla, gather clean water right in their village – less than 3 minutes away from their homes.

The incidence of water-borne disease has been dramatically reduced, if not eliminated. Children are able to spend more time in school and less time trekking through the arid hills in search of water. Parents are able to spend more time tending their small plots of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, barley, and sugarcane – generating much needed sources of income and food.

“The water we have is clean,” says Sinafikish. “We are so fortunate to see our children not getting sick anymore. And of top of this, I no longer worry about my children being late for school because they were out fetching water. To have water in our community is a sign we are moving forward. God bless you!”

Before the arrival of clean water, the people of Dalume Zalla felt neglected, undervalued, and hopeless. Today, the community feels affirmed and is ready to take on other initiatives that will further improve their quality of life.

When we invest in the value of others, like Sinafikish, the legacy is sure to continue for generations to come.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Overcoming challenges in rural Pakistan



People living in communities stuck in poverty find it a challenge to raise their voices and ask for even the most basic of services or opportunities when the basic needs of the day are constantly pressing in on them.

HOPE International Development Agency is working with people living in impoverished communities in Pakistan using a two-pronged approach to overcoming the challenge.

The first is to improve the economic independence of people who have been relegated to the margins of their communities.

The second is to help people learn how to lift their voices together to enact change in their communities.

Bottom up economic independence

Entrepreneurship training, creating groups with a common interest, and helping new entrepreneurs start income-earning businesses have proven very successful. To date, 350 people have been become entrepreneurs and are taking part in business ventures.

In five rural districts of Pakistan, these initiatives have led to new businesses in goat rearing, sewing, tailoring, and food processing (mostly through the creation of flour mills). The common interest groups of each of these business sectors decide how their businesses are run, and what resources will be combined in order to make them more efficient and profitable.

Creating change by speaking with one voice

Rural people now combine their voices to ensure that local leaders in their community are listening and acting on their concerns. This amazing transformation was accomplished by creating Community Action Groups, which work closely with other civil society organizations engaged in creating positive change that benefits the most marginalized.

The groups bring concerns forward and help their fellow community members resolve issues of shared importance, such as obtaining national identification and birth registration documents, school enrollment campaigns, community infrastructure such as roads and bridges, resolving community conflicts, and animal vaccination programs.

Speaking and acting together brings positive change

Some of the many successes Community Action Groups have achieved include the construction of a new road, relief and rehabilitation support for flood-affected families, medical camps to address health emergencies, and heightened awareness regarding the rights of farmers.

These initiatives in Pakistan have allowed people on the margins of society to gain economic independence and demand better from those in leadership positions.

The learning continues and so does the success

The 350 entrepreneurs recently visited other business leaders and others involved in local markets, learning more about the ins and outs of their trades, and sharing stories of their successes and failures.

The Community Action Groups enabled people to come together, share common challenges they face in their communities, and work together on solutions that were meaningful and sustainable.

The two-pronged approach of the work is creating new economic opportunities and enabling people to speak with one voice on issues that are important to their communities, as well as creating positive change today and improving prospects for the future.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Cash grants an effective way to help in the aftermath of a disaster

In early August 2015, Cyclone Komen triggered severe floods and landslides across 12 states and regions in Myanmar, affecting more than 300,000 people.

More than 1 million acres of farmland was submerged, resulting in food scarcity, loss of livelihoods, destroyed latrine facilities, and contaminated drinking water in affected communities.

In response to the devastation, HOPE International Development Agency (HOPE) collaborated with a long-term partner in Myanmar, Metta Development Organization (Metta), to meet some of the most urgent needs in communities affected by the floods.

In the aftermath of the floods, restoration of latrines was paramount. Without proper latrine facilities, disease spreads quickly, and with severe consequences, as water sources become contaminated.

With HOPE’s support, Metta was able to respond to urgent requests from community leaders in Tamu Township to help construct 142 latrines to replace the ones destroyed by the cyclone. The newly constructed latrines contributed to ensuring the good health and sanitation of 236 families and 2 schools within 4 villages of Tamu Township.

Helping people restore their means of earning a living was another top priority in the crisis response. To do this, HOPE offered small cash grants to families whose livelihoods had been taken by the cyclone. Cash grants are an effective means of support for people affected by natural disasters. The grants maintain dignity and choice for families, as well as support local economies.

With HOPE’s support, 314 families received cash grants ranging from $60 to $150 CAD, enabling them to move out of “survival mode” and take steps to restore their livelihoods. In Tamu Township, families used the grants to establish small businesses raising pigs, or selling fruit and vegetables.

