Stories of hope from around the world SPRING 2013 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY (FH) CANADA
Gifts for Change
HOW TWO GRADUATED COMMUNITIES CONTINUE TO THRIVE AND INSPIRE. • PAGE 4
AT ID S A R . E D
From survival to sustainability
The Power of a Plan
FH INS A E nn C IDE 20 12 ua an : FI NU N M l R ad D B O ER U ep a’s T SA H or O ND W t W ST
SEE HOW CHRISTMAS PURCHASES ARE CHANGING LIVES • PAGE 8
IN THIS ISSUE SPRING 2013 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY (FH) CANADA
11 From Student to Teacher
Content and editorial contributions from Ashley Chapman, Ben Hoogendoorn, April Klassen, Mark Petzold, Michael Prins, Joe Reimer, Jonty Wilde, Carissa Youssef, and other valued FH staff. FH CANADA is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to providing long-term relief to those bound by poverty through sustainable community development. As part of the global Food for the Hungry (FH) network, we currently work in ten countries around the world.
Learning to Lead
Queenâ€™s Award for FH Medical Director
Through project development, child sponsorship, emergency relief and medical equipment distribution, FH Canada strives to meet the physical, spiritual, social and educational needs of each man, woman and child living in poverty. POVERTY REVOLUTION is a movement of engaged Canadians who are partnering with FH Canada to end poverty one community at a time. As a Certified Member of the Canadian Council for Christian Charities, FH Canada meets the stringent standards set by the CCCC for accountability and organizational integrity. 7.7% ADMINISTRATION AND RUNNING COSTS 9.7% INVESTED TO GENERATE FUTURE INCOME 82.6% BUILDING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES CHARITABLE REGISTRATION NUMBER:
14 When Helping Hurts
132152893RR0001 FH CANADA 1 - 31741 Peardonville Road Abbotsford, BC V2T 1L2 T 604.853.4262 TF 1.800.667.0605 F 604.853.4332 email@example.com www.fhcanada.org facebook.com/poverty.revolution
The Pursuit of a Plan Poverty-free communities within 10 years; it’s a thrilling goal. As many of us know, however, a great goal alone won’t guarantee results. Success is most often achieved through perseverance, inspiration and a healthy, thriving alignment with God. Often before any development plans can be prepared, hearts and minds must be transformed. With a biblically grounded view of development, families find fresh hope for their future. A plan to succeed, especially in international development, is made up of many steps. And since each community we walk with faces unique challenges, priorities are deployed differently but include agriculture, education, health, leadership and gender equality.
Poverty-free communities within 10 years; it’s a thrilling goal.
OUR PROMISE: To graduate communities out of poverty in 10 years.
SELF-SUSTAINING COMMUNITIES OUR PURPOSE: To end poverty – one community at a time.
This issue of Hope Notes highlights some of the incredible successes families around the world are celebrating after years of remarkable effort. Their tenacity of spirit, unwavering hope, and infectious joy is inspiring. You’ll read about my recent trip to visit families in Chhuk, Cambodia. Their community graduated in 2006, and I’m astounded by how they’ve built on their initial achievements, all without any outside funding! In the following pages, you’ll see how all the phases of development are woven together to build sustainable futures for families around the world. I hope you find great reward in their stories—they are your successes too. Be blessed,
Ben Hoogendoorn President/CEO
The Power of a Plan
It starts with a plan. How the journey from survival to sustainability has dramatically changed the landscape in communities a world apart and inspired others to follow in their footsteps.
Busekera families are optimistic as they look to the dramatic results from FHâ€™s eight-year partnership with nearby Cubi. 4
Community farmers take pride in the results of their improved agricultural practices.
In 1999, the leaders and families of Chhuk, Cambodia partnered with FH Canada as a last hope. The population was still recovering from a brutal civil war and infrastructure was almost nonexistent. Crops couldn’t always provide enough food, and crop failure was common and devastating. Education was rare, health poor, and
opportunity unheard of. Survival was the daily goal. In 2006, Chhuk was unrecognizable. Seven years after partnering with FH, the community was ready to graduate as completely self-sufficient. It’s been another seven years since then, and the community continues to excel. FH Canada president Ben Hoogendoorn was recently in
Cambodia and was blown away when he visited the former FH partner community. “The farmers are still using—and in many cases improving on—the farming methods and techniques they learned,” says Ben. “There didn’t seem to be any damage to the crops from insects, and the fields we visited were almost totally weed free.”
