Thank you, Tanna Dang and Costco, for your heart to change lives!
Costco magazine focused on how Tanna uses her business, Eden in Love, to positively impact poverty while serving customers in her store.
Thank you, Tanna Dang and Costco, for your heart to change lives!
Costco magazine focused on how Tanna uses her business, Eden in Love, to positively impact poverty while serving customers in her store.
Gambella Village worked for 5 years to transform their village, graduating from our Transformational Community Development (TCD) program this past summer. The total cost for 5 years was less than $90,000! In their final report, the GHNI Kenya team summarizes the village’s progress and great news about what lies ahead for Gambella Village.
Gambella was drinking water from the camel stream. Disease rates and infant mortality were high.
Water Committee formed. A well is now maintained, and families have been taught to make low-cost biosand filters. Clean water has flowed continuously ever since.
Parched ground in this drought area led to high starvation rates. Families lived on less than one meal per day.
Agriculture Committee formed. Three harvests annually each yield over one metric ton. Every family has 3 meals daily, plus surplus to sell for income.
Gambella had high rates of infant mortality and adult sickness, and high loss-of-work time from sickness.
Wellness Committee formed. Committee has taught scores of health lessons to the village, reducing infant mortality to near zero. And no new AIDS cases.
No women produced income. There were no businesses in the village. Men held animal-herding jobs for less than $1/ day.
Income Groups formed. Now there are over 30 small businesses in the village, and families have enough money for education and health, some making $10-20/ day.
Gambella had no school. A couple dozen children were learning under this tree with volunteer teachers.
Education Committee formed. Simple classrooms and school grounds were built, attracting teachers. Now there is a principal, vice-principal, 8 teachers, and 200 children in school daily.
It has been through the generosity and encouraging visits to the village from people like you that the people of Gambella have been transformed to a self-sustaining community. Gambella once had wars with its neighboring village of Attir, but they now share food producing land and a wind-powered well. Gambella villagers are teaching Attir villagers the principals of Transformational Community Development (TCD).
Go out with a bang to celebrate the New Year! Make a 2013 charitable and tax-deductible gift to help a village transform from poverty into self-sustainability. Give a gift today!
How does your gift transform a village? Visit our Adopt-a-Village page to learn more, or watch this 6 minute video on Transformational Community Development:
Give a year-end gift to bring help and hope to impoverished people in rural villages!
Whether it’s spiritual beliefs or personal conviction, giving feels good! Kaimuki Christian Church in Honolulu, Hawaii, has caught on to GHNI’s vision of developing impoverished communities toward self-sustainability.
“Several years ago God put it on my heart to give from my social security to help support GHNI. The Transformational Community Development (TCD) program of making a desperately poor village become self-sustaining sets GHNI apart from many other organizations. Also, GHNI teams go into village and into people’s homes in areas where the majority of assistance never reach. “ -Harry Higa, GHNI Partner and member of Kaimuki Christian Church
“I’ve seen first-hand in various parts of the world the impact being made and have confidence in the staff who serve as humble servants. That’s why our Thanksgiving Offering will once again go to support GHNI.” -Pastor Ron Arnold, Kaimuki Christian Church
Gather your friends from your church, mosque, temple, or club this holiday season and give the gift of transformation!
Visit ghni.org/holiday-shop to give a meaningful gift!
Meet guest blogger, Mary Lossau. Mary, her husband Matt and their two daughters have been partners with GHNI since 2009 when their neighborhood adopted Gambella Village in Kenya. Mary’s is a heartwarming tale of a community which came together to give a gift that transformed a village.
I love people. People I can see and touch, and look in their eyes, and know their stories. Real people. They matter to me.
Four years ago GHNI introduced me (and my neighborhood) to Gambella, Kenya. It’s a lot like my neighborhood, filled with families – moms and dads, and lots of kids. They are beautiful people who love and laugh, and long for a brighter future for their children.
I first met them through a video ‘chat’ (with the help of a translator). It took my breath away to see their faces. Not the same color, or scenery or language… but to these beautiful people I already felt such a bond. WOW!
Our partnership began after learning about GHNI’s five-prong approach to helping the poorest of the poor work their own way out of poverty into a sustainable productive community. On paper, it was brilliant. So we signed on. Then we watched the transformation before our very eyes.