In the agricultural communities of Yay Nan Chaung Township, located on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, families were devastated by the destruction of property and loss of crops and seeds. The main livelihood activity in these communities is agriculture. Families used the cash grants to cover costs related to re-establishing agricultural activities, including rehabilitating soil damaged by flooding and preparing it for cultivation, obtaining seeds, and labour. Families who received grants are now successfully cultivating onions, watercress, chili, and mustard, among other crops.

A year after Cyclone Komen, families living in flood-affected areas are healthier, stronger and more able to care for their own needs, thanks to the joint effort between HOPE, our partner Metta, and the families themselves. With a restored means of earning a living, families are once again providing for themselves, and the new latrines are helping ensure families and their communities stay healthy.

Friday, August 19, 2016


A Big Challenge
Far too many Ethiopians are forced to drink water gathered from filthy ponds, stagnant streams, and contaminated hand-dug pits. Prolonged drought has made the situation even more challenging. HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to tackle the water crisis in Ethiopia and we need your help.

Meeting the Challenge
Have dinner with us and help thousands of Ethiopians drink their first cup of clean water.

Our Time Together
Join us for a wonderful meal, the company of friends, silent and live auctions, great music, a short feature film, and an important opportunity to transform lives in Ethiopia through your giving.

For more information and to reserve tickets for any of the Film Premiere & Dinner events listed below, please visit www.hope-international.com.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Abbotsford
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Quality Hotel & Conference Centre Abbotsford
36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia


Kelowna
Saturday, October 29, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Laurel Packinghouse
1304 Ellis Street, Kelowna, British Columbia


Terrace
Thursday, November 3, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Northwest Community College
(House of Birch)
5331 McConnell Avenue, Terrace, British Columbia


Victoria
Saturday, November 5, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa
100 Harbour Road, Victoria, British Columbia


ALBERTA

Calgary
Friday, October 28, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Sheraton Eau Claire
255 Barclay Parade Southwest, Calgary, Alberta


Edmonton
Saturday, October 22, 2016
6:00pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Shaw Conference Centre
9797 Jasper Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta


Fort McMurray
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
MacDonald Island Park
1 C.A. Knight Way, Fort McMurray, Alberta


Grande Prairie
Thursday, October 27, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Pomeroy Hotel (Grande Prairie Inn)
11633 100 Street, Grande Prairie, Alberta


Friday, August 12, 2016

Complementing the hardware with software in rural Ethiopia

In southern Ethiopia, HOPE International Development Agency continues to work in a holistic manner by addressing the most basic needs of communities while at the same time ensuring that the people directly involved have every opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.

Over the past 2-months, HOPE and the community of Kalebo Laka, in southern Ethiopia, have been collaborating on the construction of a gravity-fed water system that will provide clean water to the entire community.

In Kalebo Laka, working in a holistic manner means that in addition to capping three water springs, constructing two water tanks, laying 4.5 km of pipe, and installing 8 wash basins (or what we like to call “hardware”), other initiatives such as training in self-help groups, water management and hygiene (the “software”) are taking place.

With the construction of the water system, families no longer need to travel long distances to collect water. They now have more time to embark on other endeavors that can lift them out of poverty.

Rather than spending much of their day collecting water, women now have the opportunity to join HOPE-facilitated self-help groups (link to previous SHG post) that provide training in creating and running income-earning businesses, access to low-interest loans to support business start-ups, and savings programs.

Water management committees, established as part of a holistic approach, are gender-balanced and work with local leaders and community members to ensure that water taps and systems are maintained and used properly.

Hygiene awareness training ensures that households have the knowledge needed in order to improve hygiene practices and properly store and use the water.

In some communities, HOPE’s Ethiopian colleagues assess if local establishments, such as healthcare centres or schools, could also benefit from improved hygiene practices and facilities. If so, they work with the community to ensure that hygiene facilities are built. In a community near Kalebo Laka, this has meant that well functioning latrines have been built at a school and healthcare centre.

Communities participate in creating the positive changes they need by being part of the assessment, planning, and implementation of a water system. They give time, labour, and local materials in order to ensure the success of the water system. They also take a leading role in ensuring initiatives such as hygiene training are well attended.

In the next few months, the water system in Kalebo Laka will be formally handed over to the local community, along with the long-term responsibility for the use and maintenance of the system.

While the advantages of the “hardware” side (the water system) are often more evident initially as a direct benefit to the community, it must be complimented with the “software” side (self-help groups, hygiene training, and water management) in order to ensure the positive impact of clean water remains for generations to come.

