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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It's #20bucktuesday at HOPE International

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. HOPE International's #20bucktuesday is a day for families like Sirimaya's who live in extreme poverty, without clean water and reliable incomes to support themselves.

With just a little of what you saved on Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can help families in Chapdanda, Nepal, overcome poverty and find hope this Christmas.


Friday, November 29, 2019

With just a little of what you save on Black Friday you can help families in Chapdanda, Nepal, overcome poverty and find hope this Christmas. #20bucktuesday is for families like Sirimaya's who live in extreme poverty, without clean water and reliable incomes to support themselves.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Change lives with Gifts of Hope

HOPE International Development Agency's annual GIFTS OF HOPE giving catalogue gives you the opportunity to give meaningful gifts this Christmas that change lives and last well beyond the season.

When families have medical services and clean water near their homes everything changes. The impossible becomes possible. Families become and stay healthy. Women join self-help groups and learn how to earn reliable incomes. Children go to school. Everyone’s health is greatly improved. Families are able to grow abundant supplies of food for their use and for sale at local markets.

When you help provide rural hospitals and clinics with medicines, medical supplies and equipment, you’re helping doctors and nurses treat injuries, illnesses and save lives.

When you give a child, family or community clean water for life, you restore and protect their health and enable them to start their journey out of poverty toward self-reliance.

Easy-to-make and highly effective, biosand water filters enable families in India to purify water right in their homes.

When families have access to clean water in their communities their health improves immediately and they are able to use their good health and time formerly spent searching for water pursuing opportunities to transform their lives.


Friday, November 1, 2019

This Christmas, the love you have in your heart can become a present that changes lives when you choose gifts from our GIFTS OF HOPE giving catalogue.

When you select gifts from this year’s catalogue, you are choosing to love families who have been pushed to the margins of our societies and world – they are all but forgotten. We remember them, and we take heart in knowing that you do as well!

You can educate children, help families grow ample supplies of nutritious food and start small businesses that generate a sustainable income. You can help plant forests of hope and help families cope with a changing climate. You can ensure that clean water is available right in communities or homes.

Want to do something special for your family and friends this Christmas? Give gifts of HOPE to celebrate and honour the people you love and care about. When you do, we will send them a note describing the gift you have given to a child, family or community.

Every gift in our GIFTS OF HOPE giving catalogue lasts well beyond the season and is your opportunity to share the love in your heart with others this Christmas.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Escaping one problem creates a new problem for Nyamuse and her family

Having lost her husband when armed conflict between the government and rebels spilled into her community of Nadiangere, Nyamuse Gidamu and her family fled to Maruko, South Sudan.

Nyamuse and her family took nothing with them when they fled. Even the most meagre possessions, like blankets, pots, dishes, utensils, water containers, cups, and agricultural tools, were left behind in the panic to escape.

Terrified, they traveled day and night for four days, not knowing the way to their destination. When resting, they would hide in the bushes. At night they lay awake and were in constant fear for their lives, alert to the sounds of snakes and lions.

“We had no future for our children because we escaped from one problem to another,” says Nyamuse.

Arriving in Maruko, they discovered that they had no access to a market, let alone money to buy necessities. For example, without access to sanitary pads, the women didn’t know what to do when their menstrual cycle occurred. Evenings were spent collecting firewood to keep them warm at night because they had no blankets for warmth or protection from mosquitos. Lying on the ground, huddled with her family beside the dying fire, Nyamuse still had the tenacity to thank God for her life.

Today, as a result of emergency relief support from HOPE International Development Agency in partnership with the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), Nyamuse and her family have access to agricultural tools for cultivating crops, food items, soaps, and other necessities. They are doing much better.

There are many challenges ahead for families like Nyamuse’s, but HOPE, along with MCIC, will continue to identify ways to improve the quality of life for families who have lost everything.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Maruko and the Snails

Maruko, a county in South Sudan, has seen little development over the years.

Basic infrastructure such as roads, schools and health facilities are non-existent and problems are further compounded by political, economic and social instability rampant in the country. Maruko’s remote location makes it challenging to access and it is not frequently visited by government officials or neighboring community leaders.

Recently, Maruko has been receiving a large number of persons who have been displaced from neighboring conflict-ridden areas, creating an even more urgent atmosphere.

Local leaders including women’s groups, chiefs, and clergy have gotten together to assess their situation and identify major areas of concern: a school, utensils, agricultural tools, road access, food insecurity, high maternal mortality rate, washing soap, and salt were outlined in their report. The council stated that their number one need was agricultural tools to address food security for the growing community.

A main concern in regard to food security has to do with snails destroying the harvest. Every three years there is an infestation of snails that can last for up to three years. At night the snails can travel over sleeping bodies making sleep uncomfortable. In addition, the snails eat all the edible crops such as groundnuts, maize, young millet, and pumpkins to name a few and this causes entire communities to have to migrate in search of food.

