Browsing Category: Program Updates

Growing Hope: Agricultural research in partnership with Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is partnering with Missouri State University agriculture master’s student Jordan Gott to research best practices in growing crops common for the participants in Convoy’s Agriculture Initiative.

Gott’s research centers around the timing of planting corn and lablab — a kind of bean native to Africa. Does planting them at the same time cause competition or do they help each other? Is it better to plant them at the same time or weeks apart? This information will help inform Convoy agronomists on the best way to train and educate farmers in our initiative.

From Missouri to Tanzania

The research began in a greenhouse on the MSU campus, but is now being field tested in Tanzania. With the help of Convoy of Hope staff and the ECHO global seed bank, Gott is growing and monitoring her crops in Arusha, Tanzania.

Gott had to consider some cultural and environmental differences when moving her research from Springfield, MO to Tanzania. There are differences in soil types and irrigation practices. She also had to consider cultural practices, as farmers in Tanzania always plant their corn first.

While she is working to help farmers in Tanzania, Gott is also excited to learn from them.

“I’m excited to go to Tanzania — be in the culture, meet the people and see how they do things,” Gott says. “I’m excited to keep on learning new stuff.”

Follow us for updates on Gott’s work in Tanzania.

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Agriculture

Recovering from Harvey: The Mouton’s Story

On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast. Within hours of storm making landfall, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team was on the ground distributing emergency supplies like food, water and hygiene items to survivors.

In an unprecedented manner, the storm lingered over Texas dropping trillions of gallons of water. According to officials with the state of Texas, around 800,000 homes were affected.

In the months following the hurricane, Convoy of Hope led volunteer teams in debris removal operations for homes that had been flooded. Currently, Convoy of Hope has transitioned into delivering building supplies to churches and long-term recovery groups. These organizations then distribute the supplies to affected families.

Jessie Mouton

One family affected by the storm was Jessie Mouton’s. Jessie, her husband and their two young sons — ages five and 18 months — live in Winnie, Texas. They had been in their new home less than a year before Hurricane Harvey hit.

“New baby, new house, flood — that was the timeline” Mouton says.

The family left their home on August 26, as they evacuated from the storm. Little did they know, they would not be able move back in until December 8.

The Mouton’s home flooded with more than 12 inches of water, forcing them to remove all of the drywall in their home. They estimate they lost about 75% of their belongings —including furniture, appliances and pictures.

While their home was being restored, the Mouton’s alternated between staying with family members, in a hotel and in a camper.

Mouton describes this process as being very confusing for her five-year-old son. She remembers him being very sad the first time he saw their home, saying it was “broken”. She agreed it was broken, but promised him they would put it back together.

With the help of their local church, the Mouton’s were able to receive the drywall they needed from Convoy of Hope. Mouton describes receiving the drywall as very “unexpected and overwhelming”.

As things are starting to get back to normal for the Mouton family, they recognize there is still work to do, saying they’re “all in until it’s all done”.

Learn more about Convoy of Hope’s response to Hurricane Harvey here!

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Disaster Services / Field Story

Good vs. Great: Students supporting feedONE

feedONE Collegiate Coordinator Tom Trask and his wife, Missi, have served as the University of Missouri Chi Alpha Directors for 13 years. They have spent half of that time advocating for feedONE, by empowering their students in acts of compassion, generosity and kindness.

When the group took on feedONE as their philanthropy partner nearly six years ago, they wanted to find something that reached beyond their own campus.

GOOD VERSUS GREAT

“I want them to understand good versus great,” Trask says. “This is not something that is good—it’s something that is great.”

In their first year as a feedONE partner, the University of Missouri Chi Alpha chapter raised a little more than $1,400. This past November, the students raised more than $40,000 during their annual feedONE month.

The students participated in creative and competitive fundraising as a way to raise support for children in the feedONE program. One small group set up a car bash, while other students held bake sales, threw special dinners, played in dodgeball tournaments and performed music.

In March, a group of students volunteered at the Convoy of Hope World Distribution Center, bagging hygiene kits and more than 5,000 meals.

“The difference it has made in the heart of our students — when they see a need, they step up,” Trask says.

FEEDING THE FUTURE 

Tom and Missi continue to instill a passion for feedONE and encourage a life of compassion for students on the University of Missouri campus. They are not only changing the lives of the children in feedONE, but also the lives of students and future leaders.

As they continue to make an impact at the University of Missouri, Tom and Missi look forward to other universities and schools partnering with feedONE.

“Just to watch the compassion grow, it’s contagious,” Trask says. “It’s contagious to inspire each other to greater things.”

feedONE and Convoy of Hope are proud to partner with students and leaders, like Tom and Missi, who actively demonstrate their compassion and kindness for children across the world. Find out how to get involved on your campus today at feedone.com/campus.

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Advocacy / Children's Feeding / Inspiration / Join The Convoy / Volunteering

Hurricane Maria response update from Puerto Rico

It’s been six months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and many are still struggling to recover. Convoy of Hope has since served more five million meals to survivors across the island — in addition to hygiene products, water filters and other immediate relief supplies. Convoy continues to provide long-term recovery.

Rebuilding Hope

One of the more than 95 locations across Puerto Rico that Convoy has served in response to the hurricane is Villa Esparanza, which means Village of Hope. An estimated 175 homes, roughly 80% of the village, were damaged or destroyed. Currently Convoy is helping rebuild and repair homes around the village.

With the assistance of Convoy’s full time staff, the organization’s first Disaster Community Care Team spent last week helping the village with rebuilding projects and repairs.

For more updates on Convoy’s Hurricane Maria response, click here.

 

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Disaster Services / News

3 ways you can help Convoy of Hope empower women

Last week we saw incredible support for women on International Women’s Day. We at Convoy of Hope believe that when women are given strength and dignity, it not only impacts their families, but their entire communities as well. This is why we empower women each day to make strategic, independent life choices — and we want your help!

Women in developing countries often lack the education, opportunity and confidence to support themselves and their families. With your support, Convoy of Hope can help train women in necessary nutrition, health and everyday skills, and even help them to start their own business.

Here are 3 ways you can help empower women with Convoy of Hope:

1. Spread the word as an advocate

Being an advocate is one of the easiest ways to make an impact! Just by talking about the women who need support and raising awareness for their situation, you are supporting them. This can be as easy as telling a friend about the Women’s Empowerment program over coffee or sharing a woman’s story with a post on Facebook.

2. Throw a party

A Party2Empower is a party with a purpose! Gather your friends and neighbors to learn about some of the women who’s lives were changed through Women’s Empowerment, while enjoying activities themed from their stories. Not only is this a good way to spread the word, but it is a great opportunity to get your friends actively involved in this great cause. Learn more about throwing your own party to empower at convoy.org/women.

3. Donate

Whether its a one-time gift or a monthly commitment, your donation goes to significantly impact a woman’s life. A one-time gift of $25 would sponsor a girl in our Empowered Girls Program — helping her to attend weekly meetings where she would learn about topics like health, hygiene and harmful cultural practices, as well as helping her finish school and pursue job opportunities. A recurring monthly gift of $25 for a year would provide seed capital for a woman to start her own business. You can donate online at convoy.org/donate/IWD.

Learn more about how you can get involved with Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program at convoy.org/women.

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Join The Convoy / Women's Empowerment