Chhuk continues to excel, building upon its successes since graduation in 2006. HOPE NOTES
“The leaders of this community are Farms in the area are fully organic, using compost for fertilizer and all natural ingredients for pest control. Years of healthy soil care have changed the quality of the land. “The pride they showed in touring us around was evident,” says an impressed Ben. Farming techniques aren’t the only agricultural reminders of the prior partnership. In 2002, FH introduced animal stocking into the community with six initial cows and training on how to care for and house them effectively. There are currently 182 cows in Chhuk, and almost everyone in the community has benefited from them. The introduction of livestock has impacted the agriculture, nutrition and economy of the community. When community members began to earn an income, FH encouraged groups to save money together with specific projects and purchases in mind. Today the community and church leaders have taken over this initiative, and there are currently close to 400 community members saving together in these groups. In addition to saving, members loan money to each other, which ultimately helps grow their savings pool. More and more, though, the group members are choosing not to keep all the profits from their savings.
“They’re using them to support orphans, widows and landless people with no way to provide for their families,” says Ben. “This is really quite amazing since they themselves would be considered ‘poor’ by our North American standards.” This isn’t the only way the community members are looking out for each other. They’ve also started “rice banks” as a safety net in case people fall on hard times. Remarkably, the community has also opened a preschool and a “private school” where over 500 students come every day for tutoring so they can qualify for college and university scholarships.
They’re using [their profits] to support orphans, widows and landless people with no way to provide for their families. This is really quite amazing since they themselves would be considered ‘poor’ by our North American standards.” BEN HOOGENDOORN, FH CANADA PRESIDENT
1. Preparing the site. 2. Walls take shape on a new school block. 3. A clean water source, tanked for constant supply. 4. Wall-sized chalkboards help complete the interior. 5. Final touches on the exterior as the new school nears completion.
forward-thinking visionaries.” A world away, Busekera, Rwanda maps out a plan for self-sustainability. Families in Busekera are optimistic as they look to the dramatic results from the eight-year FH partnership in the community of Cubi, just 20 kilometres away. It’s eighteen months into Busekera’s own relationship with FH, and community leaders are moving forward on their first chosen priority: access to education. There are 4,000 children in Busekera, but only six classrooms that are almost 50 years old. As is common in Rwanda, the children attend school in morning and afternoon shifts so that more kids have access to classes. Still, it’s not nearly enough.
“These are fully self-sustaining programs that receive no outside funding,” says Ben, astonished by the change in the community. “The leaders of this community are forward-thinking visionaries who know education will provide incredible benefits, not only for individual students, but for the entire region.” Chhuk has become unrecognizable— this time from where it was when it graduated from its seven-year partnership in 2006. The power of that initial seven-year plan has multiplied exponentially another seven years later.
As one part of the community’s new education strategy, fully watertight classrooms are being constructed. Local labour has been used in every step of the process—from preparing the site to pouring the foundation to building the wood and brick structures. When trucks were having difficulty accessing the site with construction materials, community members even volunteered to level the road leading to the school. Wall-sized chalkboards and desks— two popular items in the FH Canada Gifts for Change gift guide this past Christmas—are being installed to
complete the new classrooms. In addition to the classrooms, a large water tank has been installed at the school to catch and store rainwater for drinking and sanitation. While many stages and priorities lie ahead in Busekera’s development plan, families are energized by the possibilities. They’re working towards a 2021 graduation date, when they will join the ranks of Cubi, Chhuk, and many others as a completely self-sustainable community.
The Dairy Cow Project UPDATE
There’s new life mooing in Mbale, Uganda. The Dairy Cow Project cows have had their first round of calves, and several more are pregnant. The project is raising the wellness status and income level of families in the area. Residents have formed small groups which each share the duties and benefits of raising a cow. Up to six families can share the responsibilities of taking care of one cow—and eventually its calves. This way they also share the risk and expense involved in raising the large animals.