Women participate in a training session in Kalebo Laka.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rasma finds hope in a tiny seed

Rasma Simone lives in the coastal mountains of central Haiti, where she has been a member of the Chinchiron Farmer’s Cooperative since 1995.

Like the other members of the co-op, Rasma grows black beans and a variety of vegetables. The harvest of beans and other vegetables provides for Rasma and her five children.

Rasma is particularly pleased this year with her bountiful yield of beans. With the support of HOPE International Development Agency, Rasma and other co-op members tested a new strain of bean that proved to be exceptionally resistant to drought and disease.

The new seed, in combination with a particularly good growing season, resulted in the best harvest that Rasma and her fellow farmers have seen in over eight years. It has been a welcome relief after two trying seasons of drought.

Rasma’s hard work and a plentiful harvest paid off. Recently, she sold four bags of bean seeds back to the co-op. The beans will be stored in the co-op’s seed-bank until re-sold, at a profit, at the beginning of the next growing season.

With her earnings from the sale of seeds and later her share in the profits from sales, Rasma will be able to help her son with his upcoming wedding celebration and support a soon-to-be born grandchild.

The news of this new variety of bean has already traveled throughout the mountains of central Haiti. Other farmer’s co-ops are now requesting seed for the next planting season.

What an honor we have to walk alongside and work together with farmers like Rasma as they improve their lives and bring long-lasting change to their families and communities.

Rasma selling her bean seeds to Jean Josiel, a co-op member who is on the seed-buying committee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rajamma's journey out of poverty began with a self-help group

Mornings were always difficult for Rajamma, a mother and sole income earner for her family of five living in one of the poorest areas of rural India.

As the sun rose over Rajamma’s dilapidated little home each morning, so would her anxiety. How would she feed her family? Would she be able to hire herself out as a day labourer and earn a few rupees to buy food for her children?

Amongst all this uncertainty, one thing was certain; Rajamma and her family were trapped in poverty.

Like much of rural India, the area where Rajamma and her family live is incredibly poor. The majority of families struggle to eke out a living. Some live on as little as one or two dollars a day.

Over the past few decades, HOPE International Development Agency donors have helped thousands of families in rural India in their journey out of poverty.

Thankfully, we were also able to help Rajamma and her family.

Rajamma’s journey out of poverty began when she joined a self-help group in her community.

The group provides mutual support, including skills-training, instruction on how to start small businesses that generate a sustainable income, and small loans to build modest, but sturdy homes and support the creation of small businesses.

In addition to helping members transform their lives, the community also benefits from the presence of the group, through activities such as health-training, medical referrals, camps for schoolchildren, vocational skills-development, kitchen garden training, and meetings with local government officials to advocate for the needs of the community.

Today, Rajamma and her family are thriving rather than barely surviving.

Rajamma and her family live in a safe, sturdy home built with a loan from her self-help group. Her foot mat business, established with training she received and a small loan, is thriving and generating the sustainable income her family needs to continue lifting themselves out of poverty. She is meeting her goal of having her family be self-reliant and free from poverty.

Rajamma feels blessed by what has happened to her family and we celebrate with her. At the same time, we recognize that thousands of families have not yet received the opportunity to transform their lives.

You can give a gift today that will help ensure that another family will get the help they so desperately need in order to start their journey out of poverty.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Good news from Africa's youngest nation

SOUTH SUDAN - Decades of sustained conflict in the region, along with continued conflict and neglect in the years after the forming of South Sudan in 2011, have resulted in water becoming an even more precious resource, often leading to tension and conflict between communities.

Beyond being scarce, the water families do gather and drink is unsafe, as evidenced by the fact that one-third of children under the age of five regularly suffer from diarrhea, a potentially deadly ailment in this region of the world.

Communities, like Ganagara-Osumani and Nanzongozogo, suffered because the water they drank made them sick, especially the children. Finding water consumed a good portion of the day. Mothers, with children in tow, walked for hours each day to gather water from wherever they could. The situation was even worse in the summer when the streams and ponds dried up.

This past month everything changed for the more than 5,000 people living in Ganagara-Osumani and Nanzongozogo because of the support they received from friends of HOPE International Development Agency. After much effort and persistence, clean water has arrived in the two communities.

“People in this area have spent too many years without clean drinking water and many people have died because of what we had to drink,” says Chief Marona Sako. “We thank God, because today marks the end of this challenge.”

Giving these two communities access to water will help reduce water-borne illness and have a profoundly positive impact in how people care for their health and well-being.