HOPE International Development Agency and the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) continue to partner to provide emergency relief support for persons who are displaced and living in Maruko. Thus far agricultural tools for cultivating crops, food items, and soaps have been distributed.
Currently, school is held outdoors in Maruko.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Impact of Clean Water in Southern Ethiopia

Families in Kole Zale and Kole Kanchame are as excited as we are as #NOMORETHICKWATER closes in on $50,000 raised for clean water.

The funds will help bring clean water to 650 families, like Shancote's, living in the two communities: that’s 4,000 people!
Working together with local HOPE staff, families are involved with every aspect of bringing clean water to their communities, including preliminary work underway to:
  • Cap four mountain springs 
  • Lay nine kms of water pipe 
  • Construct 21 community water points, including two schools, two health clinics, and one health centre

Clean water is available within minutes of every home. Health and sanitation training, combined with latrines, reduce sickness and support good health for everyone. Women create self-help groups, learn income earning skills, start businesses, and save money for the future. Families become self-reliant and their children go to school.

Local HOPE staff live and work in the community for four months while the system is being built. One local HOPE staff person remains in the village for up to two years, supporting self-help groups, training, and assisting with the management and maintenance of the water system.

In the decades HOPE International Development Agency has been working alongside families in Ethiopia:
  • 300,000 people have clean water
  • 110 water systems built
  • 5,400 kms of pipe installed
  • Hundreds of self-help groups established Thousands of women and their families have achieved self-reliance

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

There is no water where Shancote and her children stand, just dirt and dust.

Kilometers away, high on the mountain, there is water, and it is gushing to the surface, forming a spring.

As the water flows from spring, it becomes a fast-moving stream. The current continually erodes the undergrowth, adding mud, twigs, leaves, and other debris to the flow rushing through the forest and down the mountainside.

Further down the mountain, the stream slows and becomes shallow, having arrived at the lower reaches of the forest. Cattle meander across the breadth of the water, tracking more dirt into the water and leaving their droppings. Today, like so many other days, the cattle stop to drink and eye the mothers on the banks of the stream, carrying their laundry further up the narrow bank.

Hours from where Shancote and her children began their journey, they now stand at a bend in stream’s edge. Shancote kneels and plunges the clothes in and out, methodically rinsing away the dirt. A few feet away, her children, barefoot and delighted, play in the stream. It’s a rare day today: her children are not sick, at least at the moment.

Shancote, having finished her clothes washing, walks to a pond further downstream where she gathers today’s water.

At the pond, Shancote scoops out some water into her palms. As she brings it to her lips, she picks out a piece of dirty grass and takes a sip, and says to herself,“We live like cattle.”

After filling her large water jug, she finishes her thought by saying, “We want to live like people,” as she and her children begin the long journey home.

Visit #nomorethickwater today and learn how you can help Shancote realize her dream of living like people, not cattle.

Friday, September 6, 2019

This is Life for the Zafo Family

Teddy peers past his mud-covered fingers, amused by what he sees. A cloud of mud stirred up by his bare feet has risen from the murky bottom of the pond and now swirls between the leaves and debris on the surface. Astel, Teddy’s mother, clears the debris aside as she dips her 20-litre container into the muddy water to gather her family’s household water for the day.

Her container full, the daily ritual is over. Astel straps Teddy to her chest, heaves the heavy container onto her back, and then begins the arduous, one-hour trek back to her home.

Astel will use this water for cooking her son’s dinner. Some will be saved to drink, and some will be used to wash dishes. Any water that is left will be used to clean diarrhea off Teddy’s legs. Today, just like many other days, Teddy is sick because of the water he played in and drinks.

This is life for the Zafo family; Teddy, Astel and her husband, Fanikale. They live in Kole Zale, located in the rugged mountains of southern Ethiopia.

Kole Zale is downstream from other communities in the area. These communities wash clothes, bathe animals, and drop waste into the stream that eventually meanders down to the pond where Astel gathers water while Teddy plays.

During the dry season, the stream will thin and disappear. And with the drying of the stream, the men of Kole Zale will need to find work in nearby communities. With access to clean water, Fanikale can choose to stay in Kole Zale and grow his own food to sell at the market. Not only will he feed his family and earn an income, he will also be there to watch his wife Astel become self-reliant.

When water comes to Kole Zale next year, with it will come women’s self-help groups. When Astel joins a group, she will be given the opportunity to learn income-generating skills, money management, and start saving for the future. With a loan from her self-help group, Astel will be able to start her own business with the support of her community.

When a water system is built in Kole Zale, the change will not only transform the community, it will also transform Teddy’s life. Through your generosity, he will never have to know a life without access to clean water.

Change everything for the Zafo Family, donate now at

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Solving poverty begins with seeing what is present, not what is missing.

Words used to describe poverty often focus on what is not present: clean water, food, education, health care, and opportunity to name a few of the most common descriptors.

Describing poverty based solely on what is not present detracts from what is present: people.

People are central to a meaningful understanding of poverty.

Clean water, while essential, cannot love a family member, friend, or community, but people can.