Farming families are trained in quality milk production, animal reproduction and animal health monitoring to prevent disease. The milk from the cows is consumed by the calves and by the families caring for the cows, but the largest portion—approximately 10 litres per day—is sold for profit. The market for milk is very strong in this community, and clients sign up to receive the milk regularly. As participants in the Dairy Cow Project, the farming families are trained in quality milk production, animal reproduction, proper feeding for the cows and calves, and animal health monitoring to prevent disease. Still, the impact of the dairy cows reaches far beyond milk production and skills training. The manure from the cows is used as organic fertilizer to improve families’ crops, and the resulting yields are impressive. Families’ nutrition is improved both through the milk and through the increased amounts of vegetables and fruits in their gardens. The income provided by the milk also enables families to buy foods with a larger variety of nutrients, to purchase for school supplies and to pay school fees for their children.
Would you like to donate towards the cost of a dairy cow? Visit www.povertyrevolution.org/cows today!
The newest member of the family Alodie loves taking care of her goat and its new kid when she gets home from school each day. Alodie’s grandmother, Sophie, loves that the goat’s manure has increased their garden’s food production. Alodie and Sophie are proud of their goat and are very grateful to the Canadian family who helped provide it.
Since her father died, Derartu has to work harder than ever to stay in school. On market days, she assists her mother by selling vegetables and cereals to contribute to the family’s living expenses. But thanks to the gift of school supplies, Derartu can count on attending school. Now she has renewed motivation to pursue her education and she hopes to become a medical doctor. Derartu attends class alongside her friends, many of whom are also supported through FH Canada sponsorship and educational programs.
Gift Guide Updates!
Thank you for creating change!
Left: Angelica (third from left) with her mother, sisters and brother in Rinconada del Sol. Right: Angelica cheerfully works at her family’s small corner store.
Angelica has never been short on enthusiasm. A young lady from Rinconada del Sol in Greater Lima, Peru, Angelica was thrilled to attend FH’s youth-focused Kids’ Club where she grew in her confidence, leadership skills and respect. Thanks to generous supporters this past Christmas season, other children will also benefit from the training and extra-curricular support offered through the Kids’ Clubs.
Learning to Lead The community partnered with FH in 2003 and everyone involved agreed that the biggest need was training— especially to empower women. They received medical training and leadership courses, then FH staff helped community members establish a system of leadership that functions reliably to this day.
The women who were trained by FH to become health and education advocates in their community are now being asked to run local benevolent initiatives and serve on medical outreach teams with local doctors. They’ve even been asked to partner with universities in the city to arrange tutoring sessions for at-risk youth. “We are recognized in the community as leaders,” says Isabelita.
Indeed, when Tangos graduated in 2008 they were on an entirely different path. The opportunities the community experienced in their FH partnership did not disappear— they doubled.
“With FH we became experts at identifying who were the poorest of the poor and who most needed our attention. Our community can now organize and plan who and where to help,” she says.
Topics covered at the seminar included urban rescue, flood control, firefighting and emergency preparedness. A counsellor also prepared participants to help victims through the shock, trauma, and loss that accompany the worst disasters.
This was day three of a disaster response and post-trauma care seminar held in one of FH’s ChurchFocused Fields that regularly faces
natural disasters. FH is helping train local churches to be effective first responders and to serve their communities in the aftermath of an emergency—by providing counselling services and prayer, food and water distribution, and emergency shelters in their homes or church buildings.
These were the types of challenges that would suddenly be announced as teams planned routes and strategies for getting relief supplies into a simulated disaster area.
TE SAS R ST DI
Injuries. Road blockages. Phone lines down.
“We didn’t have a system like this in place before,” says Isabelita Rawns, a teacher in the community.
She also explains that the area’s tropical storms no longer incapacitate the population. They now prepare for the inevitable and have support in place for the people directly affected.
Training participants learn to navigate the challenges of effective disaster relief.
The Tangos community in Metro Manila, Philippines was one of the poorest in its region. Natural disasters seemed to plague the area, and community members didn’t have systems in place to cope in the aftermath.
Five years after graduating from their FH partnership, a Filipino community serves as a model for effective civic leadership.
T SASTER S
From Student to Teacher The first sponsored child in a Metro Manila, Philippines community comes full circle.
