July Charity Highlight: Hope International

Zuma always strives to partner with a diverse group of charities. Some, like The Salvation Army, seek to meet impoverished people’s immediate needs. Others, such as Hope International, take a holistic approach to fighting poverty and social injustice. Both are important, good work, just different models of care. This month, we highlight Hope International and their long-term model for overcoming poverty.

The organization invests in underserved families all over the world to help them fulfill their dreams. Most importantly, they share about Jesus and the Christian Gospel with the people they interact with, praying that Christ’s message of hope empowers them to break out of the cycle of poverty. Their goal is to restore people’s dignity.

            To accomplish that goal, they examine four dimensions in their clients’ lives – social, spiritual, personal, and material. With offered training and discipleship, these individuals can improve in all dimensions, and they’re equipped with tools and resources to help themselves. They don’t need to rely on others; they can provide for their own families.

            Hope International has set up their model into two parts – microfinance and savings groups. They offer loans to clients for starting businesses and bring people together to save money as a community. These systems enable clients to develop independence and build institutions like schools and clinics. They learn to stand on their own feet and thrive.

Hope served over a million clients in the past year, a testament to the effectiveness of their campaign. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve had to pivot and reframe their goals. Still, their desire to empower undeserved individuals to unlock their greatest potential remains the same. Please read the following stories to witness the fruit of their work!

Eckness, a savings group client spent years building up her daycare business in Malawi. The pandemic forced her to close her business for months. Her landlord still required regular rent payments, but she had no income to make them. For years before the pandemic, Eckness had been cherishing a dream: to expand her daycare into a primary school. Weeks into lockdown, she said, “My dreams are still the same. What is holding me back is my financial status, but I am hoping on God that one day this dream will come true.” I am praying with her as she looks with hope to God as her provider.

Another example of resiliency and trust in God comes from our program in Zimbabwe. Peggie, a farmer and savings group member, has lived through a two-year drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Farming watermelons, Peggie shares, “has provided for us a means of livelihood and has been helping us to pay school fees for the children. In this time of Covid-19 (and the drought) most people have stopped working on their projects due to low sales and low yields, but we have taken it as a God-given time to intensify our project.” The HOPE Zimbabwe team shares that Peggie and her family have used the lockdown time to deepen their wells (their water source) and widen their fields. They have also looked outward to their community, teaching others what they know about watermelon farming.

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