Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hands of Hope (Great Christmas Gift Ideas!)


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

 
How Hands of Hope Began: A few women, A trip to Nigeria


Hands of Hope was started after a trip to Nigeria in 1999 disclosed startling conditions affecting women and the girl child due to the cultural practice of early childhood marriages (as early as age 11.)

"To meet only one of these mothers is to be profoundly moved...Mourning the stillbirth of their baby, incontinent of urine, ashamed of their offensiveness, often spurned by their husbands, homeless, unemployable except in the fields, they endure, they exist, without hope..."

As a result of that trip and of others hearing about the plight of women and children in Nigeria a northwest suburban community of Chicago came together, bringing their skills and resources, to help address the critical needs of women and children a world away.Our initial efforts funded a hospital addition which is being used for the surgical repair of women with VVF in Jos, Nigeria. A grass roots effort of just a few has now grown to include over 250 volunteers, annual fundraising events, and cooperative relationships with other helping organizations. With an ever-expanding support base in the Chicago area and a clear vision focused on making a difference, Hands of Hope works to raise community awareness and provides resources to women and children that offer education, address health concerns and provide the tools and resources for women to be economically self sustaining. Our efforts bring hope and open doors of opportunity to women and children who want the same things we all universally value; health, safety, the ability to make a living and provide a viable future for their loved ones.

Today, Hands of Hope targets the enormous impact of poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic on women and children in Africa.



Hands of Hope promote their Goat, Chicken and Well cards for the holiday season. These cards are great for holiday giving, customer appreciation, birthdays, etc.

Below you will find a picture and the wording for each card, as well as the price ($15 - $50) for each. The cards can be ordered through the Hands of Hope web site through this link.

A teacher who received a card from one of his students, remarked:

"This was the most profound gift I have received from a student in all my 38 years of teaching."
Roger Prazaider, 5th Grade Teacher, Geneva, IL

Please join us in Spreading the Word about Hands of Hope and the work they do and help get resources into the hands of those who need it most. If you would like to join this blog tour, an html blog post with all the info will be provided to you.

At this price, this is a gift you can't afford NOT to give! A perfect gift for everyone in your life. Scroll down further to read about Hands of Hope current projects.

Chicken Cards are one example of many available. Please be sure to visit the link below for additional options like Goat Cards, Well Cards (for drinking water) and other mission opportunities.



These lovely cards each represent a gift of twelve chicks. Help an impoverished family with a gift of chicks. $15.00 each
 
The inside of the card reads:
 
A gift of twelve chicks has been purchased and given to an impoverished family in Africa in your honor by:___________
 
As the flock multiplies, a struggling family will be given the hope to survive.
 
Your gift will help those in need for generations to come.

Now in case you would like to know more about this amazing group:

Current Projects 

Holistic Resources to Mongu in the Western Province of Zambia
 
Agriculture
  • Training, technical assistance and resource development in production and post harvest management for over 1000 rural farmers (approx. 6000 people)
  • Development of agricultural business services to create markets for farmer crops
  • Access to credit and financial services to minimize risk and maximize return for farmers


Education  - Limulunga Community School

  • Funding a school building - 600 children receive an otherwise unattainable education in this poverty stricken rural community
  • Providing school uniforms, books, supplies and equipment
  • Funding a "children in crisis" project for critical needs of students
  • Providing desks for 600 children

 
Water

  • Provide wells and irrigation systems for farm families 
     

Completed and Ongoing Projects
 
Agriculture
Emergency Refuge Support - Southern Sudan

  • Agricultural tools and seeds for 350 families returning from war
Goat and Chicken Projects - Southern Sudan, Uganda, Zambia

  • Providing Goats and Chickens to an expanding network of over 2000 poor rural families

Economic 
Microfinance Loans - Congo, Rwanda, Uganda

  • Provided women seed money to establish or expand viable businesses and provide sustainable income with affordable financing that changes the future of families and transforms poverty-stricken communities.

Education
Education and Vocational Training Center for AIDS Orphans - Uganda

  • Working directly with First Lady Janet Museveni, we helped fund an educational complex that serves 400 children with secondary education and vocational training
 School for the Blind Children - Zambia
  • Provided clothing, bedding, first aid kits, musical instruments and transportation for Sefula School for the Blind which cares for 200 children with urgent needs

Health Care
VVF Hostel and Vocational Training Center - Nigeria 

  • 50 bed hospital wing and rehab center serving over 2100 women suffering from horrendous gynecological problems as a result of early childhood pregnancies and subsequent pregnancies

Emergency Assistance - Southern Sudan

  • Mosquito nets and water containers for over 200 families returning home to rebuild their lives after 21 years of war.

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