Education, often a perceived guarantee of future success, cannot enable survival in impoverished circumstances, but the minds of people who have battled poverty their entire lives can.

People, including those among us who live with poverty, are capable, smart, and able to create transformation in their own lives and communities.

In short, to understand poverty and do something about it that is meaningful and long-lasting, we need to see what is present: people.

Focusing only on what is not present, especially in terms of resources like clean water or food, can inadvertently detract from what is present: people who will create solutions to their poverty.

In the end, people solve poverty – people like you who help, and people who are working hard to lift themselves out of poverty with the help you give.

Friday, August 23, 2019

We Can Only Be Human Together

Your humanity is bound up in mine, for we can only be human together.” Said by Bishop Desmond Tutu, this statement is true everywhere in the world.

Humans are made to rely on each other. Congregation is the pulse of any community, but what happens when we do not gather? How are children raised when there is no village?

With the help of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, the Sustainable Urban Centres Project is responding to the growth of urban poverty in Hosur Town, India. With parents working long hours and for little pay, children are left to navigate a growing world that depends more and more on technology and globalization. As the world becomes more connected, these children are becoming less connected and are losing world-at-your-fingertips access that a globalized world promises.

The Sustainable Urban Centres Project creates a space for high school students to congregate while learning skills they can use in a globalized world.

Beyond what students are learning, they see opportunities for a future that exceeds what they believed to be true. For example, Talent Promotion Classes enable young girls to interact with role models who have made their passions into careers. School gardens have been established on campus, and students are learning basic agricultural skills to pair with nutrition classes. The program enables youth to support one another as they face and conquer obstacles. All classes are held after school, encouraging youth to spend their free time learning holistic life-skills.

The Sustainable Urban Centres program not only teaches youth practical and fundamental skills; it gives them the chance to be human together.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Have dinner with us this fall and witness an incredible transformation as families in the Philippines journey from despair to hope.

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 through your giving.

View a brief update about how giving at last year's film premiere and dinner transformed lives.


HOPE International Development Agency has been helping families worldwide since 1975, enabling them to transform their lives as they gain access to clean water, learn new ways to earn a sustainable income and provide support to each other, grow more food, and restore the environment upon which they depend.

Monday, July 15, 2019


In the remote communities of Kole Zale and Kanchame, perched in the rugged highlands of southern Ethiopia, water is doing far more harm than good.

Today, the 4,000 people who live in the two communities will drink water so thick with dirt, debris and even dissolved waste from animals, that just one sip can make them sick.

HOPE believes that water should sustain, not harm.

That's why we’re launching #NOMORETHICKWATER this week - we believe every person in Kole Zale and Kanchame should have water that is clean and accessible right in their communities.

Visit #NOMORETHICKWATER today. You’ll learn about the challenges people are facing and how you can become part of the solution by helping raise $400,000 in the next 60 days to transform the lives of 4,000 people.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Clean water changes everything!

Life is about to get much better for families in Kecha Senga now that two of the twelve water points in the remote community nestled in the mountains of southern Ethiopia became operational this month.

Clean water, sourced from underground springs protected by concrete caps, is now flowing through hand-laid pipes that link the springs to water points (taps) located right in the community.

For the first time in their lives, people in the community have access to clean water. The arduous and often dangerous trek to gather water from unprotected sources, such as ponds and muddy streams contaminated with parasites and bacteria, is no longer necessary.

Clean water is often the first step in the journey out of poverty.

Nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide live without clean water. Most live in rural areas and spend extraordinary amounts of time collecting water from wherever they can. Almost all this water carries disease-causing bacteria and parasites.

Wherever clean water initiatives are giving people access to a reliable supply of clean water in their community, water system maintenance and management training are also provided. Also, latrine installation, sanitation training, health education, disease prevention programs, education, training, and increased food production methods often accompany clean water initiatives, ensuring that families experience the full benefit of having clean water.

HOPE International Development Agency clean water initiatives are transforming lives in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Afghanistan, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Learn more.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Without you, HOPE is just an idea. With YOU, we are a transforming force for good in the lives of the neglected poor.

Today, you can help transform some of the poorest families in the Philippines. Jimmy, an Indigenous father struggling to provide for his wife and children, describes the need.
“The hardest thing is finding food. Two of my children died, and I feel it was my fault because I could not provide enough food for them.

“We gather banana blossom, but we don’t eat it because it is the only thing we can sell to buy rice. If we can’t buy rice, we eat cassava. It fills our stomachs, but I know it does not have good nutrition. Many times, we have nothing to eat. And the water we drink is not good either. It makes us sick,”
says Jimmy.
The suffering that Jimmy and his family endure is relentless. His children suffer the most. His family and community desperately need food, educational opportunities, and clean water.

You can stop the suffering today with a gift that will help provide agricultural training, seeds, tools, education, and clean water.

It is not easy to transform lives, especially in the challenging areas where our partners are working. But it needs to happen, because the cost of doing nothing is losing lives to poverty.

