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Hope for 18 responds to the immediate challenge of rehabilitation, medical needs, education and reintegration of these rescued child soldiers.
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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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We’re very excited to introduce a new agent with Hope for the Nations: Tiny Hands International. Working in Nepal, Tiny Hands combats the growing issue of child trafficking throughout the region. “An estimated 30,000 people are trafficked into India from Nepal and Bangladesh every year - with the average age being 15.”
Girls in particular are often drawn away with the promise of money and/or marriage but are then abused, sold, tortured, imprisoned, along with numerous other atrocities. Tiny Hands is combatting this issue on three fronts (an excerpt from tinyhands.org):
Data Collection and Analysis - Every week we encounter dozens of trafficking cases. By interviewing intercepted victims in these cases, we are able to gather a huge amount of up-to-date information about trafficking to be used in prosecutions and investigations.
Prosecutions - We believe that the prosecution of traffickers is one of the most important ways to fight trafficking. We assist trafficking victims in prosecuting their traffickers.
Intelligence-Led Investigations - We develop actionable and timely intelligence from which a specific trafficking target can been identified.
The other side of Tiny Hands International is ‘Children’s Ministry’; through which they are currently operating several homes in South Asia where children are cared for, educated, and given a place to call home.
HOPE is excited to be working with Tiny Hands on new projects to help further continue their work in South Asia to the benefit of children at risk. You can learn more about Tiny Hands at www.tinyhands.org. If you’d like to support a Tiny Hands International project with HOPE, you can view their latest project here:
HOPE Founder, Ralph Bromley, recently returned from a trip from Asia and shares his experiences and stories from the ‘road’ . . .
“I have recently returned from a trip to Asia where I spent time with staff and projects in Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia. One of my goals was to get an update on the issues of ‘Trafficking and the Commercial Exploitation of Children for sex’.
The exponential increase in the sex industry was obvious at numerous levels on the surface, but most of the trafficking and exploitation is buried under layers of complexity, corruption, and covert operations. At every level of civil society the sex industry is increasing in it's reach; be it on the street, within government offices, inside the police department, sex tours, inside brothels, or networked through cell phones. The demand for child-sex is high and the supply seems endless. Through my conversations I came to realize that the industry of trafficking and exploitation is highly networked. Collaboration between politicians, police, gangs, internet specialists, ground agents, traffickers, and tourist agencies all allow this industry to flourish. Billions of dollars grease the palms of those who participate. It takes 'networks' to fight 'networks'. Those of us who try to participate in stemming the flow of this industry must realize that the best way to fight this 'evil' is through collaboration and partnership. ‘All hands on deck’ are required. A committed network of researchers, communicators, intervention, intercessors, donors, entrepreneurs, caregivers, counselors, and volunteers all contribute to the tools of battle. Together we bring hope and safety to those caught in the snares of the predators. My first stop was MERCY PATTAYA, Thailand. Over the years HOPE and MERCY Pattaya have worked together in providing community-based care for children who have been abandoned or trafficked. Children come to us through relationships with the police or the child welfare department. Over the years we have taken in scores of children and have provided a loving environment for growth and development. Many have been restored to their 'lost' families or caring relatives. Those who remain are loved, cared for, and educated. My second stop was ALIVE MINISTRIES, Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Located in a shopping center just two blocks from the university, ALIVE is a storefront training center designed to assist vulnerable women engage in training which will enable them to find work and cope in the marketplace. Working in partnership with CAMBODIA+, women receive professional help in writing resumes, searching for appropriate employment, learning computer skills, practicing interview skills, and accessing a wardrobe and make-up center for going to interviews for employment. It may not appear strategic, but if these women fail in getting a decent job, they will often default to their former work on the streets. My final stop was MEDAN, Indonesia. HOPE's collaboration with our partner here assists with micro-loans for women in villages (2000+), runs an inner-city slum school (300 students), and operates a health clinic for the poor. A piece of land has been identified for the development of a medical clinic and vocational school. This is an exciting vision and you are invited to participate in facilitating the restoration of hope and health in the lives of many slum dwellers. Having returned to Canada, I more fully understand that the battle against the evil of trafficking and sexual exploitation of children is a daunting operation. At times it seems impossible to stem the tide of this raging war. However, I was a witness to many small victories. Individuals rescued, children loved and cared for, women being trained, and hundreds being educated. These individuals stand as testimonies to the networks who have band together to help. These individuals are living proof that your contribution to their welfare has changed their life!
Together, let us press forward in battle.
Many children around the world go to school hungry, including children in Kelowna. This makes learning difficult and often impacts educational outcomes and life potential. This Friday, Watson Road Elementary School's WE Club are holding a cake pop fundraiser to raise funds for Food For Thought Kelowna Breakfast Society, and a Hope For The Nations feeding program in Kenya.