Gambella took a bold step to partner with GHNI. Unlike other organizations, GHNI doesn’t offer a handout of ‘help.’ It tells them, “You want a school? You will help pay for and build the school.” And they did. With only a little help from us… the village did it ALL.
That was the key in choosing GHNI. They had a great plan to help a little village, like Gambella, who was willing to do the work. Gambella had no school, jobs or clean water, very little food and medical attention was a 4-hour walk away. They’ve gone from nothing to something… and that something was born on their determination, vision and HOPE.
We had 6 families in our neighborhood signed on to our partnership. We worked hard together to raise our little portion to help Gambella along. And then over the years, 4 of us were able to visit our sweet neighbors in Gambella. My husband has been there 3 times.
GHNI created a way for me to CONNECT with real people living in the direst poverty, and actually help them. I believe the change in Gambella will create opportunities way beyond sustainability. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gambella Primary School produces future Kenyan dignitaries.
They changed me in the process.
Join Mary’s community! Gather those around you and give the gift of community this holiday season.
Go to ghni.org/holiday-shop give the gift of transformation!
Learn more about Mary’s journey with Adopt-a-Village by watching this 3 minute video!
BT Village, located in the Kailali district in SW Nepal, has existed for merely three decades. At the start of 2013, GHNI identified this village at high risk of human trafficking. The elders of BT Village migrated from the mountains to the Kailali district in hopes of escaping severe oppression. With no money, no job opportunities, and a social caste system that considers these individuals (Dalits, otherwise known as “The Untouchables”) to be worthless, they cleared out a space in the forest, optimistic about building a better tomorrow for their people.
Thirty years later, these villagers are still considered ‘squatters’ and remain amongst the poorest of the poor in the world.
Due to few income generating opportunities in the area, most of the men in the village migrate to India for work while the women become the sole caregivers for their families increasing family pressures in this community.
The well-water is contaminated and often dries up, village girls are required to fetch water every morning, which takes an average of 4 hours roundtrip. The long walks through the forest put these females in grave danger as they are often taken advantage of by men along the way. This daily 4-hour chore hinders the girls from attending school, which in turn disables them from being able to provide for themselves and their families. Many of the girls in BT Village are married off as early as 14 years old.
The Hope They Needed
The people of BT Village are hard-working, motivated citizens, and ready to make the changes necessary to escape their extreme poverty and vulnerability to exploitation.
GHNI has been working in BT Village since January 2013 with the goal to help the village escape poverty and slavery; learning how to identify, prioritize, and solve their own problems. Through our Transformational Community Development (TCD) model we offer them a hand up, not a hand out, as we walk with them through this 3-5 year process. By this time we expect they will be able to carry on and prosper without us.
Though the problems are many, we have worked with the community to identify three primary problems we will initially focus on, Human Trafficking Prevention, Income Generation, and Clean Water. These issues have many crossovers and satisfying one will help resolve another…Read More…
Isabelle Bourgeois is a recent addition to GHNI as our Permanent Representative to the United Nations. A native of Geneva, Switzerland, home of GHNI headquarters, Isabelle has worked for many years on the United Nations stage for a wide variety of human rights issues.
With a multidisciplinary training and a master degree in humanitarian action, she is engaged for more than 25 years with NGOs and associations working alongside the most vulnerable. Isabelle enables GHNI to be a global active player at the international level of the United Nations movement, working to strengthen ties between Human Rights efforts, the International Community in Geneva, and GHNI.
Isabelle launched her efforts with GHNI by presenting the following speech at a United Nations Side Event*—an event outside official United Nations meetings, organized for the purpose of sharing experiences and increasing opportunities for informal dialogue among the meetings’ participants.
A Participatory Approach in the Community Projects
By, Isabelle Bourgeois
We are all aware of the challenges connected to each other, inseparable that arise in the world. The situation remains very fragile. The load for all is growing. The needs are enormous and constantly increasing. They are factors of violence, protest and desertion of their living areas by the affected populations, in particular those affected by extreme poverty.
