Often times, all that is needed to allow a family to escape extreme poverty is a small business run out of their home or nearby in their own community. A small loan and basic training can make all the difference in the world.
Building Bridges in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In many parts of the developing world, transportation can be undermined by changing landscape, lack of funding and lack of infrastructure. In the northwest region of the Congo, this issue became a striking reality in 2012 when a church truck carrying HOPE-donated medicines, was overturned while crossing a faulty Lumba bridge. Two women were killed and most of the medicine was destroyed. The Communauté Évangélique de l'Ubangi-Mongala (CEUM), or the Covenant Church in Congo, responded to this incident with strong support. From then on, through collaborations with a local engineer, local laborers, local materials, and materials shipped from the US, a new bridge building system came to life. These bridges are extremely valuable to the local and regional systems in northwest Congo. For example, one bridge called Kungu connects farmers to markets, allows for reliable transportation of goods, and sees about 20 trucks per day. A single reliable bridge has provided economic flow and prosperity for the communities that travel over it.
Women’s Empowerment in Nepal
In a few terrifying moments in April 2015, a massive earthquake killed 9,000 people, shattered millions of lives, and reduced remote villages across Nepal to unrecognizable piles of rubble. HOPE was there in the beginning with food, water, and building materials. Years later, we continue to help because it is not just a matter of rebuilding homes, but of rebuilding families deeply traumatized by poverty and the earthquake. Through women’s self-help groups, women are taught basic reading and writing, given training on money management and running a small business, and provided with an opportunity to take out a small loan in order to start such a business. These small women-run business allow women to function as an equal partner in their marriage, give them confidence to participate in family and community decision-making, and provide a way for the entire family to become free from poverty.