Allan Aquila playfully introduces himself as “001.” The code is not a movie-inspired nickname, but the child sponsorship number given to him years ago when FH started working in the Tangos community of Metro Manila, Philippines. Allan was the first sponsored child in his area. Allan remembers when FH first moved into his neighbourhood. His mother told him that a sponsor in Canada wanted to help him go to school and receive extra training. Allan still has the letters his sponsor sent him. Sponsorship provided Allan with leadership training, school supplies and clothes—things most people in Canada take for granted. But more than just the practical provisions, Allan remembers being impacted by the knowledge that others wanted him to succeed in life. It played a huge role in helping him get to where he is today. Unlike most 23-year-olds who grew up in one of the Philippines’ poorest communities, Allan has completed a college degree in science. He trained with the National Filipino Gymnastics team for two years, but a case of Dengue Fever kept him from competing overseas with his team. Instead of losing hope, Allan chose to volunteer in his local church—the church FH had partnered with during
his youth. Allan started working with the younger boys from the community, and within a few years he realized he wanted to become a pastor. Allan says the shift in career path felt very natural. He had become accustomed to watching people serve in his church, and he had observed the leadership of the FH child development staff. Over time, he developed a similar desire to lead and serve. Allan now teaches Sunday school and is hosting three cell groups for young people, training over 50 youth in faith and leadership. Several of his pupils are currently sponsored through FH Canada in nearby communities, and Allan is a model of what they can accomplish. Allan could have left his community and pursued a higher-paying career in the city, but his faith inspired him to invest into the next generation the same way he was invested into as a child. “God called and FH responded in my community,” he explains. “I feel called to do the same thing.”
How it works You and Your Partnership
You Help Transform a Child and their Community School tuition, supplies, and uniforms for children Food-growing assistance for famers Clean water development for villages Income-generating programs for parents Public health education for families
Child sponsorship enables families to meet the needs of their children. FH Canada has many children waiting for sponsors. Go to www.povertyrevolution.org/child and change the life of a child and impact their community forever.
Beyond the Academic Dayse Liseth (pictured crouching) is 16 years old and hopes to one day become a school administrator or teacher. In the meantime she focuses on her studies, volunteers as a homework helper and teaches classes at her church. Dayse is one of 493 junior high and high school students chosen by the community to receive a scholarship in the FH-partner region of San Juan Chamelco. The scholarships are funded by the Canadian Ezra Foundation and are an important part of the long-term development process in several Guatemalan villages.
The benefits aren’t only academic. The youth in the community are invited to attend monthly biblical values and healthy living seminars. With a focus on leadership, identity, nutrition and sanitation, this has been one of Dayse’s favourite
The benefits to the children able to attend school aren’t limited to pure academics The scholarships cover school supplies for junior high students and a portion of bus fare and tuition expenses for high school students. This might not seem like much, but these moderate expenses can be too much for the area’s lowest income families. For families who qualify for financial assistance, the scholarship is a two-way deal. Parents promise to do everything they can to help their children succeed in school, and community leaders follow up to ensure that parents fulfill their commitment. It might seem strange that there’s family follow-up for the scholarships, but the idea of prioritizing education is countercultural in parts of San Juan Chamelco. FH staff and community leaders are working to convince parents both of their children’s ability to succeed and of the benefits of completing a high school education.
opportunities. It has also encouraged her peers to get more involved in their community’s transformation. The students have formed a youth committee to design projects that benefit their community. With support from community leaders, they’ve implemented projects including garbage collection, tree planting and collecting food donations for especially needy families and the elderly. Students are also accessing vocational training as part of the scholarship program. FH has partnered with Guatemala’s National Institute of Technical Training to teach marketable skills such as carpentry, accounting and secretarial duties. Most recently, a group of students participated in culinary arts training to learn Guatemalan specialty dishes. Dayse isn’t the only student fully immersing in her studies and
community service as a result of the scholarships. Gloria Imelda of a neighbouring community is also deeply grateful for the academic support. “I graduated from high school with a specialty in Sciences and Letters,” she says. “My dream is to graduate as a professional nurse and support my family and community.”
Want to partner with six students in a practical way? Fund their school supplies for a year for only $30. Visit www.povertyrevolution.org/gifts today!
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION
That’s an average of 19 per year, or one every 21/2 weeks!
IMED began shipping containers in 1999 and has sent a total of 266 containers to 40 countries. The top three most requested medical items are birthing beds, ultrasounds and fetal monitors. For every $1 donated toward shipping costs, $30 of medical equipment is shipped to communities who desperately need it. The average cost to ship a container is $15,000. The average value of its donated medical contents is $450,000.