Children will now be able to go to school rather than spending their days gathering water with their mothers. Most of these children have never had the opportunity to attend school. The education they receive will transform their lives, and even their communities, as these young children grow up and become leaders in their community.

Today we celebrate with the families of Ganagara-Osumani and Nanzongozogo as they begin to experience the life changing power of clean water. We also take a moment to say thank you for your support in helping HOPE transform lives in South Sudan since the country was formed in 2011.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

HOPE International Development Agency welcomes Dale W. Bowler as Executive Director & CEO

HOPE International Development Agency ("HOPE") is pleased to announce it has engaged Dale W. Bowler as Executive Director & CEO effective as of July 1, 2016.

Dale is no stranger to HOPE having served as a member of its Board of Directors for most of the past twenty years and, for the two years ending April, 2016, as Chairman of the Board. As a result of this service, Dale has an in-depth knowledge of the operations, projects and practices of HOPE and has had an opportunity to meet and get to know a majority of the staff and personnel associated with the organization.

Dale comes from an extensive and successful business background, including twenty-two years as principal of his own company. The experience he gained in project administration and budgetary controls in these activities will serve him well in this new role as that is the framework under which HOPE operates.

While serving with HOPE in the past, Dale has taken the opportunity on a number of occasions to visit some of the projects with which HOPE has been involved to see first-hand the implementation of the programs, and to meet the staff of the agencies HOPE partners with overseas to achieve effective project administration. All this experience will be most useful to Dale as he takes on the leadership of HOPE.

The members of the Board have enjoyed and appreciated working with Dale in the past, with his affable personality and quick wit, and look forward to Dale taking the leadership of the HOPE team and the new dynamic and energy he will bring to the organization.

The Board wishes to express its sincere thanks to Brian Cannon for his dedication to HOPE and service as Interim Executive Director and to the HOPE team (all our staff) for their maintaining the performance of HOPE through this period of transition in leadership.

The Board confirms that David McKenzie will continue his involvement with HOPE as International President, responsible for liaising with HOPE's international affiliates and advising the Board and management from time to time on foreign and domestic matters.

We covet God's blessing on HOPE and seek His wisdom and guidance for the Board, Dale and the HOPE team as we move forward to face the challenge of our mission to help the neediest of the needy in the world.

Thank you for your faithfulness and continued support.

Douglas Eacrett
Chair, Board of Directors
HOPE International Development Agency

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Clean water enables families in southern Ethiopia to focus on improving their lives

HOPE International Development Agency’s relationship with the people of Ethiopia spans nearly four decades. Early in the relationship, it was clear that a long-term commitment would be needed if the country’s poorest people were to become permanently free from poverty.

Whether it be the development of clean water resources, education, care for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, emergency relief in times of disaster, skills training, microcredit, support for women through self help groups, or health and hygiene training, helping the poorest of the poor lift themselves out of poverty is the goal.

From the beginning, clean water has been central to the work. When clean water is available in communities, families are able to focus on improving their lives rather than simply trying to survive from day to day. Derashe, a remote, mountainous region in southern Ethiopia, is an example of the type of commitment it takes to bring lasting change. It took a decade, but today, more than 90% of the 200,000 people in Derashe have clean water.

Currently, we are working in Bonke, another rugged region of southern Ethiopia. The goal is to ensure that more than 90% of the 195,000 people living in the region gain access to clean water within the next few years.

Help a person gain access to clean water today.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Markets an innovative approach to distribution of hygiene products

 Camp resident uses her voucher to shop at hygiene supply day at the Lisu Camp market. 

To support the health of internally displaced people (IDPs) living in camps in northern Myanmar HOPE International Development Agency provided hygiene products, including bathing soap, laundry soap, liquid soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, sanitary pads, towels, blankets, mosquito nets, and mats to over 13,500 people living in 42 IDP camps.

In order to promote dignity and choice for the people receiving the supplies, Metta, HOPE’s partner in Myanmar, adopted an innovative approach to distributing the supplies. Rather than handing out supplies directly to families, “hygiene supply markets” were organized. On market day, selected vendors set up booths to form a small market containing the hygiene supplies.

On the day of the market, camp residents are provided vouchers to use in lieu of cash as they shop in the market. After the market day, Metta paid vendors for the materials they had provided. This creative approach allowed beneficiaries to make choices and bargain for their hygiene supplies while supporting local small vendors and boosting their business.

Daw, a 49-year-old woman who received hygiene supplies through this hygiene market system, shared how she appreciated this way of receiving supplies, and the positive impact it had on her family.

