Browsing Category: Children’s Feeding

Earth-Shaking Hope in Haiti

In early 2010, I was working for Convoy of Hope in Haiti. Things were normal. I was finishing up hosting guests from the U.S. and waiting for a Field Team to arrive two days later. But late that afternoon, as I stood on the balcony of a friend’s home, everything changed. 

My memories of the January 12 earthquake are ones that will always be with me. I’ll never forget the sound of moving earth and crashing buildings. Of mothers wailing in the street. Of the look on peoples’ faces as they tried to process what was happening. 

Although my assignment at Convoy of Hope was not for Disaster Services, I found myself at ground zero for one of the largest natural disasters to hit the Western Hemisphere. I pushed through my mental haze and began working with our partners in Haiti to assess the situation, determine food inventory, and identify a base of operations for in Port-au-Prince. 

Thankfully, within 48 hours of the shaking, I was welcomed by the sight of my Convoy of Hope colleagues crossing the tarmac of the airport. They brought a sense of calm that I hadn’t felt since the ordeal began. I was eager to step out of the way and place the reins of the response in their very capable hands. 

We all witnessed the sadness and desperation that took hold throughout the island in the days and weeks that followed. It got so bad that many families were forced to place the lifeless bodies of their loved in the street to be collected and placed in mass graves. 

But we also saw the amazing power of hope. A strength rose up in the Haitian people, who had already endured so much, and they picked themselves up and moved into their new “normal.” The overwhelming global response to the calamity showed them that they weren’t ignored or forgotten. They would make it.

When the earthquake struck, Convoy of Hope and our partners were already invested and committed to Haiti and were feeding more than 13,000 kids every school day. The overwhelming need after the earthquake propelled us forward and forced us to fast track our plans in the country. In 2019, we are feeding more than 90,000 children in Haiti. 

Tragedies don’t often give people the chance to do anything but survive. That’s why we hope to look beyond the immediacy of a disaster and toward a day when survivors can participate in the rebuilding of their communities. That’s what Haiti has been for us. We were honored to come alongside Haitians and serve when they needed us most. But we’re most proud of when they came back alongside us as participants … as partners on Haiti’s journey. 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding / Disaster Services / Field Story

Hope for the Holidays

As 2019 comes to a close, families around the world are preparing for the upcoming holiday season. For many of the 200,000 children in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, the hope found in a warm bowl of food each day may be the only gift they receive. The support they receive from supporters like you is what makes the holidays so special.

Nine-year-old Olvin is one of the 11,000 children whom Convoy feeds in Honduras. When he’s not caring for his chickens or attending classes, he is most likely playing soccer with his friends. But the thing he loves most about going to school?

“The food is good!” Olvin says. “Sometimes they give us soup. They give us rice and eggs, too.”

Through Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, Olvin receives the nutritious meals he needs to stay healthy and focused. Since starting the program in Honduras in 2011, Convoy of Hope has partnered with more than 100 Honduran communities.

While many are preparing shopping lists and putting up Christmas trees, Olvin’s family is looking forward to their own holiday traditions.

Olvin lives at home with his parents and two younger brothers. His father works long hours, and his mother, Ivania, runs a small business that Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program helped her start. For them, the added support they receive from Convoy has been the glimmer of hope they desperately needed.

“Normally, we can’t give the kids gifts for Christmas,” says Ivania. “But this year, we will be able to give them gifts.”

Like many families, Olvin’s is looking forward to the Christmas season, because everyone is together and they attend church as a family. Ivania loves to prepare the holiday menu, which includes chicken, rice, potatoes, and bread.

“This year is going to be different from other years, though,” Ivania says. “This year, they will get new clothes for Christmas, and I can add a little something to the menu.”

As Convoy of Hope looks back on the last 25 years, we are humbled to be a part of empowering so many families and their communities. While many will struggle to keep food on the table this holiday season, Convoy of Hope continues to fight for the poor and suffering in hopes that families everywhere can “add a little something to the menu.”

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding

Field Teams: Hope for a Sustainable Future

Convoy of Hope Field Teams come alongside communities and engage in work that helps them flourish. Teams from all over the U.S. work with the staff in several countries around the world to tackle projects that support Convoy’s various programs. These opportunities give volunteers the chance to offer hope and help in ways that not only affect the lives of one child or family, but the long-term trajectory of an entire community.

Since we began our Field Teams program in 2013, we’ve engaged more than 4,600 volunteers. These teams help in places like the Ngaramtoni Primary School in Tanzania, where teams serve kids who are in our Children’s Feeding program. 

According to Jackie Brawner, a Field Team volunteer leader who worked in this area of Tanzania, teams began working with the school by offering kids lunch every day and helping clear brush so they could build greenhouses. Jackie’s church, Bonita Valley Community Church, even funded two greenhouses for the school to grow their own food for lunch. The school can now sell any extra food they grow at the market to purchase other foods as well, which diversifies their students’ diets. 

With the help of Field Teams, we hope that one day this community will be thriving without need of our help. 

“I love that Convoy of Hope is focused on sustainability,” Jackie says. “We are able, as a team, to go into the places where Convoy of Hope is working and continue the work. And when we leave, because of the established programs they have there, the projects will be continued.” 

