Empowering Children Today

We work through partnerships with local communities and organizations. We provide at-risk children with caring homes, health care and education.

  • HOPE Partners, Donna & Bill Reimer, left behind their life in Canada to work with children and families in the Dominican to provide nourishment and work towards creating self-sustainability.

     

    The Dominican Republic has the second largest economy in the Caribbean region. Much of the economy was fueled by the manufacturing of sugar which in turn created a great number of jobs in local cane fields.

     

    Unfortunately, the closure of the local sugar factory has led to high unemployment rates leaving many struggling to find work, and making it difficult to provide for their families. As a result, children are undernourished and denied proper medical care.

     

    In 2010 Donna and Bill Reimer left their family and friends in Canada behind when they joined a small organization that quickly grew into what is now known as Dominican Feed the Kids. In 2012 they became official HOPE partners and their work in the region has flourished.

     

    “Our priority program is the Hot Meal for Kids program,” says Donna on Dominican Feed the Kids, “Three days a week we have a hot nutritious meal for approx 300+ children ages 1-12 years plus around 30 senior citizens.”

     

    In addition, there is also a baby program for underweight and malnourished babies called ‘Angel Care’. The children range in age from newborn to 2 years old. They are provided with nourishment or medication depending on their specific needs and remain in the program until they’re ready to graduate to the Hot Meal program.

     

    Finally, the Family Food Program caters to families in desperate situations who are unable to supply even the food basics. These families receive a monetary food allowance each week to buy food.

     

    The final goal for Donna and Bill is to create self-sustainability for the people that come into the Dominican Feed the Kids program. “This is a long and slow process, due to the fact that for generations these people have survived on handouts not hand-ups,” states Donna. “We start with the basics. Instead of giving them food bags we now give them a food allowance in pesos, teaching them to once again understand how to use their income wisely and how to budget for their daily needs. Hopefully someday , when they can find employment again this will benefit them.”

     

    Not all families in the region have proper legal status so Donna and Bill also work to secure papers for family members allowing them to legally work in the country. They also teach life-skills including, job searching, on-the-job best practices, budgeting, and birth control.

     

    “We have also opened a small second hand clothing store where moms can buy clothes for their children at a very low cost, hopefully instilling the understanding that the necessities of life are not free, you need to plan ahead.”

     

    Donna and Bill’s work in the Dominican hasn’t come without sacrifice: “We have received a lot of personal satisfaction in being instrumental in helping these people,” says Donna. “We have learned a whole new appreciation for culture, both theirs and ours, it has meant personal sacrifice in areas of letting go of personal ‘stuff’ at home in Canada but mostly not being able to see and spend time with family and friends.”

     

    To change your life in order to make a better life for others often takes dedication, hard work, and self sacrifice. Donna and Bill are a great example of committing their lives to a cause for the benefit of others. They plan to remain in the Dominican to continue their work and help the people of the region get back to a place of stability, both emotionally and financially, and into a state of self-sustainability.


    You can learn more about Dominican Feed the Kids here.

     

     

  • Life in post-earthquake Haiti is not easy. The natural disaster that occurred in 2010 crippled an already poor country and damaged the cultural and political infrastructure almost beyond repair.

     

    Even now, 5 years later, there are still estimated to be over 700,000 orphans and deserted children spread throughout the country. HOPE partners, House of Moses, are working to reduce those overwhelming numbers by implementing mentorship, education, and life-skill programs for high school students who have been orphaned or given up by their families.

     

    We got the chance to ask John and Christi Barnes from the House of Moses a few questions about their work, their lives, and their hopes for the future for the children of Haiti.

     

    1. How did you get involved with House of Moses and then how did you get involved with HOPE?

    House of Moses was our "surprise child." The surprise came when we were working alongside a mission in Northwest Haiti. The director of the mission asked if anyone had a desire to work with 12 students who were about to ‘age out’ of the orphanage. My wife and I prayed about it and started meeting with the students each Saturday. After several months of walking beside these students, they began to open up and share their hopes, fears, and dreams. It was not long that God placed it on our hearts to move out of the mission with our family of 5, plus 12 Haitian students, and 1 interpreter, and began discipling these students and living as a family.

    At House of Moses we believe we should join God where He is already at work. Through mutual friends we were connected to HOPE and we are so humbled we are able to walk together hand in hand.

     

    2.  What is life like for you & your family in Haiti?

    Amazing, trying, exciting, frustrating...but perfectly in God's will. On any given day at HoM we could be caring for a burn victim, overseeing a soccer tournament, celebrating one of the 20 birthdays in the house, and cliff-diving.  

    Our family of five is prospering so much in their journey with Christ. I am so proud of my three children and their amazing mom.  

     

    3. How are your kids adjusting to life in a third world country?

    They love it. Sure there are some growing moments, especially for our 13 year old daughter, but she blows me away by her commitment to the call. Our two 7 year olds know it as home.  In many ways it is their first culture as we adopted Ava our 7 year old daughter from Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and Jordan loves playing with all his friends.  