“On the hygiene supplies market day, I felt like I was shopping, I felt very comfortable. Since personal hygiene materials have been provided to us regularly, our daily wages are better able to cover living costs.”

While having access to basic hygiene supplies is something easily taken for granted, for families in northern Myanmar who have been displaced by conflict, the provision of hygiene supplies is significant, allowing families to stay well and easing financial strain.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Restoring the health of internally displaced people living in camps in Myanmar

Daw, a hygiene promotor, shares health information with a group of women and children.



Health and hygiene can become a serious issue in crowded camps for internally displaced people (IDP).

Metta, HOPE International Development Agency’s partner in Myanmar, has adopted a peer-trainer approach to promote hygiene within the camps. The peer trainers, most of whom are women, are trained in reproductive health, HIV/AIDs prevention, health care, nutrition, personal hygiene, waste management, prevention of waterborne diseases, and environmental protection. Once trained, these peer trainers – known as “hygiene promoters” - both model and teach good hygiene practices to their fellow camp residents through information sessions, distribution of posters about health and hygiene, door-to-door visits, and facilitating regular camp cleaning days.

One such hygiene promoter is Daw, a 35-year-old woman who fled her home village with nine family members and currently lives in an IDP camp in northern Myanmar.

With a grade 10 education and an interest in business, Daw was an excellent candidate to become a hygiene promoter. With HOPE’s support, she participated in the training for hygiene promoters last year and has since been modeling and teaching good hygiene practices in her camp.

“At first I did not have the confidence to conduct hygiene awareness activities,” says Daw. “However, I have learned the importance of maintaining good health, the benefits of personal hygiene, and much more knowledge about health through the experience of serving as a hygiene promoter.”

With time, Daw gained confidence and became a respected member of the camp community because of her role as a hygiene promoter.

“Now I know how to plan hygiene activities, find out the needs of the camp, and conduct hygiene awareness sessions. As I gain trust from others, my confidence grows. I now realize that I have to observe what is going on in the camp environment to be a good hygiene promoter. I am very proud to be one of the hygiene promoters, as we play an important role,” says Daw.

Daw and her fellow hygiene promoters are making a positive difference, not only in their own lives, but equally importantly, in the lives of others.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Help families in Sri Lanka recover in the aftermath of a killer storm.

Sri Lankan flood victims rest by an evacuation camp. (AFP Photo)



Torrential rain, howling wind, raging rivers, and massive mudslides have affected more than 300,000 people living on the island nation of Sri Lanka in South Asia.

Some areas received more than 300 millimetres of rain in 24-hours, triggering the deadly flash floods and mudslides that have claimed 104 lives. The killer storm has forced more than 100,000 people to seek shelter in evacuation camps.

You can enable families to remain healthy and self-sufficient despite everything they have lost. In many cases, families lost all of their possessions, including their children’s school books and supplies.

A gift from you today will help provide dry ration food parcels, kitchen supplies, education materials, perinatal care packages, female health and sanitation kits, and first aid supplies for families in Sri Lanka.

Donate to provide emergency supplies today

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Restoring dignity and hope in Myanmar

For families living in camps for Internally Displaced People in northern Myanmar, every-day life is a struggle to survive, let alone feel dignified.

As a result of ongoing conflict between the Kachin Independence Army and the state, 100,000 people have fled their homes and now live in crowded camps. While they dream of returning home, the reality of landmines, destroyed infrastructure, and ongoing fighting in or near their villages prevents them from returning. In the meantime, they are faced with the reality of camp shelters falling into disrepair, a lack of resources to cover basic necessities such as personal hygiene supplies, and coping with insufficient or unsafe places to bath or use the washroom.

In response, HOPE International Development Agency has been working closely with a partner organization in Myanmar since 2011, providing practical support to meet these needs and restore dignity to families living in the camps.

The conflict in Myanmar is a protracted one. HOPE’s commitment to internally displaced families in the country is long-term.

Over the past few years, donors have supported health care, early childcare development, education, agriculture, and income-generation programs for families living in the camps.

This past year, donors provided support to build and repair shelters, construct latrines, and provide bathing spaces and hand-washing stations that are safe for women and children living in camps across northern Myanmar.

While a return home may still be in the distant future, families can live with dignity when they have secure shelters and the means to stay healthy and safe.

New shelters are helping displaced families in Myanmar regain their dignity.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Clean water changes everything



Of the 80 million people who live in rural Ethiopia, 51% lack access to clean water, and 72% lack access to proper sanitation.

