Posts Tagged ‘ghni’

Seeking Hope and Healing for Heart and Country

// April 23rd, 2014 // No Comments » // Disaster Relief, Syria, Syria-Refugees, TCD

From the desk of Jamal Hashweh, Regional Field Leader of the Middle East– 

Tira receiving her heater

Tira receiving her heater

Marking progress with the Syrian crisis is like counting water droplets in a thunderstorm. The work is never ending and the problems remain. Winter was a time of giving out heaters, jackets, and blankets. We are trying to help stabilize the lives of the families as they will be here for a long time.

Tira* came to us without invitation. She heard through her friends we were distributing goods and she came without hope we would help. She had been to other organizations who turned her away. When I saw her, I asked what we could do. She was taken back with surprise and asked if she could have a heater for her family. I told her at this time I didn’t have one but if she came back on Wednesday I would have one for her.

Arriving on Wednesday, I saw she was the first one there. Standing with her were her friends, all had received things from GHNI.

She told us she had never felt so respected and cared for.


We also gave jackets, blankets, vitamins, heaters, and toys for the children. We had over 100 recipients that day.  We worked hard keeping our Syrian guests warm and healthy during this cold winter.  During a time of conflict, it is easily seen no matter your background, in a time of need, we all pull together. We have realized sometimes finding hope is the only thing people were seeking. Afterwards, many Syrians could feel they were respected and are still thanking us several weeks later.

TCD trainer (left) with Yalda (right)

TCD trainer (left) with Yalda (right)

Our plan of assisting the Syrians continues. We are beginning to have Transformational Community Development (TCD) training with the Syrian refugee families. This will involve parts of Vocational Training Program (VTP) as well.

We have already begun training with 12 families and we are planning more.

We will be emphasizing they will be the ones who will come together to build their country back.


We are also looking at skills these families have so we can implement VTP projects to help them become self-sufficient.

Having nothing but the items they brought with them from the Zaatari camp, one family of seven is now living in Madaba, 110km (almost 70 miles) south of Zaatari, because they could not find work. We have created a VTP program for women who would like to provide for their families. Yalda is our pilot project and is now helping to pay half her families rent.

We are continuing to give out items shipped to us through two other partner organizations. These items are used to create a bridge of hope to these families. As winter ends and the problem in Syria is yet to be resolved, we are encouraging our Syrian guests they are not alone and we are still with them.

Join us as we begin true transformation in the lives of Syrian refugees!


The Story of Bitrus

// April 21st, 2014 // No Comments » // Nigeria, Nigeria-Dogon Gada, TCD, TCD Education

Bitrus wants to be a medical doctor some day

Bitrus wants to be a medical doctor some day

Villagers in Dogon Gada have known for some time how important it was to find a way to give their children an education.  They even started a school without the proper four walls.  Now, the school is being fully operated and star pupils are standing out.  Here’s one story for you from the GHNI Nigeria team.

Dogon Gada, Nigeria

“Quite a lot is going on in Dogon Gada in the area of education, one of the five key elements fundamental to transformation. This month, we present the story of Bitrus, a 13-year old Dukawa boy, a native of Dogon Gada village where he lives with his parents.

“This is what Bitrus has to say about the Dogon Gada Primary School:

‘I am having a good time in this school. This is the first time I am going to school in my life.  Our teacher is teaching us well. I came here to get educated so that I can become a medical doctor. I will surely achieve this with the help of God.’”

A Model Committee

// April 18th, 2014 // No Comments » // Myanmar, Myanmar-Thar Kar Yung, TCD, TCD Wellness

TCD worker and village head man, the Man of Peace

TCD worker and village head man, the Man of Peace

The true test of whether or not Transformational Community Development (TCD) is working in a village is when the villagers take ownership of their progress.  That’s exactly what happened recently when the funding for their electricity transformer didn’t come as quickly as they hoped.  GHNI Myanmar shares the details of this inspiring story!

Thar Yar Kung, Myanmar

“The first committee in Thar Yar Kung village is the Electricity Committee formed by seven chief men of the village. The committee was formed before GHNI entered the village, but the committee adopted TCD method of solving problems by using the local resources and creating village ownership.

“The village needed more than 8,000,000 MMK ($8,300) to buy the transformer and fix it in order to get the electricity in the village. GHNI made a commitment with the committee to help in the electricity project if they dig pit latrines in the village.

“After a few months, the committee made partnership with the government and were able to get the transformer from the government. However, they didn’t have enough money to fix the transformer. Therefore, they sat for a meeting and discussed how to raise funds locally.

“They agreed to collect some money from every home in the village. That money still couldn’t cover the cost to fix the transformer. After sitting for another meeting to raise funds, they got an idea to sell land that the village owns (combined-land).   GHNI added some money as some toilets were repaired and dug so that they could start the project.”