     

    4. What have you been doing that has directly changed/affected their life?

    Working alongside the poor has allowed them to see what truly matters in life and that is relationships.

     

    5. Can you share a specific story of how you’ve seen a difference in a child's life/community, etc.?

    Oh yes! Just recently we were robbed for the second time. One of the items that was taken from under my 13 year old daughter's pillow was her iPod. As she awoke and realized that it was stolen, she responded by saying, "I guess they needed it more than I did.”

     

    6.  What are your hopes for the future and what plans do you have?

    My hope is to one day hear: "Well done good and faithful servant." My hope is to one day see my three children married to spouses that love Jesus more than they love my children. My hope is my three children will be serving Christ in their unique bent.  

    My hope for House of Moses is that it will be one day be in the hands of Haitians and we will see exponential fruit from those that have lived and been impacted by what God has done here.  

     

    Find out how you can get involved with the House of Moses

  • A true “Teach a man to fish” story . . .

     

    HOPE partner, Patrick Siabuta, in Bungoma, Kenya shares with us about his success with a portion of land he has owned for over a decade.

    “Eleven years ago we bought some land that had remained empty, aside from the flood water that comes every rainy season. All this time I saw no use for it except possibly for buildings. Then last year I was walking with a man who is an expert in fish farming. When we passed the empty land, he commented on the fortune he could make with a pool of water like that! He wondered if I knew the owner and wanted to explore the possibility of leasing the property for a fish project. I did not tell him that he was already speaking with the owner. I feared looking like a fool for not making good use of the land in all the time I have owned it. When he left, I could not stop thinking about his suggestions. I contacted another man, who I knew to have knowledge in developing fishponds. Within five days, the land was ready for fish farming. I called back the man who had first prompted me to action. He was in disbelief to see the progress that had been made, and even more so to learn that I was the owner. He continued to make recommendations for starting a fish farm. Five months later we were harvesting. We have been able to donate a portion of the fish to our children’s home. The other portion we sell, and have used the money to develop a secondary pond, which now has over 3,000 fish. We are ready for a third!”

    The fish farm has made great progress and continues to take recommendations to address the challenges faced throughout the process. One of the biggest challenges being the water source for the pond is rainwater. When the dry season comes, the pond begins to evaporate and many of the fish have to be transferred to the secondary pond.

    Moving forward, it would be ideal to temporarily remove all the fish from the first pond and dig in deeper allowing it to hold enough water to last through the dry season. So far the tilapia have produced about 10,000 fingerlings and with a deeper pond it could be more than 50,000.

    We are amazed at the transformation of this land and are so thankful for the benefits it provides, not only to the community, but to the children’s home at the Hope Transformation Center in Bungoma, Kenya.

     

    Read more here about what Patrick and his team do in Kenya

  • Amazing Race on a Remarkable Family Day.

    Family Day in Canada is a special time to recognize the important role families play in building successful citizens, vibrant communities and a strong nation.

    We have Family Day to celebrate the same goal in the Philippines!

    Following in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) the devastation was incredible hardship for the 5 million children effected, with most of them being displaced, many losing family members and parents.  

    Part of our development strategy in the Tacloban and surrounding area is to create day long events that  help families and children cope with the impact of the disaster. In an honest but hopeful day where hundreds of families come together for psychosocial support, fun and games and community support including good food, powerful healing takes place. 

    A highlight is "The Amazing Race: Family Edition”. Families are given the task to visit 10 Stations to do corresponding challenges.  Special prizes are given to the top 3 families while the rest enjoy a bag of relief goods at the reward station for their participation which is a creative way of distributing relief goods.

    To hear the full story of how Family Day effected Joanne, who was still traumatized by the typhoon, click here.

    Through the remarkable care and organizing of our team, children at risk are becoming children of change and vibrant communities are being re-developed.  Thank you for your support and care.  

  • An update from HOPE Regional Director, Karen Barkman, on the Ebola situation and relief efforts in Liberia:

    The instances of new Ebola cases has begun to decrease which is very positive!

    We are now dealing with the care and support of orphans as a result of the Ebola outbreak. Our children’s homes in Liberia have taken in children who have lost both parents due to the virus.

    Businesses are beginning to slowly pick up though many are still closed.

    Schools are scheduled to begin reopening next month. Registration is currently in progress.

    Unfortunately, not all of Liberia's students will have the privilege of going to school since the government is reducing the size of classes to reduce the risk of spreading Ebola within classes that were previously too full.

    Sanitization materials and thermometers will be mandatory in each classroom.

    Since there will be less students accepted into the school system, the school fees will likely become more expensive making it more difficult for students to get a proper education.

    We have been very fortunate and are so very thankful that no one in any of our homes or programs contracted Ebola!

     

    We still need your ongoing support to continue to battle this outbreak and provide much-needed relief where we can!

     

     

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