Children’s HopeChest wants to empower impoverished people to flourish in their own ways. First Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” People all over the world have their God-given strengths, but opportunity and resources are not always available to everyone. To help people flourish where God has planted them, Children’s HopeChest supports community growth and transformation from the inside out; giving individuals the opportunities they need to achieve what they were always capable of. With the generous support of our HopeChest Friends who share that same vision, we have been able to achieve many great things- and we depend on that support to continue our mission into the future.
Forging A New Path
CarePoint children have gone on to accomplish amazing things and break barriers in their communities. Maria is one of those children. She had attended the Colegio Israel CarePoint in Guatemala since she was in the first grade. Maria’s teachers said she was one of the best students in her class, which is why they were all shocked when Maria said she wanted to be a mechanic. Maria got an internship with a mechanic shop, and she impressed the owner with her quick learning and natural ability. Maria became an inspiration for the whole town, showing everyone that women can be mechanics, too. She’s now an example for many other girls in her community that may fear studying what they enjoy because of societal stigma. Maria said, “I am very excited and proud of the achievements I have obtained in school and the support that my parents and teachers have given me to follow my dreams. I also have many thanks for my HopeChest friends for their support, because without them, I would not be the first girl mechanic in Tecpan!” Maria’s impact was made even wider because of the support she received through HopeChest. She’s been able to flourish where God planted her and become an independent member of her community.
Often, orphans can be forgotten members of the community that receive less care and opportunity because of their lack of family. That’s why James 1:27 calls us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” In Russia, the situation is similar. Children often suffer emotionally from lack of individual care and attention that staff simply don’t have the resources to provide. Many children who are surrendered to orphanages have disabilities that make their lives more challenging. Statistics have shown that 50% of Russian orphans fall into a high-risk category; Another 40% become involved in crime, 33% stay unemployed, and 20% become homeless. Only 4% are admitted to universities- largely because of the lackluster primary education available to them.
But through HopeChest, many orphans and other vulnerable children have been able to gain support, education, and have valuable experiences in their lives. Supplementing existing resources to help support their current caretakers makes a huge difference in orphanage operations! It enables orphanages to provide much more than just bare minimum needs.
The Slobodskoy Orphanage is one of the orphanages partnered with Children’s HopeChest. The orphanage is located just outside the city of Kirov, and has over 100 staff members to care for the children. It was used as a hospital after World War Two, and later became a boarding school for orphaned children, specifically children with special needs and other disabilities. The children live in family groups to help with their emotional and relationship development. This past summer, with HopeChest’s support, the Slobodskoy Orphanage was able to provide the children with many unique, fun summer activities that they may never have gotten opportunities for otherwise! In June and July, children visited summer camps, where they were able to spend lots of time outside doing activities, playing games, and learning new skills like gardening. In-between camp time, the children were able to go on fun and exciting field trips in nearby towns and cities. They got the opportunity to go to local museums, submit their artwork to contests, and even go to Kirov to see a performance of “Treasure Island”. These activities may not seem like a large deal to us, but to these children, it means the world. The skills and passions that they discover during these crucial times of development could change the course of their lives and allow them to flourish in a new way. That’s why HopeChest believes in investing in children and communities in a holistic way, often going above and beyond just supporting basic needs.
Starting a New Life
Far to the south in the country of Uganda, lives 44-year-old widow Jacinta Apio and her 8 children. Jacinta’s husband died in 2012, and the loss was devastating for the family. Suddenly, on top of coping with her own grief, Jacinta had no income and no way to support her children. She prayed to God every day to help her find her way. In 2013, her prayers were answered when 2 of her children joined the Kaberamaido CarePoint. This eased the financial burden for her, since she was now sure the education and welfare of the two children were taken care of. Now that she was a CarePoint guardian, Jacinta was eligible to become a member of the Apuserun Lole Village Savings and Loan Association. She decided to join after being educated about the importance of VSLA’s and how successful they can be. Jacinta even hosted the group’s weekly savings meetings at her home! Becoming a member of the VSLA granted Jacinta access to an affordable loan that she was able to use to put towards buying and selling her own livestock, as well as pay the school fees for her other 6 children.
These stories are perfect reflections of HopeChest’s mission coming to fruition around the world. These individuals aren’t just successful today, they’ll be successful tomorrow. They’ll have their independence, and their success will benefit their community, too. This is the vision that HopeChest has for impoverished individuals and communities, and the vision that YOU make possible with your partnership and contributions to HopeChest. We can’t continue doing this work without your help.
If you contribute to our year-end campaign today, you’ll be directly contributing to the success of thousands of individuals like the ones you just read about. Will you make a donation to change their story today?