Encouraging Article about a
GHNI Village Sponsor!

// April 17th, 2014 // No Comments » // Adopt a Village, GHNI Partners, GHNI Partnerships

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.

Read full article…

Can We Help Relieve Syrian’s Deep Sorrow?

// April 16th, 2014 // No Comments » // Disaster Relief, Syria, Syria-Refugees

Our disaster relief team is working hard to help Syrians displaced within the borders of their own country.  Mike Parks, GHNI’s Director of Disaster Relief, shares the following realities with us.

Boy does his homework on his mother’s tomb

Boy does his homework on his mother’s tomb

The harsh and complex civil war in Syria continues. Even as there are talks going on in Geneva, millions of Syrians are suffering and a nation is being torn apart at its foundation.

Bullets and mortars are still flying and many times the targets are not military but civilian populations.  Many churches, even some of the most ancient churches, and communities are being destroyed.  In cities like Aleppo, life is very disrupted as the war rages around them.

The heart breaking stories are growing like mountains of sorrow across this land of war. In Syria, more than 1,000 schools are destroyed, 1,200,000 homes are totally destroyed, and 8 million people are displaced inside Syria or as refugees outside of Syria.

Electricity is often available only 2 hours per day and water it is difficult to get.  Even cities that are near normal have the burden of caring for thousands of refugees.  On top of all this, it is winter and many are suffering from the cold.

A leader of an oppressed minority group in the local community I met in November 2013, recently sent the following email:

‘Christmas season here was minimum in everything, even some church activities. But mortars were at their maximum activity, dozens of bombs fell on a minority area in Aleppo on the 25th and 31st at night. Windows broke in my parents’ apartment, a mortar fell on an apartment near one of our friend’s apartment, and other one on the apartment right next to his.’

Another story from a contact inside Syria:

‘A young Syrian boy lost his parents. He keeps going to a school led by concerned people from the area teaching students for a few hours per day.  When he came back from school to do his homework, he sat on his mother’s tomb. When asked why, he said, ‘When she was alive, she helped me every day to finish my homework. Now I feel she is doing the same when I study close to her.’

This is a difficult time for all those in Syria who wish to live in peace. We are helping victims of this brutal civil war. We need more friends to join with us.

Food has been distributed in one region.  We are looking for ways to continue bringing in aid.  Since the situation is evolving, we have to be flexible on how we bring in aid.  We hope to do another distribution soon.

Working with a reliable network, we are able to get lifesaving food, medicines, clothing, items for infants and mothers, and other essential items to many of the neediest people.

Join us in bringing relief to these devastated people!


Lasting Development

// April 14th, 2014 // No Comments » // Egypt, Egypt-Helwan, TCD, TCD Education, TCD Wellness

Construction of the education and medical center

Construction of the education and medical center

The realities of illiteracy and lack of medical facilities in this area are soon to be a part of the past.  After much hard work the GHNI Egypt team has finally found a location and begun building this much needed community center which will be used for Transformational Community Development (TCD) training and so much more!  Here’s the latest from the building site.

Helwan Village, Egypt

“We have built 3 large rooms (one for the medical clinic – one for education – one for teaching ladies and children). We have also built the walls for separation between us and the neighbors.

“During the visit of two of our GHNI TCD Workers, we found that most foundations that operate in the region only work in distribution aid at events and holidays.  And even then, they do nothing to help develop skills including changes in thought and mind. There is much ignorance. This is what we will focus on: the development and real change in the region through education and skills development!!

“During March, we will be doing roofs, electricity, water and sanitation for three rooms. We will work a small garden and a place for children. It will be flat green wide place.”


Soap Sells

// April 11th, 2014 // No Comments » // Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso-Saneba, TCD, TCD Income

Soap to be sold by the women of Saneba

Soap to be sold by the women of Saneba

New income generating activities are transforming the norm in this community!  Not only will the families benefit from the increased income but fences are being mended within their relationships.  GHNI Burkina Faso tells the full story…

Saneba, Burkina Faso

“In the month of February, five women were selected by the village of Saneba to go through a soap-making training.  The women who went through the training, including one we call Mama, represented the two ethnic groups in the village: the Mossi and the Dagara. Relations between the two groups haven’t been great over the years but this training has helped bring them closer together.

“The women spent three days learning how to make soap using locally-available resources as well as learn how to start their own small business. They shared about how encouraged they were by the training. One of the women said, ‘We never could have imagined the day that they would have the possibility to make soap and sell it.’

Proudly displaying certificates of class completion

Proudly displaying certificates of class completion

“The training and micro-business program is done on a loan basis. Over time the woman will pay back the interest-free loan and it will be reinvested into the community to begin other initiatives and opportunities.