Please help us transform lives today.


Monday, May 27, 2019

HOPE International Development Agency Board of Directors Announces New Executive Director Kim Savage

 Kim Savage, Executive Director

It is our pleasure to announce Kim Savage as the new Executive Director of HOPE International Development Agency. Kim has a heart for marginalized and vulnerable people and brings to HOPE a wealth of experience, capacity and energy.

In partnership with donors, families living in extreme poverty, overseas partners, and staff teams, Kim will lead HOPE International Development Agency’s mandate to empower the neglected poor, building upon a 44-year foundation of enabling people living in extreme poverty to become free of life-limiting circumstances through their own efforts and solutions.
As incoming Executive Director, I am deeply inspired by the work of HOPE and stand in humble awe of the partnership we have with you and those like you who care deeply and give generously to people facing unimaginable need. Together, we will continue the tradition of tangible compassion and life-changing action. I look forward to working together and seeing lives transformed.
As Executive Director, Kim’s skills, honed through more than 20 years of non-profit executive leadership to organizations and initiatives, will further expand HOPE’s ability to meet its mandate of empowering the neglected poor.

Recent work and volunteer experiences include chairing a non-profit task force to address young women fleeing traumatic sexual abuse in Mexico and working to address homelessness through a collaborative approach with churches in an area of British Columbia’s lower mainland. In many of her previous roles, she was responsible for increasing the capacity of an organization and enabling them to define and reach their goals.

Kim will be working closely with staff teams, the Board of Directors and donors to collectively hone our vision and look for new opportunities to expand HOPE’s ability to empower communities facing dire need. Her desire is to collaborate with all of us and build on our solid foundation of trust, respect and impact within the countries we serve and those who support our work.

Please join us in welcoming Kim to HOPE International Development Agency.

Barb Coyle
Chair, HOPE International Development Agency Board of Directors

Contact Kim Savage

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Marie Finds a Solution to Her Family’s Poverty

For Marie, a mother in the Ubangi Mongala region of Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo, hope arrived in the form of tilapia, a small fish.

Marie and her children were descending deeper into poverty. Fortunately, everything changed when Marie learned about tilapia and fish farming for food and income.

After participating in a training session and witnessing the success other families had achieved through fish farming, Marie took the first step and moved her family to a piece of land on the outskirts of her small village, built a new thatch hut, and hand-dug a large pond for the tilapia that would transform her family.

Having achieved success, Marie received additional support to increase the productivity and sustainability of her pond which now produces twice as many fish as it did before.

Today, Marie’s family, and hundreds more like hers, are enjoying the benefits of their labour with large harvests of nutritious tilapia for their own use, and for sale at local markets, generating a sustainable income.

Monday, April 22, 2019

More than 23 million lives transformed since 1975

Having a global impact on poverty starts with the courage of families struggling to overcome poverty and the compassion of donors who believe every person should have the opportunity to be free from poverty and live with dignity.

The support of donors, along with an integrated approach driven by the ingenuity of our long-term partners in the Americas, South Asia, South East Asia, and Africa, enables families to develop and implement local solutions to poverty that are effective, replicable, and sustainable.

This ensures that the life-transforming outcomes of every dollar given to HOPE International Development Agency are multiplied as families access clean water, grow more food, increase their income, restore their environment and health, and learn new skills that ensure their well-being.

The journey out of poverty often begins with access to clean water

The Tejeda family is a wonderful example of the transformation that happens when clean water becomes available in a community.

Prior to the completion of a community water and irrigation project, the Tejeda family struggled to make ends meet; there was never enough food on the table and no prospects for a better life.

After participating in an irrigation project in their community of Cazuela, a remote village located in the mountains of the Dominican Republic’s San José de Ocoa province, the Tejeda family irrigated their farm land for the first time and are now planting and harvesting 3 crops per year.

Today there is ample food on the table each day, and the income earned by selling a portion of each harvest of cucumbers and other vegetables has enabled the family to purchase necessities, including medicine when needed. In addition, their children are now in school and the family is improving their modest home.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Lucinola's community pharmacy treats more than 70% of health ailments faced by families in Los Naranjos, Honduras

In the final post of a three-part series on community pharmacies in Honduras we meet Lucinola Bustamante, a volunteer community pharmacist helping families in her rural community of Los Naranjos.

Lucinola plays a vital role in providing basic health care to families in remote areas of Honduras like Los Naranjos. She meets community members in their homes or at her home-based pharmacy, building a relationship with each family she serves. This relationship is crucial to improving health outcomes among families struggling with poverty and serves to strengthen bonds within the community while providing a sense of security and well-being.

Lucinola begins her week by visiting the local supply warehouse and picking up medicines and other health care products to stock the community pharmacy located in her modest home. After returning home, Lucinola begins visiting her patients for the week. Depending on the time of year, Lucinola will treat three to four patients per day. In the rainy season, when weather-related illnesses are more prevalent, the number of visits increases. Each consultation is free to the patient, and any subsequent treatment is provided for a pharmacy dispensing fee.

