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We work through partnerships with local communities and organizations. We provide at-risk children with caring homes, health care and education.
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When a HOPE partner has been in operation as long as Hogar de Amor has, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to see the fruits of their labor spanning over a number of years. Hogar de Amor has been building and operating children’s homes in Colima, Mexico since 1996. They care for over 150 children on a regular basis ranging in age from newborn to college/university students.
For twenty years, the staff and volunteers have watched as children at risk have been given a caring and loving home, access to food and health care, and have received fresh hope for the future.
In their Spring Newsletter, Hogar de Amor shared some of the stories of the children who were raised in their children’s homes and where they are now and how the care they received changed their lives and we wanted to share some of those stories, long and short, with you here:
Valeria (14) came to us along with her older sister Nidia at the age of 2. She now attends our school Instituto Adonai.
Jorge (22) arrived at Hogar de Amor in December 1999 at just 5 years old. He was a nice little boy, although a little shy. School was a challenge for him, but with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work he was able to finish junior high. When he learned how to drive a motorbike and the orphanage pick-up, he became a great help around the home as he went here and there collecting donations and delivering children to different events. We offered to give him the opportunity to study a technical career, as we didn’t think he had the ability to finish high school. He took an electronics course for 6 months, but he insisted that he wanted to study high school. To our surprise, he finished his high school, all the while helping out as a driver while he studied. Once again he asked us if he could keep studying, and thanks to his tenacity he was accepted in university. He is presently finishing his Bachelor’s degree in International Commerce. He completed his social service in state government offices, and then his practicum in PEMEX, the national gas company. We give thanks to the Lord for Jorge and his perseverance. We have been amazed by all that he has accomplished through his tenacity and the help of God. Jorge’s faith, kind heart, hard work and dedication will help him realize his dreams.
Monse (18) came to us at 2 years of age. She is helping in one of children’s homes,Casa Esperanza, until she resumes university in the fall.
Noemi Monserrat Gonzalez arrived at the Casa Cuna when she was 2 years old. She was a busy (naughty!) little girl who insisted she wanted to sleep in a bed rather than a crib, and proved she was capable by never falling out. She is now 12 years old and has changed so much. This past school year, in particular, she has excelled to achieve second place in her 6th grade class. She has matured in other areas as well. She helps in the kitchen with lunch prep and preparing snacks for the children to take to school. She helps us keep an eye on the three younger girls in the home by anticipating their antics until the adult in charge comes out in the morning. It is wonderful when we see our kids mature and begin to use their energy to help and inspire those that are following in their footsteps. Way to go Noemi!
Jaquie (16) came to us at the age of 3 months. She is presently in “Los Golondrinas” home, studying in grade 10.
We love to hear these and similar stories of change in the lives of children at risk happening all over the world thanks to the hard work of HOPE partners, volunteers, and supporters!
If you’d like to learn more about Hogar de Amor and lend your support, you can view their project pages HERE.
HOPE Partner ‘Love in Action’ operating out of Kenya, works to service the needs of widows and orphans by providing the means and tools to improve education and health through training and project-based programs. Over the past several years, they have pioneered organic farming programs, sewing projects, poultry and livestock programs, and much more, all to create self-sustainability and improve the overall health and wellness of the communities in which they work.
Joni Eveleigh started ‘Love in Action’ in 2007 and here she shares some of her recent experiences in Kenya . . .
Here's a glimpse into my day. I'm typing this in the dark (well, I've got my candles burning) as our Kenyan Power is out again and has been for the last hour. It can go out from minutes to many hours. We often eat in the dark with candles. It's normal here on a daily basis - you just never know when it's going to go out so we're always prepared with our solar lamps, candles, and flashlights.
Yesterday I went to Sibanga to visit a children's centre run by Jeff and Carla who have been in Kenya for 13 years now. They run a large centre on 20 acres and have 165 children, a school, a medical centre, dorms for boys and girls; and are currently having a huge water sewage treatment facility built on their property. They only take infants or babies under one year. Usually the children are found in corn fields, by the rivers, left at the hospital, or even found in latrines. People bring them to the Children's Aid, who in turn bring them to Jeff and Carla's.
