Tag: Women’s Empowerment

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.

 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding

Empowerment for women, hope for the future — Sitota’s story

When Sitota found out she was pregnant, her whole world changed. Her boyfriend was adamant that they not keep the baby, but Sitota wanted her child and refused to get an abortion. This lead to her and her son living on the streets.  

“Usually during the nighttime I’d stay with a stick since some drunks or some people come and pee on us,” Sitota says of her time on the streets. “Some, they try to rape me. My child didn’t get proper food for one year and it hampered his growth.”

Though life was hard, Sitota saw her son as a source of strength, living each day with the hope of a better future for the two of them.

Soon Sitota was introduced to Convoy of Hope, where she entered into the Women’s Empowerment program in Ethiopia. Through this program, Sitota received training — how to prepare food, how to start a business, how to calculate profit and loss — and received startup capital to open her own business. Thanks to the Women’s Empowerment program, Sitota was able to open her own shop selling coffee and tea.

“Because of my business, I was able to start saving money for a new house. It has two bedrooms,” Sitota says. “Now I’m very happy with my life. I can support myself and my child.”

Since the beginning of Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment in 2010, nearly 17,000 women around the world have been empowered through the program! Starting in Ethiopia, Women’s Empowerment is now in nine countries, including Nepal and Lebanon which were added in 2018.

Just like Sitota, Convoy of Hope believes every woman deserves the opportunity to thrive and be successful. Learn more about how you can support the empowerment of women like Sitota at convoy.org/women.

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

World Refugee Day

As conflict and famine develop in a country, a new normal arises — violence escalates, crops and herds are destroyed and women and children are at the mercy of traffickers — forcing families to move, leaving everything they’ve known behind. Convoy of Hope steps in to offer these refugee families hope through education, emotional support, food, clothing and other important relief necessities.

Hope in Lebanon

In Lebanon, Convoy of Hope currently feeds more than a 1,000 refugee children in urban areas and encampments. Mehar and her family, who escaped to Lebanon from Syria, were often forced to beg for food from their neighbors. Now she receives a meal every school day through Convoy’s nutrition program, relieving financial pressures on her family and encouraging her continued education.

We also restore livelihoods through Women’s Empowerment programming, helping mothers to start their own businesses for a source of income. Doing so allows their children to attend school rather than having to earn money to supplement household expenses.

Hope in Uganda

In Uganda, Convoy of Hope has stepped in with programs reconciling women to their dignity by restoring access to food and clean water, hygiene kits and trauma care. Rose is one of more than 1 million South Sudanese refugees currently in Uganda. She struggled with chronic malnutrition, but after participating in Convoy’s nutrition program for pregnant and lactating women, her health has improved. Along with a therapeutic food supplement, she received training in nutrition, hygiene, and gardening. Rose cites the lack of information as a main reason why so many women are malnourished.

Hope in the Middle East and Europe

In the Middle East and Europe, Convoy of Hope is assessing a priority of needs among refugees and internally displaced families as conflicts escalate. In 2017, Convoy was able to serve thousands of displaced people in areas like Afghanistan, Jordan, Spain and Moldova through relief items like clothing, hygiene kits and winter weather kits.

We applaud the resilience of refugee women and children who, with your help, are re-stabilizing their households, redeeming their childhoods and resuming their lives from within their new normal. On this World Refugee Day, join us in supporting displaced families around the world at convoy.org/refugees.

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Advocacy / Children's Feeding

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

Matilda: Changing her story through Women’s Empowerment

Matilda and her son, Junior, live in the beautiful country of Tanzania. Each morning, Matilda opens up her shop, confidently expecting another successful day of business. But, not too long ago, life looked very different for Matilda and Junior.

Despite working long hours making and selling donuts, oftentimes Matilda would not earn enough income to provide for Junior or herself … forcing both of them to go to bed hungry. Junior watched his mom struggle, and with wisdom beyond his years, he would encourage her that the next day would be better.

After Junior enrolled in a school benefiting from Convoy of Hope’s feeding program, Matilda enrolled in the Women’s Empowerment program. From then on, everything changed!

Now, Matilda sells many different items in her shop! She makes enough money for today and has also learned how to budget to save for the future.

Because of friends like you, women like Matilda — and their children — are receiving opportunities through Convoy of Hope that enable them to live better lives.

Thank you for helping change her story.


Click here to help us empower more women like Matilda.

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Field Story / Women's Empowerment