The children are learning to be problem solvers by leading in this awareness and fundraiser campaign. The WE club are teaching in the classrooms, talking about what food security is. They are inspiring solidarity, compassion, responsibility, equality, and co-operation.
They are learning that we are all in this together, and what it means to value, care for, defend, and help others. Essentialy what it means to be a global citizen.
Each student will receive a cake pop. If a child draws a ‘winning cake pop’, he or she will be awarded a fun prize that has been kindly donated by community sponsors.
The goal is to raise $2,000, which would buy 660 breakfasts for the Hope For The Nations Kenya Feeding Program, and food for 1,500 children for two weeks here in Kelowna. We also want to encourage students to become responsible and involved citizens who have the confidence to make positive contributions in their world.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people then just feed one”. - Mother Teresa
This month, HOPE is running the ‘Will You Be Mine’ campaign in order to put a different spin on Valentine’s Day. February is the month of LOVE, but our goal is to move past the expensive flowers, the crowded restaurants, and the heart-shaped box of chocolates, and do something a little different. Instead, we're asking donors to expand their hearts and choose a different kind of valentine this year.
Over the course of this month, on our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thisishopeforthenations page, we're introducing 8 children who are in need of sponsorship in order to provide ongoing care, medical treatment, and education. You could sponsor by yourself, as a couple, or maybe get together with some friends and make a commitment to make a difference for a young life this month.
Sponsors and donors are the foundational cornerstones of our organization. Thanks to the support of our donors we’re truly able to say that we’re working to change the lives of children at risk all over the world and even here at home.
Colin and Valerie Muir has been long-time donors to Hope for the Nations. Their continued support has made the difference in countless young lives. Here, Valerie shares her story and why she chooses to lend her support every year:
“I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers and Colin has 3 brothers, 1 sister, 2 step brothers, and 1 step sister. I am a retired teacher and my career was absolutely wonderful, teaching kids from K-9 for almost 40 years. Kids have always played a big role in my life. We have 3 daughters and 1 granddaughter whom we have raised since she was 6. She is now 19; we have 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, tons of nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. I am going on my first Missions trip, along with my 14 year old great granddaughter, at Spring Break (March 15th-31st) to Guatemala.
Dennis and Diane Unrau (Director's at Children's Homes in Mexico) have a special place in my heart and knowing them has greatly influenced my support for Hope for the Nations. When I was going through a rough time as a single mom with a rebellious teen, Dennis and Diane were there for me. I am also familiar with Nick Arkle (Country Director in Nepal), having taught his daughter, Nicole (a wonderful young lady). I guess I just love kids and really hate to see them hurting . . . physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. I do what I can, where and when I can. Over the years I have enjoyed supporting a family of 2 brothers, a sister, and a half brother; the 2 brothers and sister have now graduated and moved back home with their grandmother; the stepbrother, I have enjoyed watching grow and mature since he was 4, he is now 10. God is so Good. He is my everything and especially my Peace.”
Whatever your reason for lending your support, we appreciate it, and we’re happy to extend you the opportunity to take part in the ‘Will You Be Mine’ campaign. Whether it’s through sponsorship, donation, or simply by sharing a Facebook post.
Please join us in welcoming the newest member of HOPE Head Office: Gill Drakeford-Lewis. Gill comes to us a with a wealth of experience as our new Community Outreach Coordinator. Here’s a little about Gill . . .
I was born in England, but lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for all of my school years. We moved there 3 months before the conflicts in Northern Ireland started which made life very interesting growing up.
I studied Business Studies at Portsmouth University, and came out with a BA in Business Studies. I’ve (allegedly) had several ‘big’ jobs in business, such as managing a brewery and an airport, to name a couple. I became increasingly frustrated, as I wanted to put effort into something I felt was worthwhile. A major accident and subsequent spinal injury gave me some much-needed perspective and helped me to focus on what was truly important to me.
My husband, Chris, and I gave up the rat race, and spent several years backpacking, and working at various orphanages and at an HIV charity in Thailand. This is the best thing we ever did. It gave our lives so much purpose. To make a difference to one life makes everything worthwhile.
Our lives are now busy as we have two children, Ella, aged 8, and Sam, aged 6. They are wonderful children (I’m not sure how that happened!).
After emigrating to Canada 12 years ago, a group of friends and I began meeting once a month. We decided to give $20 each to a charity of the host's choice. When it came to my turn, I wanted to do something bigger, so I suggested that we fundraise to build an orphanage instead. I started looking for an organisation to do this through, and found out there was a non-profit based in Kelowna. I called at the HOPE office and instantly loved everything about the people and the organisation. We helped to fund an orphanage in Cambodia and also sponsored one of the girls at the orphanage. The girl we sponsored is now studying Social Work in Cambodia.
I am passionate about making a difference, helping vulnerable children, and bringing people together to join in the joy of changing lives.
I love the integrity, the people, and the work that HOPE does. I told all my friends through the years that my dream job would be working at Hope For The Nations. My dream came true!