The majority of Lucinola’s patients are mothers and children. The most common health concerns are colds and flus, head and body aches, diarrhea, minor infections, and respiratory problems. Lucinola is trained to take blood pressure readings, temperatures, check ears, eyes, and throats, and enable patients to use a nebulizer which helps all types of respiratory problems.

Drawing on the training and health manuals provided to her by local staff, Lucinola administers basic over-the-counter medicines including pain killers like acetaminophen, allergy medicines such as diphenhydramine, vitamins, including Omega-3 which helps prevent and manage heart disease, and prenatal vitamins for women who are pregnant. While Lucinola cannot prescribe advanced medications, she is still able to treat more than seventy percent of the ailments families in Los Naranjos experience. Complicated health concerns are rare, but if they do occur Lucinola refers patients to clinics that have advanced health practitioners.

“I am so happy to be a volunteer pharmacist and help my community,” says Lucinola, who has seen a substantial improvement in the health of families in Los Naranjos since the introduction of the community pharmacy she so proudly manages.

Lucinola takes great pride in her volunteer work and recognizes the immense value her little pharmacy brings to the community of Los Naranjos. To ensure Lucinola serves her community well, she makes her pharmacy available to patients all week, day or night.

By providing medicines and medical supplies that support a variety of health facilities in Honduras, including more than 500 community-based pharmacies in remote areas of the country, HOPE International Development Agency is helping address a chronic lack of health care in the country.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Join us for dinner in April and May and help transform lives in the Philippines.

View dates and locations today and make sure you reserve your seats soon. 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 the Philippines through your giving.

View a brief update about how giving at last year's film premiere and dinner transformed lives.

HOPE International Development Agency has been helping families worldwide since 1975, enabling them to transform their lives as they gain access to clean water, learn new ways to earn a sustainable income and provide support to each other, grow more food, and restore the environment upon which they depend.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

How a community-based pharmacy is established in rural Honduras is as important as the services it provides

By providing medicines and medical supplies that support a variety of health facilities in Honduras, including more than 500 community-based pharmacies in remote areas of the country, HOPE International Development Agency is helping address a chronic lack of health care in the country.

Establishing a community-based pharmacy in a remote area provides a unique opportunity for people to work together to create a sustainable solution to one of the most persistent challenges they face – a lack of basic health care.

Before a community-based pharmacy is established in a community, HOPE’s local partner visits the community and speaks with residents regarding their health care needs.

If health care services in the area where the community is located are lacking – a far too common occurrence – the community is asked to collectively decide if the establishment of a pharmacy in the area would be beneficial.

The process of deciding is important because it enables community members to voice their health needs and help establish which medicines will best meet the needs of the community. Equally importantly, it gives community members ownership of the pharmacy and the health outcomes associated with the pharmacy.

As part of the process, one community member volunteers to run the pharmacy out of his or her home. Once a volunteer is agreed upon, staff from HOPE’s local partner provide the volunteer with training, equipment, manuals, and ongoing support through medical professionals.

The volunteer pharmacist stocks the community-based pharmacy with medicines and medical supplies provided by HOPE, offers free consultations and diagnoses, and provides basic treatments for a pharmacy dispensing fee.

Community-based pharmacies bring many positive changes to the communities where they are established. People are no longer forced to journey many hours to reach the nearest health clinic, nearly eliminating the cost of transportation and time spent traveling. They are also able to receive immediate help, reducing the potential for health complications which can have negative consequences. Medications, when needed, are provided at a minimal cost, enabling people to save their hard-earned income for other necessities. Being healthy, as a result of having a volunteer-run pharmacy in their community enables people to pursue opportunities to increase their income generating activities, bringing them closer to self-reliance.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Food crisis in Amhara, Ethiopia requires an urgent response

What a tragedy it will be if families who survived politically motivated violence that forced them from their home villages don’t survive – especially after all they’ve been through and sacrificed.

Frehiwot, our Ethiopian colleague working among the poorest of the poor in Ethiopia, made a promise to do what she can to save lives in Amhara. The situation is so dire that the Ethiopian government, who are doing what they can, has also asked for our help.

More than 90,000 people are at great risk because of severe food shortages that has the Amhara region of Ethiopia in its deadly grip right now.

A gift of $40 would help ensure that one family receives the emergency food supplies they so desperately need.

The families who fled their home villages and are now living in the Amhara region of Ethiopia have endured so much.

They’ve been forced from their homes, pursued by armed groups, and left with nothing but the clothes on their back and the meagre possessions they could carry. Some have lost loved ones along the way.

Your help today would be an act of kindness that will give these families renewed strength to overcome the fear and hunger that has become their constant unwelcome companion.


The first of our spring film premiere dinners is less than two weeks away, in Winnipeg, on April 12.

View dates and locations today and make sure you reserve your seats soon. 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 through your giving.

View a brief update about how giving at last year's film premiere and dinner transformed lives.