Since 2000, HOPE International Development Agency has helped 300,000 rural Ethiopians gain access to clean water, right in their communities in southern Ethiopia.

Within the next 5 years, HOPE will help 100,000 more people in southern Ethiopia will gain access to clean water.

When clean water is present, families are able to focus on improving their lives through health education and hygiene training. They are also able to increase their income by participating in self help groups that provide mutual support, income-earning skills training, and low-interest loans that enable women to start businesses.

Given the remote and rugged terrain of southern Ethiopia, it costs $750 to provide clean water for one family. That's just $125 per child or adult, for a lifetime of clean water and all that comes with it.

Help a person gain access to clean water today.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Working together to create lasting change


When looking at problems in the developing world, solutions often seem simple. If a community needs water, a well is dug. If a natural disaster destroys a home, a replacement home is built.

While these solutions are clear, direct, and helpful, sometimes equally impactful initiatives, such as self help groups, are more nuanced.

For over 15-years HOPE International Development Agency has been involved in establishing self help groups in India, Cambodia, and most recently, Ethiopia.

At first glance, it may be difficult to see how self help groups could be on par with access to clean water or desperately needed shelter, but dig a little deeper and their magnificence comes to life.

The groups are essentially savings and loan support. While initially guided by a facilitator, in the end it is the women who participate that decide how the groups will be structured and what their purpose will be.

In each location, the groups take on a unique look and feel depending on the needs of the women involved. Saving as little as 15 cents a week, the women can soon start taking out small, low-interest loans to begin income-generating activities.

Aster Tsilo, a woman who recently joined a self help group in Ethiopia, explains how these small amounts can start to make a big difference.

“I joined the self help group 7-months ago. Like all other members of my group, I started saving 2 Birr (15 cents) a week. I received training and technical support on savings and establishing income-generating activities. I started by taking a loan of 200 Birr ($13) and began buying and reselling vegetables. As my experience grew, I started to sell butter as well,” says Aster.

“After paying back my initial loan, I took another loan of 400 Birr ($26) and began to expand my business to new markets nearby. As a result, I am currently saving 14 Birr (95 cents) a week. Before joining the group, my husband and I had been feeding our family two times a day. Now we can manage three times per day,” states Aster.

While the direct economic benefits of self help groups are clear from stories like Aster’s, the groups also lead to a shift in decision making within communities. Women have an outlet to develop their skills and contribute economically that may not have existed before.

As Aster explains, her husband was skeptical at first.

“He was not willing to allow me to join the self help group as women are usually not supposed to go out in public and participate in meetings and other events. However, after I raised the idea repeatedly, he allowed me to join. The situation has now changed completely. While decisions within our family used to be made only by my husband, now we make decisions after consulting with each other and he is supporting me in both my income generating activities and savings.”

From Aster’s story it is easy to see how these groups can become massive movements as they have in India and more recently, Ethiopia.

One of the most impressive aspects of self help groups is their return on investment. A recent analysis found that for every $1 invested, there is a return of $173, an incredible rate and one of the very best for any development endeavor.

Self help groups have already changed the lives of thousands of women around the world. Women have strengthened each other’s voices and have begun to make change happen in their families, communities, and relationships.

While self help groups may not be as tangible as water well or a replacement home, the impact is just as important. With support from HOPE International Development Agency, partners can continue to facilitate these life-changing groups that contribute to the holistic, inclusive, local-led development that HOPE strives to accomplish.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nepal earthquake survivors building better lives


By the time the earthquake and aftershocks that struck Nepal last April had subsided, 9,000 people were dead, 22,000 were injured, and 800,000 homes lay in ruin.

Sumitra, a life-long resident of Sunkhani, located in the Nuwakot District of central Nepal, was among the survivors.

Recently, one of HOPE International Development Agency’s partners in Nepal visited with families, like Sumitra’s, who have been working tirelessly to rebuild their lives, livelihoods, homes, and community.

Sumitra has lived in Sunkhani her entire life and works as a labourer whenever she can find work. Her husband left her 12 years ago. With three children and no income, life has been a day-to-day struggle ever since.

When the earthquake struck, Sumitra lost everything. In just a few seconds, her house, and everything in it, lay in ruin.

“I felt hopeless. My children and I had no food or shelter,” says Sumitra, recalling the terrifying event. “We had to sleep outside under the trees, with empty stomachs. All of our clothes, food, and blankets were destroyed.

In the hours and days after the earthquake, it became clear that it would take months, if not longer, to recover, especially for the poorest of the poor in rural Nepal, like Sumitra.