The NGO Global Hope Network International (GHNI) has experienced positive examples of communities transformed by the active participation of people, groups and villages belonging to the marginalized in the world’s poorest areas. For 12 years in 40 partnership countries, it offers emergency, humanitarian aid and initiates community projects of 3-5 years.
Despite the risks, Global Hope Network International (GHNI) makes it a priority to help and give hope in the most heavily insulated, inaccessible and poorly developed areas. By setting up and carrying out community development projects (TCD), the organization supports, motivates and equips communities so that everyone can participate in the decisions and actions affecting its own life, its own development and that of its entourage.
These collaborative projects are spaces for dialogue and training. They allow individuals to gain confidence in themselves and their relatives. They contribute to help people to have a sense of belonging, to be essential actors in the community while encouraged to stay and develop their own place of life.
For example: Situation of the Gambella village in northern Kenya.
It is located in an arid region particularly vulnerable to climate change and subject to tribal warfare. 5 years ago, this pastoral community had no drinking water available. The water pump installed by UNICEF in the 90s was unfortunately broken. One meal a day, high mortality rates, epidemics, high HIV/AIDS, incomes averaging hardly more than $ 1 per day per man (women did not have access to income). Education: a volunteer teacher for 12 children under a tree.
Global Hope seeks to support and facilitate the formulation of future plans, realistic, measurable, that facilitate coordinated action with the greatest impact, the highest chance of success, and replicable to other villages, areas. It is the people themselves who take initiatives and the project is theirs.
The goal is for communities to become self-sufficient and autonomous. This is achieved through five committees responsible for projects, which allow access and improvement to five key basic needs (water, food, financial resources, education and health).
Back to the village of Gambella: In just four years of operation (2009 – April 2013), despite a devastating and deadly attack orchestrated by the neighboring tribe 2 years ago,
we find the following improvements:
- Income: Multiplied by 10 in 3 months and the town became an economic hub for the region;
- Water: from absence of drinking water to enough clean water for all 4 years;
- Food: from one meal per day to enough food for sale outside;
- Health: On mortality, epidemics and high HIV / AIDS to: we got to a decrease (almost zero) of infant mortality, no epidemic and no cases HIV/AIDS found that year (by testing every 3 months) and creation of a center for disease prevention ;
- Education: From a volunteer teacher 12 children under a tree to a school with 8 classrooms and 8 teachers and 200 students (School awarded by the government for this region of Kenya).
There has also been a change in mentality:
- In February 2012, approx. 100 women initiated a peace march to encourage everyone to reconciliation and peaceful co-operation;
- Another change of mentality found: After observing the results, a neighboring village, who had at first refused the offer of technical assistance and expertise by the staff of Global Hope saying: “If you do not give us money, we do not need you “, asked the NGOs to replicate the same experience in their own community.
Today, leaders of surrounding village communities (Up to 200 Km) come to learn from the successful example of Gambella. A 10-day course was organized for them.
The coherence of Global Hope Network International resides on one side, for the sake of the practical and effective participation of individuals through their community, and on the other hand, the ability to duplicate and adapt the successful model TCD “Transforming Communities” worldwide. This is combined with the building capacity of each one and accountability of local leaders through workshops and adapted courses.
In addition, in order to positively reform the society by improving policies and the exercise of human rights, GHNI offers to the political elites of the countries a one week a year intensive training in Geneva through the GENEVA INSTITUTE for leadership and public policy (GILPP).
The purpose of GHNI is to ensure the long-term of community development projects, unity and support, to directly influence policies taking into account the needs and the interests of the poor, excluded from the development in the design and implementation of policies, while fostering links with political leaders of other countries.
We have seen, experienced that it is possible that each individual within a community can be integrated into a social network and participate effectively and efficiently to its own fate. To hope for a better future, thanks to a multi-holistic approach to capacity development, knowledge transfer, use of local resources, and empowerment of people who are capable at the community and national level, in collaboration with other partner organizations.
We all want the spiral of extreme poverty to eventually reverse through the dynamic replication of successful models. And for those living in poverty and isolation, to see themselves as full members of society and autonomous actors in a safe and secure environment for everyone. More than economic resources, this requires a serious political will but also time, planning, resources and the constant commitment of all partners.