Queen’s Award for FH Medical Director Mr. Lindsay Brucks (pictured on left) has been shipping 40-foot containers of life-saving medical equipment for 17 years now. As director of FH Canada’s International Medical Equipment Distribution (IMED) program in Saskatoon, SK, he can routinely be found wheeling refurbished incubators and x-ray machines into giant shipping containers requested by doctors in developing countries. On December 4th he was brought to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, ON to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal which honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Lindsay is quick to share the recognition with his FH co-workers, international partners, and especially the Canadian hospitals and medical professionals who
donate the medical equipment and supplies. “They cannot bear the thought of excellent equipment sitting in a storage closet when it could save a life,” he explains. “They understand the value of medical care and the worldwide need for adequate equipment.” Through donations from the Canadian medical system and shipping donations from donors across the country, IMED distributed $2,056,914 worth of specifically requested medical equipment last year.
Visit www.povertyrevolution.org/ medical to join this life-giving effort and to see where medical equipment is being shipped this year.
When Helping Hurts
Dr. Brian Fikkert was describing the value of partnershipbased development when the words “Donor Alert” appeared on his giant presentation screen.
FH’s “smart development” conference draws a crowd
He had been making the participatory partnership model sound too good, too effective and beneficial, but he was about to reveal the catch hidden in the fine print. He paused, then tumbled out with it. “Good intentions are not enough,” he admitted. It’s something that donors and frontline workers don’t always like to hear.
(And what we can do about it) Brian is the co-author, along with Steve Corbett, of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...And Yourself. On December 1st he headlined the “Helping Without Hurting” conference in Edmonton, AB, hosted by FH Canada. FH Canada training manager Melissa Giles organized the event as a training tool for pastors, lay people, aid workers, and anyone involved with engaging poverty and injustice locally or globally. “We wanted to give back and provide a resource for people,” says Melissa. “This isn’t presently being talked about by other big speakers in Canada.” She realized just how pertinent the topic was when 525 people registered for the event. Participants came from all over Western Canada and even the northwestern states. The conference broke down the principles of relief and development, equipping participants to respond in appropriate, life-giving ways that empower the poor instead of undermining their dignity.
Based on the overwhelming feedback, the training challenged the crowd and confronted several assumptions about the nature of poverty. It also suggested alternative ways to engage complex issues and laid the foundations for more effective involvement. Most importantly, it helped participants be aware of the ways their good intentions could actually bring harm.
“It completely changed the way I view the needs of the materially poor.”
“The face of our missions trips, social work and community service could be dramatically altered for the better,” said Jessica, a conference participant who works with government social services. “There are things I think the Church needs to hear, and Brian has a way of communicating them that’s really effective,” explains Melissa. But it wasn’t a conference about guilt or shame for mistakes of the past. It was meant to inspire, educate and enable individuals, churches, volunteers and non-profits to make smart choices as they engage with issues of poverty—not only for their own good, but for the good of those they aim to help.
“The whole concept was paradigm shifting. It completely changed the way I view the needs of the materially poor and how to get involved in the solution,” said a seasoned volunteer attending the conference.
God-complexes, bad aid and worse. What’s gone wrong, and how can we fix it? Join us as we challenge our deeply-held assumptions and explore our worldviews to better understand the nature of poverty and God’s intended solution. For dates and locations, or to book one for your community, visit www.povertyrevolution.org/bootcamp
Poverty Revolution Boot Camp WWW.POVERTYREVOLUTION.ORG/BOOTCAMP
If you missed the conference but want to attend a Poverty Revolution Boot Camp, visit www.povertyrevolution.org/ bootcamp
Follow the impact of your gifts
Gift Guide items for all occasions! Easter
Why should the bunny get all the attention? This Easter give a pair of guinea fowl and provide a family with eggs, meat, keets (chicks) and income.
Provide a pair of Guinea Fowl
Father’s Day Dad will love being honoured when you help a family in Cambodia establish a fish farm so they can raise fish to sell and consume.
Support Fish Farm Training
Instead of another coffee card, surprise mom with a caffeinated treat that keeps on giving. Coffee seedlings will kick-start a farming family with one of the world’s best-loved crops.
k.com/ aceboo www.f rty.revolution pove
Provide Coffee Seedlings
1012939 1 - 31741 Peardonville Road Abbotsford, BC V2T 1L2 1.800.667.0605 firstname.lastname@example.org fhcanada.org povertyrevolution.org
Poverty Revolution facebook.com/Poverty.Revolution