Over the years Missions of Hope expanded to open 10 centers that reach out to 6,300 kids. That number continues to climb and we foresee having 10,000 children in 2012. We also have two new centers opening up in Turkana (desert area of Kenya) and Tanzania. The children that are a part of Hope Partnership have the opportunity to attend school, own school supplies, eat two good meals each day, and have a school uniform. These children are sponsored monthly by families and churches here in the US to make that happen.
Some of the Community Health Evangelism projects done in 2011 included poultry keeping, rabbit keeping, savings groups, soap-making, beadwork, gunny-bags vegetable gardening, community clean-ups, and training in healthy homes lessons. Community outreach through CHE and social work continues to bear fruit. Many groups have initiated income-generating projects and reaching out to community members. The training for parents of children with disabilities has intensified in all centers. The HIV/AIDS program covers 9 different villages. The outreach team is involved in home visits, PTC meetings, evangelism, counseling, and training community members on home-based care and child to child HIV/AIDS education.
The churches in Mathare continue to grow. One of our churches, Outreach Hope Church Huruma, is two years old and has over 100 members. Many of the students worship in these churches and it provides venues to minister to their parents. Home visits, recruitment and parent meetings have provided opportunities to share the gospel with families. They are now beginning to plant a church in an area that is predominately Muslim. In 2012 they would like to see 5 more churches planted.
Along with our CHE work, we have a large focus on microenterprise. We encourage people in the US to help be a part of micro-finance through our Big Dent program (www.bigdent.org). Big Dent offers people the opportunity to sponsor a loan for a budding entrepreneur by business, gender, or loan amount. Financial gifts made through Big Dent provide initial loans for new graduates of the business training program. Entrepreneurs must make regular payments on the loan, beginning the first week, until it is repaid in full. As loans are repaid, those funds are re-directed to new entrepreneurs or proven entrepreneurs who are expanding their businesses. In other words, contributions do not cease working after given the first time; it is “recycled” into new loans, creating a bigger dent into poverty.
The microfinance program continues to grow in capital base and clientele. They are teaching the women in the beadwork groups how to improve their skills and develop marketable products. The sewing workshop is expanding in order to provide more extensive training to the seamstresses. From January-April 2011, they grew from 63 accountability groups to 73 groups. They had 1,194 clients and would like to grow to 3,000 in 2012. The repayment rate on loans was over 95% and they had two trainings that taught 199 clients.
Currently MOHI has 385 Kenyan staff that help to make all of this possible. As you can imagine, with such huge growth within Missions of Hope, we have an even greater need for sharing this information and these stories through video to our churches and partners here in the US.