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The view above Ethiopia's capitol city of Addis Ababa. The view above Ethiopia's capitol city of Addis Ababa.

No, I am just visiting

An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I often think of that proverb when I consider the work we’re doing around the world together.

We are unifying people, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies around a movement of hope. We’re going far, and we’re doing it together.

Once as I was walking through immigration in Ethiopia, I learned I had mistakenly omitted the answers to a few questions on the admittance form. The security agent asked, “Occupation?”

I replied with a little chuckle, “No, I am just visiting.”Ethiopia-March-2014__0864 copyThis is the mindset of all who are involved with Convoy of Hope. We’ll travel to the ends of the earth to give of ourselves — not as occupiers but as visitors working together.

Alazer, a young boy in our feeding program in Ethiopia, is the reason we do what we do.The red dust on the playground swirls into the air as Alazer, 5, leads a group of about 30 children in dancing in circles and singing at his school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Come, follow me!” he tells them.

It’s evident Alazer is a leader as the boys and girls fall in line behind him, following him around in circles.

Alazer and the other children in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding Initiative at his school just received a lunch meal of injera (traditional Ethiopian bread) and sauce. Their energy level is high as they play.

“When I did not have food in my lunchbox, I was sad,” says Alazer, an aspiring doctor. “Now I am happy and satisfied.”

Genet Abay, program coordinator in Ethiopia, says 400 children are now being fed every school day in Ethiopia.

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From The Founders / Program Updates
14 pre-med and science students from Evangel University joined Convoy of Hope's Agriculture Initiative in Haiti to help provide education to local Haitian farmers. 14 pre-med and science students from Evangel University joined Convoy of Hope's Agriculture Initiative in Haiti to help provide education to local Haitian farmers.

What does education carry?

When we stepped into the church building in Turpin on a mild morning, 55 men and women were already seated on the narrow wooden benches, ready to learn. This particular Convoy of Hope Agriculture training session was one of four that we conducted in Haiti that week. We had a group of 14 pre-med and science students from Evangel University with us. Each of them had prepared to teach topics, ranging from basic plant nutrition to pest control methods, to new farmers in our ongoing seed program. It was an invaluable opportunity for everyone involved.

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When I look back on this week, a few things stand out to me that highlighted the significance of this trip, and of education.

I can picture the eagerness in the eyes of the Haitian farmers as they drank in the information that we gave them about how to make their crops grow well, so that they can provide for their families.

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I can see the kids filling up the doorways on either side of the church building, their curiosity getting the best of them as they passed by.

I also see the initial hesitancy on the faces of the university students as they stepped outside of their comfort zones and became the teachers, and then the way that their enthusiasm blossomed as the trainings progressed. There is a special joy that comes from having the opportunity to teach something meaningful, that you’ve learned, to others.

As a recent college graduate and someone who loves learning, these feelings are all familiar to me. I know, first hand, the worth of a good education. It is something that many people do not have access to all over the world. It is something that people are willing to pay a great price for, whether that is taking out thousands of dollars in loans or making the lengthy journey on foot to get to a place of learning. An education is something that these 14 university students from southwest Missouri now have in common with just over 3,400 farmers in the mountains of Haiti and beyond through our Agricultural Initiatives—and that number keeps growing.

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Our Agriculture program at Convoy of Hope provides many tangible resources to our farmers in Haiti but what I am most passionate about is that we are able to provide expertise in agriculture that has all but disappeared from the country. I believe that this education is the irreplaceable tool that we can place in their hands to create sustainable change. Although the resources that we can provide eventually reach a limit, education carries immeasurable potential. It is a long-term investment that can carry over from generation to generation, continuing to provide meals and lift people out of poverty for years to come.

Help Convoy of Hope to serve people from one generation to the nextGive Hope

 

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Agriculture / Program Updates
Gail Starnes, a local volunteer coordinator for the Convoy of Hope community event in Wichita was recently interviewed on the Brett and Sierra show on KWCH12. Gail Starnes, a local volunteer coordinator for the Convoy of Hope community event in Wichita was recently interviewed on the Brett and Sierra show on KWCH12.

Expecting great things in Wichita

We’re expecting an incredible day for thousands of guests of honor and volunteers on Saturday, August 2, at our community event in Wichita, Kan. Watch this local news story to see what volunteers and guests of honor experience at a Convoy of Hope community event.

Learn about attending, volunteering and more Wichita Community Event

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Community Outreach / In The News / Program Updates