Let me tell you about Evans. One day about 6-1/2 years ago, while at the market, I felt this tap, tap, tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was Christine begging me to help she and her 2 children. One was Ian who was 3 at the time and Evans who was 8 months old and weighed 7-1/2 lbs. He was so tiny, emaciated with deeply sunken cheeks, couldn't hold his head up, or sit up. He was severely malnourished (as his mother had no milk or food). My heart was so moved and they were all so very sick. We took the 3 of them to the hospital immediately. They all had TB and were malnourished. Their mother Christine had AIDS as well as TB. Fortunately neither of the children had contracted AIDS.
We had to apply through the Children's Aid in Kitale to have Evans placed with Jeff and Carla's children's ministry. The doctors at the hospital said Evans wouldn't live out the month. But Mama Carla took little Evans, held him, fed him, loved on him and God had mercy on him - touched his little body, and strengthened him. As you can see from the picture above, he's now 6 years old, in school, active, and very busy. He's a quiet, gentle little boy with a very big heart and a huge smile.
I took Ian, the older boy, about 6 months later because Linda, my co-worker, and I found him during the rainy season lying outside his slum home naked and soaking wet. A neighbour said he had been there for 4 days. He was cold, dehydrated, and so weak. We wrapped him in my fleecy jacket, snuggled him tight, and took him to the hospital. His mother was drunk somewhere in the slum. After we finally found her she begged us to take Ian as she couldn't look after him.
We were able to place Ian in one of our children's homes with Kenyan parents, Linette and Joseph who have 7 other kids and he's been there for about 5 years. He's in school, healthy, and very happy.
Unfortunately their mother Christine passed away a couple of years ago with AIDS. She was 36. We used to take her to visit her children and, of course, that made her very happy. I'm so grateful we were able to take Ian and Evans to these children's homes where they are provided for, and are healthy and thriving. God saw these 2 little lives and has a wonderful plan and purpose for them.
Hence the picture. Yes, this is Evans! Doesn't he look sweet? Will see Ian this week as well. Look what love can do!
Thanks for praying for Ian and Evans and so many like him. Kenya is full of orphanages and children's homes.
In March we started the building of our multi-purpose facility & washrooms on our beautiful new 2 acres of land outside of Eldoret. Then we'll begin building the dormitories. So we'll be very busy. Thanks for your prayers for safety and security. We need assistance with getting 150 chairs, curtains, and all the musical instruments (guitar, keyboard, speakers, amplifier, etc.). Please pray with us about these needs.
Get involved and help support Love in Action’s work in Kenya!
The 2015 12 Days of Hope Christmas campaign helped raise funds for specific, tangible projects around the world and has brought smiles to many faces at The Small World in Nepal.
The three projects that were funded by the campaign reached a great many children and has addressed a number of their basic needs as a result.
Project 1: Toilet and shower room construction at new girl’s dorm to support bachelor’s of education
Our building in Solukhumbu now has the new toilet and shower rooms fully constructed! One shower room and two toilets have been built at the dorm from the funds provided by 12 days of Hope campaign. As these are the basic hygiene and sanitation requirements, the girls will now be able to begin their higher studies.
Project 2: Need for new blankets for the orphan girls at Himalayan Hope Home
The Himalayan Hope Home, initiated in 2013, houses 30 orphan Solukhumbu girls. The blankets that were purchased from the funds received from the campaign has helped The Small World replace worn blankets for the girls at the home. The blankets provided will continue to provide warmth throughout the cold winters in Nepal.
Project 3: Providing bench and desk sets at earthquake-affected schools
Funds for bench and desk sets have been provided to the School Management Committee (SMC) of Shree Kalika Devi Secondary School, Panchan, Solukhumbu. The funds were disseminated after signing an MOU with the school assuring that the funds will only be used for purchasing 40 desk and bench sets which will accommodate 120 students. The purchases will be made after completion of ongoing reconstruction of classrooms in the school which was damaged during the earthquake.
Check out more photos of these projects on our Facebook page!
HOPE Partner ‘Hope for the Nations - Romania’ shares some great news this month for one of the young girls from their Families Project in Budila. Back in March, Mark and Coreen Biech from HFTN Romania received the news that Angela had been accepted on the list in Bucharest to receive Cochlear Implant Surgery for free, courtesy of The Romanian Department of Health.