HOPE International Development Agency has been helping families worldwide since 1975, enabling them to transform their lives as they gain access to clean water, learn new ways to earn a sustainable income and provide support to each other, grow more food, and restore the environment upon which they depend.

Friday, March 22, 2019

World Water Day - a day to give clean water, not just talk about it

Facts without action quickly become mere sentiment.

As people in the developed world learn or engage with World Water Day, March 22, 1 in 10 people in the world are living without access to clean water. Most live in rural areas and spend extraordinary amounts of time collecting water from wherever they can.

The United Nations estimates that people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone lose 40 billion hours yearly collecting water: time that could be better spent creating income, going to school, and improving food production, just to name a few transformative outcomes that would be possible if people did not have to spend so much time collecting water. Even worse, nearly all of the water they collect carries bacteria and parasites as evidenced by the grim statistic that close to 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to water-related disease.

Those are a few of the facts. Now for the hard part. Will we take action today? We should, knowing the devastation being caused by unsafe water every minute of every day is completely preventable.

So on World Water Day, do not let facts become mere sentiment. Take action.

Today you can give to help construct a borehole well to provide clean water that ensures potentially deadly health crises, like diarrhea, dehydration, and waterborne diseases, are no longer a threat to displaced families in South Sudan who have survived so much heartache and been so deeply traumatized.


Monday, March 4, 2019

Join us for dinner this April and May and change lives in the Philippines

Have dinner with us in April or May and watch families in the Philippines journey from despair to hope.

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 through your giving.

View a brief update about how giving at last year's film premiere and dinner transformed lives.


HOPE International Development Agency has been helping families worldwide since 1975, enabling them to transform their lives as they gain access to clean water, learn new ways to earn a sustainable income and provide support to each other, grow more food, and restore the environment upon which they depend.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Clean water for displaced families in South Sudan

Families are out of options when they arrive in the Ibba region of conflict-ridden South Sudan. The only thing they haven’t lost is their lives.

Political disagreement in South Sudan, Africa’s youngest nation, descended into civil war in which nearly 400,000 people lost their lives.

Opportunities for a better life vanished as armed conflict between rival political factions spread and intensified, engulfing countless communities along the way.

Today an estimated 4.2 million people no longer live in their original homes or communities. About 2 million of those are displaced within South Sudan and the remaining 2.2 million are outside the country.

But hope is not lost. It can be found, right now, amidst the thousands of people living in Ibba, especially with the emergence of a peace agreement in late 2018.

The work being done, through support from friends of HOPE International Development Agency, is ensuring that the most vulnerable receive the care they need.

HOPE donors made sure emergency supplies were available. They also ensured that families uprooted from their homes and regular routine of life could begin rebuilding their lives through access to clean water, education for children, health education, and hygiene training, in Ibba.

Right now, there is a critical shortage of access to clean water in Ibba, an area under pressure because so many people have fled their homes for the safety of Ibba.

A gift from you of $50 will provide clean water to one person in Ibba. Having access to clean water is critically important, especially for those who are most vulnerable: children and mothers.

A gift today will help construct a borehole well to provide clean water that ensures potentially deadly health crises, like diarrhea, dehydration, and waterborne diseases, are no longer a threat to families who have survived so much heartache and been so deeply traumatized.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Community pharmacies play a vital role in providing healthcare to vulnerable rural Hondurans

Community pharmacist with some of the children who have benefited from medicines and medical supplies.
With nearly seventy percent of its population living in poverty, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Many Hondurans live in remote rural regions, working the land to earn income. Despite their efforts, they are unable to earn enough income to pay for basic services, such as healthcare.

Healthcare services, especially in remote regions of Honduras, are scarce, unreliable, and often unaffordable. There is a national health system in place, but the country’s resources are too limited to provide adequate services to the entire population of nine million people.

Many Hondurans are neglected and vulnerable to even the simplest health concerns.

Families, especially in rural regions, do not receive even the most basic medical care. Unaffordable and inconsistent transportation makes the long journey to a health facility nearly impossible. Add to this the high cost of medical treatment, and families have no choice but to forgo the care they need.

Individuals often suffer needlessly from common and easily treatable ailments such as fever, pre-and-post natal discomfort, malaria, infections, headaches, coughs, colds, and diarrhea. While the latter is little more than an inconvenience in North America, in Honduras it often proves fatal if left untreated. While poor families may try every means possible to reach health facilities and receive medical treatment, often it is too late.

Community pharmacies offer a locally managed solution to the challenge of providing healthcare in rural Honduras.

By providing medicines and medical supplies to support existing health facilities in Honduras, HOPE International Development Agency is helping address a chronic lack of medical care in the country. A local partner runs an extensive medical program across the country and distributes these items to many different health facilities, including more than five hundred small community pharmacies that are often located where no other health facility exists.

