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Catch up with all the latest news happening around the world of HOPE.
We work through partnerships with local communities and organizations. We provide at-risk children with caring homes, health care and education.
Last month, Leah Jones, the Compliance Officer, at the HOPE head office, took a trip to Kenya...
Along with volunteers and slum-dwellers, the staff of Hope for the Nations Philippines has...
One of our goals, at HOPE, is to make education accessible to everyone, at every...
HOPE Transformation Center in Bungoma, Kenya runs a few medical camps each year for the...
Rancho El Refugio December 2017 It has been an awesome year at Rancho El Refugio! We...
Last month, Leah Jones, our Compliance Officer, at the HOPE head office, took a trip to Kenya to visit with some of our agents and see first-hand some of the amazing projects that are being undertaken. While the trip was off to a rocky start with some missing luggage detouring to Paris, Leah still came back with stories and pictures and we wanted to share some of her experience . . .
What made you want to take a trip to Kenya?
I’ve been interested in visiting projects since I first started volunteering in the HOPE office four years ago. I spent a lot of time traveling and experiencing other cultures in my twenties and I always had a feeling it would remain part of my life. When Patricia (HOPE Executive Director) said she wanted me to go to Kenya, I jumped at the opportunity.
What were your goals for the visit?
My main goal was relationship building with our HOPE family on the ground and gaining a first hand understanding of day to day operations. I went to listen to them share success stories, challenges, project needs, and to take some photos along the way.
I understand the trip wasn’t without its challenges?
My bag got delayed in Paris and was returned to me two weeks later! I picked it up a few hours before flying out of Kenya and went home with a bag full of clean clothes. Very grateful for those who gave me some helpful items along the way!
Which HOPE agents did you visit?
I started in Nairobi visiting Hope & Bright Future Center and Hope Gateway Education Center. From there I traveled to Kitale to spend time with Bethlehem Children’s Care Center and Out of the Ashes. I did an overnight trip to Bungoma to visit Hope Transformation Center and then ended in Mombasa at Akae Dwelling.
What stories did you hear while there?
Lots! Hoping to highlight some of them in months to come.
What was travel like within Kenya?
There’s always traffic in the city, and a lot of speed bumps on the country highways. Most of my travel was by car or plane, but my favorite was going by piki (motorcycle taxi) in Mombasa.
Did you learn anything new while there?
I was surprised to learn how long I could go with just the contents of my carry-on purse. (But I will definitely be packing dry shampoo in my next carry-on!)
What was the highlight of the trip?
The best part for me was many of the conversations I had with members of our HOPE family. It was so nice to build friendships with the people I regularly email from the office.
Will you go back?
Yes! And I’ve been told by all of our agents that I need to stay longer next time!
Look for more stories from projects that Leah visited over the coming months!
At HOPE, we’re always excited to see new projects launch. Over the next little while, we’ll be seeing four new projects launched that will help children at risk become children of change. From sustainability to education and beyond, there’s lots of amazing work being done by HOPE agents all over the world.
Here are a few highlights of the four projects . . .
PROJECT #1 - Kenya – The Children’s Transformation Project
HOPE UK is working with The Children’s Transformation Project in Kenya to build a children’s rescue center called Faith Village. The village will include several different programs including a water project which includes:
Rain water harvesting – reservoirs and storm water drains (90% complete)
Dam for large volume water storage (50% complete)
HOPE will help raise funds to complete the reservoirs and dams in order to harvest and store water for the village.
PROJECT #2 - Syria – Justice Rising – Scholarship Grants
HOPE has been working with Justice Rising in DR Congo since 2012 on several education projects. Earlier this year Justice Rising expanded their reach into Syria after site visits to Aleppo, Syria, where the need for Primary and Secondary School scholarship grants was identified.
Funds raised for this project will go toward creating scholarships so students can continue their education.
PROJECT #3 - Romania – UP Romania
UP Romania began building a Learning Center in 2010, after dedicating time with local representatives and community members to develop a project that would meet the needs of the Haghig community. Over 6000 children and young adults live in Haghig and the 5 surrounding villages. More than 60% of children drop out of school after the 8th grade, with a prospective future of becoming socially assisted, under-qualified, and unproductive members of their community. UP Romania’s goal is to create more learning and career opportunities, while offering social support to the most vulnerable members of the community, focusing on children and youth.
