©2014 Convoy of Hope, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization // All donations are tax deductible in full or in part. // Delivering HOPE since 1994.
Missouri State University (MSU) and Convoy of Hope signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to increase and improve agriculture and water availability in Haiti and possibly other developing countries, through extension services and scientific and academic research.
The MOU is consistent with MSU’s public affairs mission; the three pillars of which are ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement. The agreement is also consistent with Convoy of Hope’s mission to provide help and hope to those who are impoverished, hungry and hurting.
“We’re excited about the opportunity this agreement presents for Missouri State students and faculty to share their skills and apply their knowledge,” said Clif Smart, Missouri State president. “Our partnership with Convoy of Hope in Haiti and other countries is a meaningful way to apply our public affairs mission.”
Under the MOU, MSU and Convoy of Hope will develop, execute and implement extension services, education and research projects pertaining to agriculture and other related projects. These projects will be planned jointly, subject to availability of funding and the specific approval of the presidents of MSU and Convoy of Hope. The university will serve as lead agency, and through its faculty and staff, will contribute expertise and experience in scientific and academic research, grant writing and application, and similar related areas.
“MSU has been a valuable partner for Convoy of Hope for many years,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. “We look forward to continuing this relationship so that more people can be served in the future.”
The areas of cooperation include agriculture-related outreach and development programs in countries where Convoy of Hope is actively engaged, including Haiti. Other countries may be subsequently agreed to including the Philippines, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, South Africa and the United States.
The agreement also involves student exchanges between MSU and Convoy of Hope projects for the purpose of education, training, community service, international development service and experience. Additional opportunities for further collaboration may be explored over time.
One of the reasons Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services Team is regularly one of the first to respond to disasters is preparation.
“After every disaster we start preparing for the next one,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director. “All our equipment is checked, cleaned, repaired and organized so that we’re ready at a moment’s notice.”
In addition to being prepared, members of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services Team monitor storms, earthquakes and other disasters 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We are constantly gathering critical information on events in the United States and around the world so that we can move quickly and efficiently in times of disaster,” adds Dudley. “We’re grateful for the supporters who have invested in Convoy of Hope so that we can bring help and hope to people in need.”
Currently our Disaster Services team is coordinating relief efforts in response to the Ebola Crisis in West Africa. Containers of food are currently en route. So far this year, the team has monitored 909 disaster events around the world.
If you’ve heard Hal Donaldson speak, you know that he has a way with finding just the right words to make you aware of something that you already wholeheartedly believe in but never had words for. A couple years back, he was talking to our team and did exactly that when he said, “hope is not expensive, but it does cost us something.” If I remember right, Hal was making a charge for Convoy of Hope staff to go beyond our employment and find ways to give people hope with our personal lives.
You’re reading the last in a series about hope. We don’t have the corner on hope, but we experience all sides of it every day and we thought we ought to dedicate some blog posts to sharing the hope that we have with you. Catch up on posts one, two, three and four.
Odds are that your profession is not centered around delivering hope to people facing hard situations. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend yourself on behalf of others. Think of the places where people are: at work, at grocery stores, in the United States, around the world, driving, in parenthood, at school, at restaurants, at the beach (I have a few words for you if you’re at the beach.) The places where people are, are the places that need the hope you have. Giving hope to people where you are doesn’t require a change of profession, but it will cost you something. In most cases it will cost you time, some cases money, others a smile, but in every case the return will exponentially outweigh your investment. Jesus is probably most quoted for saying; “give and it will be given to you.”
Hope makes daily work of turning down people’s doubts while turning up the corners of their mouths.