Welcome to the last blog in our series, “The 12 Areas of Community Transformation.” Over the course of this year we attempted to answer the question, “How is HopeChest different from other leading child sponsorship organizations?” Today’s blog is about the last of these 12 areas of primary community transformation.
As we consider the last of this series and discuss how nonprofit organizations impact society, some might say, “How can this be the last topic? Why have you not mentioned a topic that is devoted to the church?“ In response to that question, we should ask another question: Is the Body of Christ an entity that is separate from society? In other words, we can consider the church both as an institution within society and as the living Body that is “salted” in, and throughout, society. As His Body, we are to permeate every area of society. If we allow ourselves to become separated and primarily institutional, we lose much of the salt and light impact. In effect, we dichotomize ourselves out of society. We are to be out in society and integrated into all aspects of society – in the world but not of the world; but not be separated and apart from society.
The Body, whose members are immersed in the culture of a given society are often involved in bringing this change through nonprofit organizations that influence society, much as do salt and light. Some Christians form societal associations, clubs, and civic groups. Many times we form Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) to accomplish showing the love of God in society.
How Does HopeChest Fit In?
As HopeChest forms relationships as an organization in the countries we work with, we have identified other nonprofits whose missions and motives match our own. We have found that intentionally working together with other organizations that desire to bring holistic and sustainable change to impoverished communities increases our impact. As we often say, “We are better together.” HopeChest partnerships with in-country NGO’s is also supportive of our mission to empower local leaders to see their vision for their community come to life.
HopeChest was founded in 1994 and a while later HopeChest established Nadezhda Fund, in Russia to expand the reach in-country. Together, we work to empower orphaned youth with the resources they need before leaving an orphanage, and equip older youth with greater access to counseling to process their experiences, social work support, educational support such as tutoring and college application assistance, and opportunities to invest back into their community.
We also partner with Orphan’s Tree, another NGO that focuses on empowering youth in Russia to lead fulfilling and independent lives. Often, we will partner with them to accomplish large and impactful projects, such as the Vladimir Ministry Center Renovation.
HopeChest partners with a Moldova-based nonprofit, Beginning of Life (BOL), to bring hope and resources to vulnerable children in Moldova.
BOL operates Urban Centers that are safe places where children and young adults can come to gain resources to lead independent, healthy lives. The wide variety of resources that are offered include vocational training, spiritual training and guidance, social programs, training educators on implementing a powerful character development curriculum used in the public schools, psycho-emotional-social programs for trafficked women (Chisinau location), and youth leadership programs.
HopeChest’s partnership with Adventures in Missions (AIM) is our second-longest partnership with another NGO. In Eswatini, we have co-branded our work. Our local partner has been working in the country for over ten years and brings local staffing expertise that is essential for cultural sensitivity.
Can you imagine studying for exams by candlelight? Watch to see how some of our CarePoint kids now feel safer and can do their homework after dark…**Note: these kids received solar in 2016, not 2006- apologies for the typo!
Posted by Adventures Swaziland on Wednesday, November 28, 2018
In Uganda, many nonprofits – both Africa-based and North America-based – have come alongside HopeChest progams to increase our impact. Work 4 a Living, a South Africa-based nonprofit, focuses on equipping youth to become employable and find meaningful work. This NGO periodically trains our Ugandan staff and participants of HopeChest’s Uganda Leadership and Development Program.
In Katuba, HopeChest has partnered with Reach One Touch One Ministries, a Christian ministry dedicated to meeting the spiritual, social, physical, and psychological needs of the elderly and children under their care. Another is Healing Waters International, which has helped us develop our water system at Adacar CarePoint. The Peanut Butter House at Wera CarePoint is an incredible project that stems from the NGO, Project Peanut Butter.
One example of our Ethiopian CarePoints partnering with a local nonprofit occurred a few months ago. There were many displaced people in Addis Ababa from the nearby towns because of internal conflict. The displaced citizens fled their homes suddenly so they were in need of basic needs while they stay at a temporary shelter. In collaboration with Union of Ethiopian Women Charitable Associations (UEWCA), I Care for the Nation CarePoint (ICFTN) collected clothes and shoes and delivered them as a donation. The communities that we serve also have hearts to serve others, and we are encouraged by the ICFTN community’s heart to support displaced families and work together with other organizations in their community.
In Guatemala, when our CarePoints see a local nonprofit that is doing impactful work, we come alongside them! Then even our local partners such as Tabitha CarePoint in Guatemala partner with other nonprofit groups such as Futbol Calle, or Street Soccer. The ministry encourages the youth to be part of a soccer team and channel their energy, their anger, and their frustrations in a better way. Being a part of the soccer teams helps the youth stay away from the street, gangs, drugs and alcoholism. Some of the children from Tabitha started to go and play soccer with this ministry, and the hope is that some of the children who play with Futbol Calle can be part of and be impacted by Tabitha in the future.
How This Creates Sustainability
Being “not of the world” means we are not to be influenced by, and under the control of, this world’s system. We are to influence society and effect change from within. In Acts 17:6, it tells us that there was a riot stirred up as a result of Paul’s ministry. He preached the one true God and the silversmiths were concerned about both the loss of revenue from sales of their idols but also that people might believe Paul and quit believing in the idols. Their cry was: “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…” The integration of believers into the fabric of society had its impact and the system of this world was being turned right-side-up again.
As we have discussed the other areas of society throughout this year, we want to see how important it is to bring together, simultaneously, as many of all 12 aspects as we can. As we employ these concurrently, and integrate them, they increase sustainability through the synergy that they create. At HopeChest, we are constantly working toward sustainability – toward transforming all the various areas of society.
This completes the series on the 12 Areas of Community Transformation, however, it is just the beginning of us working together to build and transform our world. We hope that you feel inspired to join us and the chorus of individuals who are passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty. Please consider making a donation to help us make an even greater impact in the communities we serve.
This blog is the last of our educational series that answers the question, “How are you different from other leading child sponsorship organizations?” Over the course of the year we have gone in depth about how your support impacts entire communities in 12 unique areas of transformation. Thank you for following along with our series, “The 12 Areas of Community Transformation.” If you have enjoyed this year-long project, consider subscribing to our blog for weekly stories of hope, here!