A Cochlear Implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears. The implant bypasses the normal hearing process by transmitting a signal to an array of electrodes placed in the cochlea (inner ear), which stimulate the cochlear nerve allowing the patient to hear. This procedure is now quite common in the US and is considered to be a remarkable advancement in medicine and technology. You can find videos all over the internet of people hearing for the first time after receiving the implant.
Mark and Coreen were very excited for Angela and the opportunity this surgery would present for her. “It's so amazing and we are very excited for her,” said Mark and Coreen via Facebook, “We are raising sundry expenses for her travel to and from the capital, stay in the city, food, mother's travel etc. We expect to need about 1000 dollars. A far cry from the 35,000 dollars this surgery normally costs.”
The week before the surgery was scheduled to happen the Romanian Department of Health made the decision to cancel the surgeries citing that the funds should be allocated elsewhere. With the surgeons from the EU flying in the following Sunday to perform the scheduled surgeries for Angela and four other children, the decision caused an outcry from HFTN Romania, the doctors at the hospital in Bucharest, and the parents of the children. A petition to overturn the decision was quickly formed and taken to the Department of Health. When there was no immediate response, Mark and Coreen spoke to the National Press about the situation who provided coverage including parent’s reactions and even interviewed the surgeons as they arrived at the airport.
Two days later, the day before the surgeries were scheduled to begin, Vlad Voiculescu, the Minister of the Romanian Department for Health came in person to the hospital to congratulate HFTN Romania for fighting for the children. Mark and Coreen took to Facebook to provide an update: “He announced at the meeting just an hour ago that, YES, the operations WILL CONTINUE. The doctors from Austria have arrived and are preparing the 5 patients. Since there was such a stressful start, the minister told all the families that they will be put up for the night in Bucharest at the expense of the ministry so that they can relax and regroup. The surgeries will be tomorrow.”
On June 1st, Angela received her implant and the prognosis is good. She’ll be recovering over the next month and during that time the implant will be monitored before being activated in early July.
Thanks to HOPE supporters and all the ambassadors, doctors, and people involved with HOPE and HFTN Romania, and members of the press who covered the controversial decision, Angela will hopefully be the first of many children to receive the Cochlear Implant in Romania.
In the Soweto Slums in Kenya, East Africa, extreme poverty means that basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, and education are not readily available. Children, particularly females, are often exploited and abused as a result and, unfortunately, the situation isn’t improving.
Owing to the high poverty levels in the slum, the majority of the mothers spend most of their time either at casual work or in their small businesses. Teen girls are thus left with the responsibility of doing all household chores including cooking, washing, and caring for younger siblings.
These girls are prone to sexual abuse and violence including rape, especially where the mothers are addicted to alcohol, hence failing to provide care and guidance to their daughters. The girls are discriminated against in education as the boys generally secure most of the education opportunities. Most teenage girls do not have access to sanitary napkins, a factor that adversely affects their school attendance and performance. Girls are forced to drop out of school. Some girls are exposed to drug and alcohol abuse either due to peer pressure or parent neglect. There are parents who are not keen on sending their girls to school and often prefer to hire them out as house maids or for other forms of child labor. Older women target teenage girls with the explicit aim of recruiting them into prostitution. Some teenage girls are forced to get pregnant and give birth so that the babies can be sold to child traffickers.
HOPE partner, Hope and Bright Future, is working to protect those girls by creating a housing solution that’s affordable and will provide care for the children living in the slums. Hope for the Nations is liaising with the relevant government departments regarding a piece of land which can be developed as a housing and educational facility for these young ladies.
The complex is being constructed using modified shipping containers and will house 4 bedroom units for 24 residents, seminar and training rooms, an office, and a unit for residential staff. The goal is to provide safe housing for girls coming off the streets, a safe and supportive environment for rehabilitation, and provide a loving community for single teens and their children. This facility will also provide an opportunity for the leadership of Hope and Bright Future to oversee the project while being accountable to and receiving mentorship and oversight from Hope for the Nations staff.
Visit the project page to learn more about the container housing project and lend your support!