“I had lost all of my hope,” says Sumitra. “For days we didn’t hear from anyone. I thought that the government didn’t care if we lived or died.”

But Sumitra’s feelings changed when a relief camp was set up within a week or so of the earthquake. The camp would help build emergency shelters, and distribute food and clothes to the most vulnerable families, like Sumitra’s.

“I couldn’t stop crying because of how grateful I was,” recalls Sumitra when she found out that she would receive the support she needed to rebuild her home.

Today, Sumitra and her children live in a sturdy, safe home. This past month, friends of HOPE International Development Agency raised additional funds to start self-help groups for women in Sumitra’s community. Sumitra, and other women just like her, will receive training, support, and small, low-interest loans to start small businesses that will generate income.

Sumitra and other women in her community have lifted themselves out of the rubble of April 17, 2015 and rebuilt their lives, all through the support of friends of HOPE International Development Agency.




What HOPE International Development Agency is doing
Much more needs to be done to address the poverty that exists in remote communities like Sumitra’s, HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to work alongside these communities to identify the most vulnerable families and provide the support needed to construct replacement homes and establish additional self-help groups that provide women with training in animal husbandry, tailoring, health and hygiene, as well as basic education such as reading and writing. Two schools, destroyed by the earthquake, will be rebuilt so that the children can continue their education and the women have a safe place to learn and plan for their future.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of Fort McMurray.

Our friends in Fort McMurray have done much to help HOPE International Development Agency transform the lives of the world's poorest families, and we know that Canadians will do what they can to help families in Fort McMurray during and after this terrible disaster.

Friday, April 1, 2016


A Big Challenge
Far too many Ethiopians are forced to drink water gathered from filthy ponds, stagnant streams, and contaminated hand-dug pits. Prolonged drought has made the situation even more challenging. HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to tackle the water crisis in Ethiopia and we need your help.

Meeting the Challenge
Have dinner with us and help thousands of Ethiopians drink their first cup of clean water.

Our Time Together
Join us for a wonderful meal, the company of friends, silent and live auctions, great music, a short feature film, and an important opportunity to transform lives in Ethiopia through your giving.

For more information and to reserve tickets for any of the Film Premiere & Dinner events listed below, please visit www.hope-international.com.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Vancouver
Saturday Evening, April 23, 2016
5:30pm Reception & 6:45pm Dinner
Vancouver Convention Centre (West Building)
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia


Prince Geroge
Saturday Evening, May 7, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Prince George Civic Centre
808 Civic Plaza, Prince George, British Columbia

William Lake
Friday Evening, May 6, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Williams Lake Elks Hall
98 1 Avenue South, Williams Lake, British Columbia


MANITOBA

Winnipeg
Monday Evening, May 9, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Fort Garry
222 Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba


ONTARIO

London
Thursday Evening, May 12, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
London Convention Centre
300 York Street, London, Ontario

Port Credit
Sunday Evening, May 15, 2016
5:30pm Reception & 6:00pm Dinner
The Waterside Inn
15 Stavebank Rd S, Mississauga, ON


NOVA SCOTIA

Halifax
Saturday Evening, May 14, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites
1515 South Park Street, Halifax, NS

Tuesday, March 22, 2016




As we celebrate the millions of people who have clean water to drink because of the generosity of friends of HOPE International Development Agency, we are mindful of the 1 in 10 people worldwide who do not have clean water to drink today.

Having access to clean solves many of the problems of poverty.

Clean water significantly reduces sickness and death – contaminated water is responsible for more deaths every year than all forms of violence, including war.

Women and children get their lives back because they do not have to spend three to five hours a day gathering water – nearly all of which is contaminated.

When people have access to clean water in or near their communities they use their time to grow more food, develop new skills, improve their health, pursue an education, and create income-earning opportunities, rather than collecting water from distant sources.

Help provide clean water today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Aster transforms her life

International Women's Day - Celebrating Aster's success

If the experts at the World Economic Forum are correct, it will be 2133 before the global pay gap between men and women will finally be closed. That is 118 years: for many of us, long after we, and even our children, will be around to see it. Last year's prediction from the same experts was that gender parity would be achieved by 2095. As a global community, we would appear to be going backwards.

The implications are sobering. Development is not possible while half the population is left behind. Development is not possible when half the population has no voice. Indeed, quite the opposite: our experience is that true development is only possible when women around the world are given the opportunity and support they need to lead and to tackle the truly tough issues that are facing their families, their communities, and their countries.

