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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.