Sushil, GHNI India’s National Field Leader, shares the amazing story of how he helped the village where he grew up in Dhoker Jhara, India, escape from crippling poverty in this inspiring 3 minute video.
With the success of Dhoker Jhara, India GHNI has been able to start helping a nearby village, Jatapara to begin Transformational Community Development (TCD).
The GHNI team in Indonesia announces a new Transformational Community Development (TCD) village after overcoming many challenges. Their story is an example of the great care all GHNI teams take in choosing the village which is best motivated toward community transformation.
“After facing unexpected challenges in GHNI’s previous designated cocoa village, GHNI’s leadership along with a partnering organization decided to begin assessing new potential villages last year. Over a period of 7 months, our local GHNI Indonesia team began assessing potential TCD villages. After spending months visiting villages, meeting with government officials and collecting data, our team is proud to announce the new TCD village: Sendana, located in the Kabupaten of Majene.
“Sendana is located 350 meters above sea level, in a remote, mountainous area. Currently there is more than 80 hectare of cocoa being grown, but many of the farmers have lost hope that their cocoa production could ever be what it used to be. In the words of one farmer, ‘We are waiting for a solution!’
“At the end of March, our team kicked off the TCD program with a ‘vision seminar,’ describing in detail the vision and structure for the new cocoa program. Following the vision seminar, our team will work alongside the village to help implement a four to six week ‘seed project.’ This will encourage village unity and show the village that they can work together to develop their village and increase their cocoa production.
“The idea for the seed project will come directly from the village, chosen by the community themselves. This seed project could range from building fences around the cocoa trees to protect them from cows, construct an area for all the village goats in order to easily collect manure for fertilization, or dig drainage areas in order to better help flooding around the cocoa trees.
“Starting in June, our team will begin the regular, weekly cocoa program, teaching concepts such as ‘how to clean and why to prune’ and ‘how to recognize cocoa diseases.’ Our team will help to construct a cocoa demonstration area to help take the ‘cocoa farming theory’ and apply what they have learned. We will begin the program in Sendana, with plans to expand into other areas nearby.”
Jeff Power, GHNI leader, tells of his experiences of the village transformation in Gambella over the course of 5 years.
They could have killed each other with machetes, right in front of me.
Boru, Hussein and Kamal hail from three different tribal villages that were spilling one another’s blood just two years ago. And now we were all sitting together, knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder, looking into each other’s eyes.
The first week in April was “Village Transformation Week” for GHNI. We had enthusiastically e-invited the over 4,000 amazing people in our network across the US to celebrate the power of villages truly transforming out of crippling poverty and tribal clashes. I was spending the week in Kenya, celebrating with a once-dirt-poor village that could now be a poster-child for village transformation – Gambella village.
Gambella was welcoming us with steaming, fresh-killed goat meat, rice and beans. Songs rang out, dances captured our grinning faces. And in the celebration circle with us were Gambella’s former enemies, now friends.
Catching every smile-filled, tribal-language-filled and gesture-filled moment on film was our well-travelled videographer, Dennis. Together we were on a mission to let the brave and grateful people of Gambella spend the week telling us (and soon the world) the vivid details of their 5-year journey with our Transformational Community Development program (TCD).
And their stories poured out. Stories of initial interest followed by resistance and doubt. Stories of baby steps. Stories of suffering attacks that would have obliterated many villages. And stories of hope, hard work and bold steps leading to a bright future. The people of Gambella spoke with proud gusto about how through TCD they turned their once-forgotten village from a dusty, sun-burnt speck into a growing community that now attracts new residents from scores of kilometers away.
They are becoming “a place to live!”
In a nutshell, Gambella village has, in five years, at very low cost:
And all of this, even after suffering a devastating attack in the middle of the program.
You will soon have the amazing opportunity to see Gambella’s documentary. And you will hear of how their TCD staff and program helped them reconcile with their warring neighbors – creating a peace that has now led to giving TCD help to their former enemies.
To all of you who helped during “Village Transformation Week” — to spread the word, or to give a donation to spread TCD to more villages, we extend a huge THANK YOU!
Together, in this truly global network of Hope, we really are witnessing the transformation of some of the poorest villages of the world.