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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


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


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


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


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