“Many other women in the village have already expressed an interest in going through a similar kind of training that will continue to help Saneba create income-generating opportunities. A village management committee has been set up to oversee and monitor the progress.“Our GHNI Transformational Community Development (TCD) Worker shared about how the village chief made the 10km (6.2 mile) trek to see him and express his thanks for the sustainable help that the village is getting.”


A Father for Syria’s Families

// April 9th, 2014 // No Comments » // Disaster Relief, Jordan, Jordan-Vocational Training Program, Syria, Syria-Refugees, TCD, TCD Income


Fathi’s children registering for English class

A father of 6 children, Fathi* and his family are among many Syrians who have fled to survive the on-going danger, no longer able to generate income in the war-torn land.  He was always a hard worker and ached to provide for his children, so they entered into Jordan.  So many others like him with the same idea had already begun to take its toll on the Jordanian economy, so we knew GHNI needed to get involved, but how?

We met Fathi when he enrolled his children in an English program.  He learned about our desire to help families like his find a long-term solution to their newfound poverty, so he told us in Syria he was known for his jarred pickles.  He asked if we could help him start a business selling pickles to Syrian run restaurants in the area, so we enrolled him in our Vocational Training Program (VTP).

Pickles in the Middle East are a side dish to almost every meal.  At the time we began talking to Fathi about his business idea, it was early summer and Ramadan was very close.  During Ramadan Muslims fast during the day and then have a breaking of the fast meal in the evening.  Many people order large quantities of food from restaurants during this month of observance.  The timing couldn’t have been better, so we told him if we had the funds, we would provide a loan and training to support his goals.

Fathi (left) with our GHNI Middle East  Regional Director (Right) and barrels of pickles.

Fathi (left) with our GHNI Middle East Regional Director (Right) and barrels of pickles.

By August, Ramadan had concluded and Fathi’s pickles brought in enough income to pay back the loan and cover the rent for his family’s home!  As the first Syrian refugee to take part in our VTP, we were excited for his success.  This gave us confidence we could help more refugees through this program.

Fathi (left) helping his fellow Syrian

Fathi (left) helping his fellow Syrian

Fathi’s story does not end with his own success, however.  By the time fall fell to the cold of winter, Fathi had another idea.  What if he could help reach out to his fellow Syrians taking refuge in Jordan to help them become self-sustaining, also?

We loved the idea, so Fathi became what we call our “Man of Peace,” and when he’s not making and selling pickles, he’s helping us find other Syrian families to be a part of the program.  Our GHNI Jordan team reports, “He is a hard working volunteer looking for families to help.  He is now working on transforming his community the same way he was transformed.”


Join Fathi in helping to transform the lives of displaced Syrians!


*For purposes of security and well-being, “Fathi” is a pseudonym of the person being helped by this project.

Shrimp Weighs in Big

// April 7th, 2014 // No Comments » // Indonesia, Indonesia-Tanakeke-Batu Ampara, TCD, TCD Income

Dg. Liwang showing off his new Shrimp Harvest

Finding more sufficient ways of doing the work they already know, this community is really beginning to thrive.  Thanks to locals who are willing to impart their knowledge of fishing and shrimping, villagers here are seeing a bright future, according to the GHNI Indonesia team in their latest update.

Tanakeke-Batu Ampara Village, Indonesia

“We have spent the last six months working with the fishpond owners in Tanakeke-Batu Ampara on ways to improve their harvests. We brought out a local expert to train these men and women on how to raise a new species of shrimp.

“We have since had two successful harvests out of the four that were tried. Nowwith Dg Liwang’s successful harvest, we can add one more to the successful side.

“After 10 weeks of hard diligent work, Dg. Liwang and his family harvested the shrimp and brought in over 160kg (350lbs) of shrimp. This yielded him a profit of over $400, which is better than the $50-$100 per month they had been used to previously. We will continue to improve their methods and train them as they raise shrimp so that their profits will continue to improve and become experts themselves.”

Group Efforts Spring Up

// April 4th, 2014 // No Comments » // Ethiopia, Ethiopia-Megaladi, TCD, TCD Food

This community is coming together to effect lasting change!  Through a lot of hard work, this group of people are seeing real growth…literally.  Here’s the story straight from GHNI Ethiopia.

Megaladi Village, Ethiopia

“The people in Megaladi Village are now inspired after seeing the transformation in neighboring village of Garmaam. They have dug three ponds to irrigate the two hectares (over 4 acres) of land in the community farm.

“They have prepared the land and GHNI has provided them with special seed for the three Transformational Community Development (TCD) groups. Now almost the entire field is covered by different vegetables.

“The group members water the field everyday with all of the group members actively participating.  They are very eager to see the same transformation in their lives and village as well. Two of our GHNI TCD Workers are helping them in this effort.”