The community pharmacies provide healthcare to many individuals living in remote regions and are responsible for helping treat more than seventy percent of all local ailments. Watch for next week’s post to learn more about the vital role that community pharmacies play in rural areas of Honduras.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Women in Nepal working together to lift their families out of poverty

Self-help groups provide women with opportunities to expand their capabilities and begin their journey out of poverty in a sustainable, self-directed manner.

Santa Maya Bayalkoti is among a group of women in Dobato, Sindhupalchwok, Nepal who are working together to transform their lives and community.

The earthquake of 2015 destroyed all Santa Maya’s meagre possessions. But it took more than Santa Maya’s possessions, it took away opportunities for her to move beyond surviving.

Following the earthquake, Santa Maya received emergency relief supplies, as well as medicine, clothes, and a shelter for her family.

Later, Santa Maya joined the Godavari Women’s Self-Help Group as it was being formed, and participated in adult education programs, training, and a loan program managed by the group. The training, along with a small loan from the group’s loan fund, enabled Santa Maya to begin vegetable farming and goat raising. More recently, Santa Maya received training in raising poultry and buffalo. Today, she sells eggs and buffalo milk at the local market, giving her a stable, sustainable weekly income.

Santa Maya and the other women in the self-help group she joined after the earthquake are transforming their lives through their own efforts and through mutual support. Santa Maya’s life is much different than it was after the disaster. Today, her family is thriving, and she is even able to contribute to the savings fund of her self-help group each month.

Santa Maya continues to be the author of her journey out of poverty.

“Thank you for giving me the confidence and support to start something of my own”, says Santa Maya.

Self-help groups, like the Godavari Women’s Self-Help Group in Dobato, function as microloan programs, but provide much more than financial assistance. They also create a community of women who encourage, support, and inspire each other to succeed in their journey out of poverty.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Mothers working together towards self-reliance

Today, 6,300 people in Yella, southern Ethiopia have clean water to drink, right in their community:

Children are no longer becoming sick or dying because of the water they drink. Gone are the 4-hour treks mothers and children made every day in search of water, most of which was disease-laden and potentially deadly. The risk of injury mothers faced from carrying 22 kilograms of water on their backs across rocky paths, is also gone.

Yet right now, many mothers in Yella are facing a challenge that threatens to stop their journey out of poverty.

Yes, the mothers of Yella have clean water. But while clean water is crucial, it’s just the first step towards self-reliance.

Having clean water solves the problem of waterborne diseases damaging the health of the community and taking lives. But clean water alone can’t solve the challenge of mothers not having enough income to care for their families.

Mothers in communities where friends of HOPE International Development Agency have given to establish women’s self-help groups are well on their way to becoming self-reliant and free from poverty.

Meseleah, a 33-year old mother in Yella, is a wonderful example of what happens when the kind of help you can provide arrives at the right time.

Support from friends of HOPE made it possible for Meseleah and 19 of her friends and neighbours to start a women’s self-help group, facilitated by a local leader in their community.

“Being part of a women’s self-help group has really benefited me and my children,” says Meseleah.

Meseleah and her group achieved success because they learned to save money, create and manage small businesses, and most importantly, work together to solve the problems of poverty in their community. Meseleah’s group created sustainable incomes by weaving traditional clothing to sell at the local market. Recently Meseleah took a small loan from her group’s shared loan fund and bought a milk cow. The milk Meseleah sells at the local market, along with profits from the sale of weaved clothing, supports a sustainable livelihood Meseleah has created to feed, clothe, and educate her children.

There are mothers who have not yet received the help that transformed Meseleah and her family. A woman’s self-help group of 15 - 20 women costs $125 per woman. A gift of $125 covers the cost of training, support, and the establishment of a group loan fund that a mother can access to establish a small business that will generate a sustainable livelihood for her family.

Women’s self-help groups, and the mothers who participate in the groups, become self-reliant.

Each time a mother takes a modest loan to establish a small business to support her family, she pays an affordable amount of interest, along with the loan amount, back to her group, growing the loan fund. The more a mother puts into savings, the more she can borrow to expand her business and create even more income. The value women place on supporting each other and working together is evident in the loan repayment rate, which is 100% for groups previously established.

Help a mother in Ethiopia become self-reliant.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

International Development Week 2019: Together for Gender Equality

A rural community in Ethiopia celebrates the installation of a new water system.

Across Canada, this week is dedicated to international development. Since 1991, International Development Week (IDW) has sought to inspire Canadians nationwide to learn more about global issues and initiatives and become active in bringing positive change.

This year’s theme, “Together for Gender Equality”, embodies Canada’s commitment to the global effort to address gender inequality and encourages all Canadians to be change-makers in advancing gender equality in the world.

HOPE International Development Agency works to reduce poverty on a global scale. With projects throughout the world, HOPE supports the poorest of the poor to establish self-determined, self-reliant lives.

The journey to self-reliance often begins with micro loans for women to start a small-scale business, or access to clean water to stay healthy, or school education for children, or supporting women to become leaders and advocates in their communities, or trainings in new agricultural methods that help to reduce consequences of climate change and natural disasters. In most cases, people living in poverty already know what they need, but they just don’t have the means to do so.

