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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!