What is lacking is not the knowledge or the will to tackle these issues. But when too many precious hours are spent fetching water, or coaxing food out of uncooperative soil, or caring for a child who is sick with diarrhea -- again -- there is no time and no energy to do more than survive. When societal norms dictate that women should have no voice, their ideas go unheard.

The problem is complex. The solution is, in so many ways, simple: when we deliberately invest in women amazing things happen.

For Aster Tsilo, a 35-year old mother of 2 boys and 3 girls who lives in southern Ethiopia, this investment took the form of a spring capping system in her village that delivered water steps from her home, and the chance to join a women's self-help group with her neighbours. With water on her doorstep, Aster suddenly had many more hours of free time each day. Through the self-help group, Aster accessed training, moral support, and two small loans of $13 and $26 to take advantage of those hours.

A year ago, Aster, like many women in her village, spent most of her day at home, cooking and cleaning, or fetching water. Now she runs a successful business buying and selling vegetables, butter, and other small items. She saves almost $1 a week. She has opened a personal savings account at the local bank. She feeds her family three times a day instead of only twice. The family dug a pit latrine. Most importantly, Aster's relationship with her husband has changed completely: decisions that used to be made by him unilaterally are now discussed and decided on jointly.

For Aster, for her daughters, for her sons: this is all transformative.

Aster is not alone. She is representative of 19 other women in her village who are also part of her self-help group, of hundreds of other women in southern Ethiopia who HOPE International Development Agency has worked with in recent years. She is representative of thousands of women around the world who gained the opportunity and support they needed to thrive through HOPE International Development Agency's support in 2015, and of the thousands more who will do so this year.

She is one step closer to the world closing the gap well before 2133. We are all the better for it.

Donate today and transform the lives of women and their families.

Friday, March 4, 2016


A Big Challenge
Far too many Ethiopians are forced to drink water gathered from filthy ponds, stagnant streams, and contaminated hand-dug pits. Prolonged drought has made the situation even more challenging. HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to tackle the water crisis in Ethiopia and we need your help.

Meeting the Challenge
Have dinner with us and help thousands of Ethiopians drink their first cup of clean water.

Our Time Together
Join us for a wonderful meal, the company of friends, silent and live auctions, great music, a short feature film, and an important opportunity to transform lives in Ethiopia through your giving.

For more information and to reserve tickets for any of the Film Premiere & Dinner events listed below, please visit www.hope-international.com.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Vancouver
Saturday Evening, April 23, 2016
5:30pm Reception & 6:45pm Dinner
Vancouver Convention Centre (West Building)
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

Prince Geroge
Saturday Evening, May 7, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Prince George Civic Centre
808 Civic Plaza, Prince George, British Columbia

William Lake
Friday Evening, May 6, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
Williams Lake Elks Hall
98 1 Avenue South, Williams Lake, British Columbia


MANITOBA

Winnipeg
Monday Evening, May 9, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Fort Garry
222 Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba


ONTARIO

London
Thursday Evening, May 12, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
London Convention Centre
300 York Street, London, Ontario

Port Credit
Sunday Evening, May 15, 2016
5:30pm Reception & 6:00pm Dinner
The Waterside Inn
15 Stavebank Rd S, Mississauga, ON


NOVA SCOTIA

Halifax
Saturday Evening, May 14, 2016
6:30pm Reception & 7:00pm Dinner
The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites
1515 South Park Street, Halifax, NS

Friday, February 26, 2016

The foundation of lasting solutions to poverty

Why would Thomas Buku, a 70-year old man living in rural South Sudan, take the advice of trained local volunteers leading a hygiene awareness program in his region?

The answer is trust. Thomas trusts the advice because he trusts the local volunteers.

“This is my first time attending this program,” says Thomas. “It has opened my eyes because it is only today that I have learned how to wash my hands properly. Frankly speaking, I have spent many years not knowing how to wash my hands the way it has been shown today. I am taking this message home and hope it will reach the thousands of people in my community who do not know how to wash their hands properly.”

Thomas trusts the trained local volunteers because there is a relationship between what they are teaching and what he needs. There is also a relationship between the trained local volunteers and the people, like Thomas, who are attending the workshops.

HOPE International Development Agency believes that relationships, and the trust they engender, are crucial to creating lasting, self-sustaining solutions to poverty.

Handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest, fastest, and most effective ways to help prevent diarrhea and viral diseases, according to UNICEF’s South Sudan Deputy Representative. Soap and water is an extra defence against disease that everyone, children included, can take to keep themselves healthy.