Donors who support the work of HOPE make a huge difference in people’s lives through their generous gifts. They not only bring hope to people, but they also bring empowerment and support them in leading dignified lives.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Helping displaced families in northern Afghanistan survive the winter

Families held on as long as they could. But in the end, fighting in their area forced them to flee their homes. They ended up in Aliabad, a dusty town in northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz Province.

Prolonged drought throughout much of Afghanistan in late 2018 has added to the challenges and misery displaced families in Aliabad are facing right now.

Drought-related conditions and crop failures affected the families on two fronts. They were unable to grow their own food, and they were unable to work in their traditional occupation as day labourers on local farms.

Insecurity in the region, combined with severe food insecurity due to crop failures, food shortages, and an inability to earn income during the growing season, has put families at great risk.

Under normal conditions, families would have saved some of their harvest for the winter months and the income they would have earned as farm labourers would have helped see them through the lean times. But there’s nothing normal about life in northern Afghanistan right now.

HOPE International Development Agency has been responding by supporting families facing severe food insecurity in Aliabad. Women and children are a key point of focus right now and are being helped through the provision of essential food items including flour, rice, and butter.

HOPE’s commitment to these families is continuing so that they can survive the winter, and once winter passes, improve their lives in the long term through access to clean water and other supports.

Friday, January 18, 2019

A mother's journey out of poverty began with dinner and a film

Sancha Maya with her latest brood of chickens.

Sancha Maya was at her wit's end when people attending HOPE International Development Agency film premiere and dinners met her in last year's film.

Today, because of the generosity of people attending the dinners, Sancha Maya and her family, along with hundreds of families just like hers, have a different outlook on life.

“I feel I can do things for myself, my children, and my community”, says Sancha, now Chairperson of her local women's group and proud owner of a successful chicken raising business that provides enough income to send her children to school and purchase food to supplement what she raises in her new vegetable garden.

Today, Sancha Maya continues to move people to action by sharing her story and success with others in her community, helping them find ways out of poverty as well.

Join us again this year in Vancouver on Saturday, May 4, 2019 and help transform lives in the Philippines.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

A homegrown solution to poverty emerges among women in Sri Lanka

To say that families living in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota District urgently need help is an understatement at best. Repeated crop failures, coupled with few opportunities to earn a sustainable income, have pushed families to the edge.

There are 20,000 families caught in this desperate situation. Yet there is a solution on hand that will create sustainable incomes through a proven opportunity they themselves have identified: mushroom farming.

Perfectly suited to the climate and available land, mushroom farming is an ideal solution to the problems these families are facing. With a low cost of production and a quick growth cycle, mushrooms can be harvested and sold multiple times a year, generating a sustainable livelihood for households, the vast majority of which are headed by women who are the sole providers for their families.

A gift of $50 provides the initial funds and training a mother needs in order to create a sustainable livelihood that will transform her family.


Friday, January 4, 2019

In Tuticorin, too much water is as big a problem as too little water

Families in southeast India’s drought-prone Tuticorin district face two critical agricultural challenges.

The first challenge is related to an overabundance of water during the raining season, which floods their farm fields and damages or destroys crops.

The second challenge is related to a shortage of water during the dry season, which makes it very challenging, despite the use of crops well suited to arid conditions, to grow food.

Both challenges lead to the same problem; food insecurity. And food insecurity, if it happens frequently like it does in Tuticorin, ensures that families can never be free of the poverty that has held them captive for generations.

In general, there are two different kinds of agriculture: rain-fed agriculture and irrigated agriculture. Rain-fed farming relies on direct rainfall to water the soil and plants. In the right climate, rain-fed agriculture is less resource intensive and is an inexpensive way for farmers to cultivate their crops. Unfortunately, this kind of agriculture heavily depends on rainfall and therefore is vulnerable to shortage of rainfall, a frequent occurrence in arid areas.

Where rainfall is irregular, dry times or droughts are expected. Irrigation is an important way for farmers to ensure adequate water for their crops. Irrigation requires various types of systems (hoses, pumps, sprayers, drip irrigators) to apply water to the soil. There can be various sources of water used, such as ground water, springs, wells, rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, surface water, or even other sources like gray water or desalinated water. Whatever the source, it is crucial for the farmers to ensure that the water itself is not contaminated, in order to prevent diseases.

In Tuticorin farmers are using ponds to collect water. The ponds capture runoff water which is then used for irrigation. Each pond collects and holds up to 500 m3 of water. In rainy times, the ponds serve as catchment areas for excess water, preventing flooding and damage to crops. In dry times, the water stored in the ponds enables farming families to irrigate their crops, ensuring a bountiful harvest.

HOPE International Development Agency is helping farming families construct ponds that will ensure that there is the right amount of water available throughout the year - enabling families to improve their agricultural production, become self-sufficient, have additional food to eat, and generate income by selling excess harvests at local markets.