How Communities Around the World Care for the Environment

The legendary Jane Goodall has said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”

CarePoint communities around the world are proactively making a positive impact in their local environments. They are not only making a difference, but are also inspiring children and their families to appreciate and steward our planet as one of their greatest resources. Children’s HopeChest works in some of the most beautiful countries in the world. Today on the “Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” podcast, five international staff are sharing about earth-friendly projects that create lasting change. 

Russia river landscape
Can you guess which of the beautiful countries we partner with this is? If you guessed Russia, you’re correct!

You’ll hear about recycling and fun trash competitions with orphanage graduates in Russia from Yana. Mesfin shares about the impact of planting 5,000 trees near Ethiopia CarePoints, while Isaac in Uganda talks about how empowering farmers and local leaders is combatting climate change. Andrea and Sam explain how communities in rural Guatemala are taking ownership of their impact on their land in innovative ways.

[After the Trash Challenge] we saw that the people started taking care of their living areas around their homes and the CarePoint. Which means they’re not throwing the trash in the streets and in the river. So, we’re seeing that this will help to decrease the illnesses and will help them to feel more comfortable when they walk around that area.” Andrea 

We recommend listening to this episode while taking a walk (maybe picking up a piece of trash or two along the way!) and appreciating your own local environment.





Wil smiling in a circular photoAs Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Wil Crooks builds relationships with HopeChest partners and potential partners. Wil started out as a pastor partnering with HopeChest, and now he shares the same vision that he caught with other potential partners.




Yana is the Kostroma Sponsorship Coordinator in Russia. She has a master’s degree in ecology, and has been with HopeChest for 20 years. She coordinates sponsorship programs in seven orphanages in the Kostroma region and oversees the work of disciplers who work in these seven institutions. She also works with older orphans who are interested in doing volunteer work. In 2016, she started coordinating the Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Project. Yana continues to contribute excellent work and leadership within Russia programs.


Mesfin is a Program Coordinator in Ethiopia for the CarePoints in Southern Ethiopia. As Program Coordinator, Mesfin works closely with CarePoint staff, community leaders, church leadership, and local government. He provides technical support to HopeChest CarePoints to make sure that holistic programming is happening effectively. Mesfin has hands-on experience in the child and community development sector in Ethiopia. He has natural leadership qualities and loves his work.


Isaac holds a degree in industrial and organizational psychology. He joined HopeChest in 2016 and is currently a Program Officer. In his role, he monitors CarePoints; supervises CarePoint staff; and supports project initiation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. HopeChest Uganda is blessed to have Isaac, and he is a natural leader, as well as introverted and calm. He also serves as lead pastor in a local church.


Andrea in a circle

Andrea has been working with HopeChest Guatemala for nearly five years. As Program Coordinator, she walks with CarePoint leaders through the planning process for programs, projects, and partners visits. She also oversees program and project development at the CarePoints and builds friendships with the children and families who attend CarePoints.


Samuel is a Program Manager in Guatemala. In this position, he oversees projects and programs at CarePoints, mentoring CarePoint leaders and community entrepreneurs. He also helps people to achieve restoration in a theological way, but at the same time give them hope and answers for their basic needs, going beyond just physical needs to help them succeed in life through economic empowerment initiatives, empowering them to create small businesses.