Organization: COH

International Day of the Girl – Empowering girls with Convoy of Hope

Melanie,* like many other 13-year-old Nicaraguan girls, wrestles with personal identity in an ocean of images and voices telling her who she “should” be. When she learned that a Convoy of Hope program to empower girls was not only coming to her school but that she was personally being invited to participate, she couldn’t contain her excitement.

Melanie wasn’t simply seeking to feel better about herself. She wanted to flourish. And that’s exactly what she experienced through loving leaders and courageous peers in the program. Over a series of weeks, she found herself exchanging insecurity for confidence and timidity for boldness. Like so many, Melanie is moving from survivability to sustainability! 

As we celebrate International Day of the Girl, Convoy of Hope is proud to join other organizations and groups around the world in empowering girls to realize their value. International Day of the Girl seeks to educate the public on the hardships girls face around the world every day — issues like child marriage, unplanned pregnancy, education inequality, gender-based violence, lack of self-esteem, and personal hygiene. 

Our program to empower girls began in 2010 with a single after-school club at a secondary school in Tanzania where girls were dropping out of school due to pregnancy. Key stakeholders from the community were invited to share their thoughts regarding a range of topics through educational seminars and interactive discussions. 

Since that first group, the program has expanded and evolved. We have established programs in five countries: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Kenya, and the Philippines. Each country has curriculum specific to the needs and issues pertaining to girls in their programs. Sessions can include culturally contextual appropriate topics around self-esteem, gender-based violence, and harmful cultural beliefs and practices. 

Regardless of location, our program provides them with tools and resources to set goals and achieve dreams. We teach these young women that they can have a future where finishing school, going to a university, and starting a career are possibilities, regardless of their circumstances. 

Over the past 25 years, Convoy of Hope has been dedicated to not only feeding the world, but helping individuals and communities thrive. Today, and every day, let’s celebrate girls and empower them to see their dreams become a reality. 

You can learn more about how Convoy is empowering girls at convoyofhope.org/we.

 

 

*Name has been changed.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Women's Empowerment

Convoy Delivers Relief to Community Devastated by Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian was the most powerful hurricane to ever strike the Bahamas. It hovered over the Abaco Islands for days; the sheer force of its 200-mph winds crumpled cars, smashed homes, and knocked down trees all over the islands. Floodwaters rose so quickly that they trapped many residents on top of their houses.

Avis was one of the many residents who chose to stay and ride out the storm. “It was horrible,” she remembers. “We had a lot of praying ladies here. We had people who prayed and sang songs. And I guess it worked, because we’re here.”

When the storm finally passed, she emerged to find her community completely destroyed. In many of the affected areas, access to a grocery store, electricity, or even water is still not a reality. In lesser affected areas, some businesses are just now beginning to open up. Many were without access to grocery stores, electricity, or cell service.

“We have about 200 people here, and very little food,” says Avis. “We have to really work hard to get some food from the grocery store that’s destroyed to feed everybody for the next two or three days.”Convoy of Hope arrived in Avis’ community with thousands of pounds of food, water, and other relief supplies a few days after the storm. The supplies that Convoy provided were welcomed with gratitude and tears.

“We’re getting everything,” says Avis. “And I really want to say I appreciate, and I feel the love, especially from my friends all over the world. We’re surviving. We’re survivors.”

To date, Convoy of Hope is working with more than 50 community hubs for distribution. We’ve delivered supplies by airplane and purchased local goods in Nassau. Convoy of Hope partners in Florida are providing vital resources to many Bahamians who evacuated to the United States. They are working with our teams to fulfill needs with product located in our Florida warehouse.
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Disaster Services / News

Don’t be Chai

In a dusty village near the border of Tanzania and Kenya, government workers and ruby miners start their busy day. The bustling market comes alive with traders and local people, and Adimu works diligently to prepare her restaurant for the day’s rush. Each utensil finds its home in an assigned cupboard or drawer. Her new chairs and tile floors offer a welcoming glow as the sun pours through the restaurant’s long yellow curtains.

It hasn’t always been this way for Adimu. Not long ago, she was selling tomatoes at her local market and making less than $1 a day. She and her children lived in a different community, and she struggled to provide for them. When Adimu’s daughter received a partial scholarship to attend primary school in a different district, Adimu knew she had to make it work.

Shortly after moving, Anna got involved in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program. After completing her training, she was given the opportunity to run her own restaurant. Every day, she works hard preparing meals and chai for the customers at her restaurant while her children attend school. Now that Adimu has a steady income, she can afford to feed her children three times a day and pay for their schooling.

“I am amazed at the favor I have in this community,” she says.

As the sun continues to scorch the earth during the relentless dry season, women begin to line up outside Adimu’s restaurant. Before, this group struggled for hours every day to find clean water. Now they fill their cans and water bottles with the water rushing from the faucet outside of Adimu’s business.

As other women in her Tanzanian community continue to search for the chance at a better life, Adimu’s restaurant stands as a reminder — hope is never far away.
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Women's Empowerment