As we move closer to once again facilitating teams overseas, we are still in a time where restrictions across various countries have made it very difficult to do so. Hungry For Life continues to monitor the rapidly changing travel restrictions and make preparations, but the time for teams to return internationally is still a work in progress.
While we have been working on implementing a phased approach for return to travel, our international partners continue to respond to emergency relief as well as longer-term development projects. Regular communication from our international partners has made it clear that we need to provide an opportunity to “bridge the gap”.
Over the past 18 months since the pandemic hit, the project priorities of our international partners have changed and we want to reflect those changes so others have an opportunity to maximize their impact as it relates to the needs of those struggling to rebound after this past year and a half.
Where possible, many of our international partners are looking at ways of providing sustainable solutions to assisting the community.
In Malawi, our partner has been assisting with establishing a sustainable agricultural project which will not only provide food for the community, but also income to those who work. Training on farming practices and irrigation techniques have also been provided.
There are countless other examples, ranging from continued food relief to supporting school operations and assisting with temporary teacher support.
We have a project catalogue available which lists current specific needs, enabling us all to Bridge the Gap before the highly anticipated return to travel.
So many of you have been fundamental in walking alongside our international partners for years, sending teams and funding to various projects, and we want to continue to provide you with the opportunity to engage!
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From the field
HFL has really had a big impact in my ministry for a long time. To start with, for the last year we have had funding for covid relief, and in this we have been supplying relief, not only to widows, but to anyone we felt was in dire need of food as people lost jobs and businesses went down due to covid-19. For about a year, we have been able to give food supplies to about 60 families who have been very grateful.
In terms of health, we have seen so many women and their families improve health-wise as HFL has been able to support them and make sure no one misses getting medical attention when in need. Also, the kids have been able to stay in school and not miss classes due to lack of treatment when they get sick.
For those that have been cooking in the same house they sleep, we have been able to build them kitchen porches in order to reduce smoke that causes health hazards in their lives.
Attendance of pupils in school has really grown, mostly in primary as we have been able to pay tuition, as well as lunches at schools which will reduce hunger days for them and make learning concentration improve.
Some women have been able to register themselves with ‘One Acre Fund’ in order to improve on their crop yields and learn new methods of planting, which has really helped them. They have set up gardens where they work as a team and sell their produce at the market to be able to earn something and be empowered.
We have spiritual groups set up with women, which has had a big impact in them spiritually. Many have grown in their faith and are able to share the word of God together and pray for each other during fellowship time. We have been able to provide them with Bible study materials in Swahili. In each group we have leaders who head up study and meetings.
May the Lord bless and keep you!
Everlyne Imbenzi Onyango, Field Partner in Kenya (Imbenzi Foundation)
› 200 families received 3 weeks of food in the war zone
› 140 refugee families received 3 weeks of food
› 28,560 meals were provided
› 1 refugee family had their home fully furnished
› 30 boxes of clothes, shoes, blankets, wheelchairs and walkers were distributed in the war zone and to refugees
Mary Martz brings food to a widow's house.
$80,000 sent for earthquake response
› 10 homes rebuilt
› 40,000 lbs of emergency relief supplies and food
› 1,277 people provided medical care
› 5,931 total people impacted
In August, a devastating earthquake occurred which killed an estimated 2,500 people, injured tens of thousands, and destroyed over 100,000 homes. Immediately following the earthquake, our staff member, Jason Krul, was able to travel to Haiti to assess the damage and work with our partners to assist with getting urgent relief supplies to the hard-hit areas. Though teams have not been able to travel to Haiti this past year, the work of our partners there continues on.
Simple from a distance
Angela Goertzen, Director of Teams and Project Services
What do you think of when you think of extreme poverty? Do you think of a person huddling under an awning on a downtown corner? Or a mud hut surrounded by children in tattered clothing and empty plates? Both demonstrate poverty: a complex issue that provokes deep thought and a need for understanding. HFL’s partner in Kenya, Silas Odour, explained that poverty comes when a person feels hopeless (broken relationship with self) and resents those who have (broken relationship with others) and can’t change their circumstance (broken relationship with environment) to make their lives better.
In addition to complex histories, poor countries are prevalent with inequality, conflict, hunger, lack of education, lack of sanitation & clean water, poor social support systems and corrupt governments. The supports people living in extreme poverty have really vary by development level in the country and how akin a government feels about supporting its members.
Where governments have failed or are under-resourced to support their citizens, NGO’s (Non-Government Organizations) have stepped in to fulfill the parts of a social support role. For example, in Haiti approximately 85% of schools are operated by private organizations. Disadvantaged communities have come to rely on NGO’s support through their local leaders or churches to provide food staples to those in extreme need. All partners interviewed told me food is the most immediate need for the extreme poor.
These are all good things in concept, but looking deeper there is a power differential that is created when NGO groups step in. Power of decision making and implementation is taken away from the indigenous leaders, and this can contribute to a feeling of shame that they can’t help their own communities, or the opposite can happen and community leaders find themselves in position of power where they now have access to a seemingly endless piggy bank to do their bidding.
The solution to poverty is only simple from a distance. Parts of poverty are endemic. People are born into multi-generational poverty and have absolutely no way of getting themselves out unless there is an intervention for them. Parents lack education themselves and don’t have the ability to even see a different way of living. Groups that have been oppressed for generations have become comfortable in their poverty and the fight for being better is gone from them. Somehow people need to realize their poverty mindset and see their own need for change. Once this happens, possibilities start to surface.
People need to see members of their own communities rise out of poverty and tell their stories. This breeds hope and a feeling of “I can do that, too”. When individuals rise-up, it is inspiring to the community and a movement can start where the community will work to better themselves.
Fullwell Leadership, the social enterprise of HFL, officially launched two years ago before COVID would become a global reality. Little did we know at that time how appropriate it would be to increase our reach by helping the leaders of other charities. While COVID prevented HFL from continuing as normal, it enabled Fullwell to increase its impact.
The forced move to a virtual world opened the doors to help other organizations. Over the past two years, Fullwell has been coaching leaders and their teams from 20 different churches and ministries. This has increased HFL’s reach by multiplying ourselves through other vision- and mission-aligned organizations. As the social enterprise of HFL, the funds earned through Fullwell have helped HFL continue its work and prepare us for when we can return to global leadership development.
We’re excited to announce the launch of our new website! For the past 5 months, we’ve been hard at work with a local agency, Khula.studio, to re-imagine and re-design our biggest online presence. We’ve simplified our messaging and navigation, while bringing projects to life with captivating visuals and imagery. Yet, it’s more than just a facelift — we continue to focus on guiding leaders and groups on their journey towards international partnerships and showing the impact that results from these relationships. For donors, we’ve integrated with Donorbox, simplifying the donation process to any HFL cause and it will let you easily update your amounts and information without having to call our office. (We will be in touch with existing donors over the coming months to migrate over your recurring donations).