PROJECT #4 - Liberia – HOPE Liberia
Philip Pleiwon came through HOPE Liberia programs in Ganta when he was young. He is now Board Chair of HOPE Liberia and a successful businessman. He came up with the concept of creating a text book app for students throughout Africa to purchase school books at a reduced cost. He has spent the last three years developing a business plan and connecting with textbook companies and universities. Funds raised through HOPE will go toward developing the app in order to provide educational resources for students in Liberia.
More exciting news to follow.......
Leah is having a fabulous time in Kenya!
Hope & Bright Future School is a vibrant community within Soweto. It is a humble space full of heart with their dedicated teachers and staff serving 180 young children. Music could be heard beyond the classrooms, filling the surrounding roads and buildings with joyful sounds. A song and dance performance (by their award-winning band and choir!) were waiting for me when I arrived. It has been an encouraging two days hearing from the staff and teachers. Thank you for the warm welcome to Kenya Hope & Bright Future!
Learn more here about the center.
The Washington Post recently sat down with Cassandra Lee, Founder of HOPE agent ‘Justice Rising’ to speak about the organization’s work overseas, how its grown, and some of the challenges it faces. You can find an excerpt below along with a link to the full article:
Cassandra Lee started Justice Rising, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building schools and providing quality education in areas affected by war, with her husband Edison Lee in 2015. The couple started with one school in the the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the organization has grown in size and scope since then: Today, Justice Rising works with communities to run seven schools in the country, employing more than 60 teachers and administrators. They’ve also expanded to Iraq and Syria, countries that have been affected by the battle against the Islamic State.
I saw you recently took a trip to Syria and met with students and educators. How would you describe the state of education in the places you visited?
We mainly visited schools in Aleppo and outside of Damascus. We met many incredible teachers, faculty and parents working hard to see that children receive an education. Many young people are still getting the opportunity to study, but not without risk and overwhelming difficulties. Post-conflict, even basic things like paying for school, school books [and] supplies can be challenging for many families who have lost everything. We saw schools that were devastated by bombs and canvassed by bullet holes. The students have either fled their homes or have crowded into remaining schools. It was validating to hear a headmaster in Aleppo tell us, “To end terrorism, we must educate our children.” Our response to the crisis in Syria is to support existing schools and to partner with local educators to see that all students have access to a quality education and that teachers feel supported in their work.
Justice Rising has achieved complete gender parity in the classrooms you work in. What are some overlapping challenges you had to overcome to make . . .Click HERE
Click HERE to learn more about Justice Rising and how you can support their work.
Hope for the Nations Romania (also known as New Horizon Romania) was established in 2003 to work with families and children in the Brasov community. Originally formed to provide food, shelter, education, and healthcare, the organization has branched out to include specific projects centered around literacy and surgical procedures for those in need. Here are a few recent highlights from their spring newsletter:
International Medical Workshop Sf. Gheorghe Romania
With Prof. Dr. Reza Vahdad of Marburg, Germany. Hosted by Dr. Suzana Lorincz of Romania the team studied Paediatric Laparoscopic Surgery! Seven children received this minimally invasive surgery during the workshop.
Our 2nd International Medical Workshop this year focused on malformations in children. Dr. Mircia Ardelean of Salzburg, Austria led the team along with Dr. Szuszanna Lorincz of Sf. Gheorghe, Romania. 14 Children were operated on in total and given their normal physiology. A huge thank you to the team and those who participated in the workshop, in the O.R., and in the training room.
Free Pulmonary Capacity Analysis Sinaia, Romania
With the National Medical Insurance in Romania "quintupling" this year, the majority of the population is not able to pay and are not insured. To help out in a small way, we accepted an offer to partner with the Pulmonary and Infectious Diseases Hospital of Brasov to offer free pulmonary function tests on Friday. We no longer have our Mobile Medical Unit, but we were able to transform the Mobile Classroom into a Medical Unit for the day. We were happy to be able to provide this much-needed public service!
Mobile Classroom Easter 2018
The classroom continues four days per week at two locations near Brasov, Romania. These photos show the Easter fun while helping to keep everyone at grade level and enjoying school!