Tag: 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

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

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