Since Convoy entered Ngaramtoni, we’ve held community meetings, helped identify income generating opportunities, addressed hygiene and sanitation issues, empowered mothers to do business, and taught students gardening techniques. The school is now poised to harvest and sell more than 10 metric tons of tomatoes per year, which will fund the lunch program in the future.

“Working with Convoy of Hope Field Teams is the greatest blessing of my life,” says Jackie. “To be boots on the ground and to see the work and effort that Convoy of Hope is doing to feed people and change lives is a priceless experience. On a Field Team, there will be guaranteed laughter and tears. You cannot come back the same. They are truly trips of a lifetime.” 

Already in 2019, 46 Field Teams have served in 10 different locations, from Moldova to the Mississippi Delta. These incredible volunteers have helped with numerous projects around the world in support of our mission — providing help and hope to people who need it most. 

Visit convoyofhope.org/fieldteams to learn more about Field Teams.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Agriculture / Children's Feeding / Field Story / Join the Convoy / Volunteering

Meet 25 of the coolest kids in the world!

After 25 years of spreading hope and 12 years of feeding kids, we’ve met some of the coolest kids across the world! Meet just 25 of the incredible kids we’ve had the honor to feed and get to know over the years!

Click on their names to hear their stories.

Bonifast – Haiti

 

 

Alexa – Philippines

 

 

Jacquline – El Salvador

 

 

Stevin – Nicaragua

 

Tigist – Ethiopia

 

Baraka – Tanzania

 

Manas – Nepal

 

Safiri – Kenya

 

Rashani – Sri Lanka

 

Mehar – Lebanon

 

Elvin – El Salvador

 

Sheri – Philippines

 

Ana – Honduras

 

Saraphina – Haiti

 

Amelia – Kenya

Jacque – Haiti

 

Elaine – Nicaragua

 

Orlin – Honduras

 

MacKenzon – Haiti

 

Jessie – Philippines

 

Denilson – El Salvador

 

Beatrice – Kenya

 

Samuel – Nepal

 

Selina – Honduras

 

Cristina – Haiti

 

With the help of friends like you, Convoy of Hope is now feeding more than 200,000 kids across 14 different countries. You can help feed even more kids at feedONE.com and you can find more stories on our website, and by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding

The Extra Mile

Smoke and dust twist together lazily on the Honduran road that marks the frontline of poverty for this community. Birds call quietly back and forth to each other over the low rumble of heavy machinery in the distance. On one side of the road is a small, two-room schoolhouse, and on the other a towering hill holding back a mountainous expanse of garbage.

In 2016, six-year-old Ana had a choice to make every day: she could dig for recyclables to sell so she could eat, or she could go to school and learn. Hunger won out a majority of the time, and she regularly spent her days combing through the dump looking for things to sell.

“One day, Ana’s mother sent her to school, thinking that we would feed her,” said Principal Katherine Mejia. “It was a Monday, so Ana hadn’t eaten all weekend.”

Weakened by hunger, Ana stumbled to school and dropped into her chair. Ana struggled to concentrate on her lessons as her eyes glazed over. Without warning, she tumbled onto the concrete floor.

Ana was not the only child struggling with hunger at the school. Many came every day with an empty belly. “That was very hard for us, but it was impossible to provide [for them],” said Principal Mejia.

Ana’s case is not uncommon for kids in struggling schools around the world. Soon after Ana’s incident, Convoy of Hope began delivering food to her school. Since then, Ana’s situation has changed dramatically. “Before, when she was hungry, she was super shy. She didn’t talk and stared at the floor,” said Mejia. “So we can see her health is progressing [slowly with proper nutrition], but it’s a long road ahead.”

“Before she can start to learn, she needs to be healthy.”

In 2018, Convoy of Hope reached a milestone goal — feeding 200,000 children throughout the world — two years ahead of the 2020 target.

“The goal Convoy of Hope set in 2016 was a lofty one,” says Convoy of Hope President Hal Donaldson. “At the time, 160,000 children were a part of our Children’s Feeding initiative. Reaching 200,000 seemed like an achievable goal, but one that would certainly take until 2020 to reach.”

The increase of nearly 23,000 children in one year is a direct result of the community surrounding Convoy of Hope. We’ve never been content with the status quo, and we choose to partner with those who feel the same way. Rapid strides in both meal donations and financial support fueled Convoy’s ability to grow and has brought us to where we are today.

Today, Convoy of Hope is operating in 1,131 program centers around the world. In 2018, we began Children’s Feeding interventions in Sri Lanka, India, and Uganda while continuing our work in 11 other countries, including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Haiti, South Africa, Nepal, and Lebanon.

In addition to leveraging these strategic feeding initiatives, Convoy of Hope has also established complementary interventions in many program countries to foster thriving communities. In 2018, more than 6,400 individuals were engaged in our Agriculture initiative, and more than 6,700 women joined our Women’s Empowerment program.

“We strategically feed children in schools to strengthen our relationship with each community and empower broader impact through families,” says Heath Adamson, Convoy of Hope’s Chief of Staff. “This milestone represents hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals who know their value. Compassion not only makes a difference — it makes the difference.”

For Ana, the food she receives is key to her education … and education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty that has trapped generations of her family. At Convoy of Hope, we believe Ana deserves a bright future, full of opportunity, health, and safety. It’s our privilege to help clear the path that will take her there.

*This story first appeared in the 2018 Convoy of Hope Annual Report. Find the full report at convoyofhope.org/annualreport.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding