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Six Years of Merry Christmases

blue Rainbow ornament

Christmas 2014

ribbon

Six Years of Merry Christmases

Georgina combined

Six years ago, Georgina and her family received a BioSand filter (home water purification system), and we featured her in our SoHIP video. This past summer, Kirk Schauer, our International Director, caught up with Georgina and her family. Thanks in part to the clean water from their BioSand filter, they’ve been able to enjoy six healthy Christmases together, celebrating Christ’s birth and the hope He brings to the world. Hopefully, they can look forward to many more.

To date, Seeds of Hope International Partnerships has used donor-designated funds to install over 7,500 BioSand filters in homes just like Georgina’s. Through new water wells, repaired hand pumps, and BioSand filters, more than 650,000 people in Zambia will be able to celebrate a healthy Christmas this year—and it’s because of the giving hearts of people just like you. Your one-time or monthly contribution can make a world of difference in the futures of countless more like Georgina. Consider donating today by visiting sohip.org/donations.

During this Christmas season, our thoughts turn gratefully toward those who have brought hope to communities in Africa. Thank you, and may your holidays—and this coming year—be blessed with God’s joy and hope.

ribbon

African-Nativity“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

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President Obama delivers a message to West Africans on Ebola


SoHIP’s Healthy Home Initiative helps prevent the spread of Ebola.

Healthy Homehealthy home certificate


Twatotela sana!

“Twatotela sana!” Margaret exclaims, with an infectious smile. That means “thank you very much”—but really, for her selfless work and genuine desire to bring about change in her community, we should be thanking her.

A volunteer Community Health Promoter (CHP) with Seeds of Hope since 2008, Margaret is a beacon of light and a voice of hope in her community, Mapalo, where she works to bring the good news of health.

Through her joy-filled eyes and quiet strength, you would never see the challenges her family of 11 has faced over the years. Before she began volunteering for Seeds of Hope, her family was often stricken with malaria and diarrhea, resulting in many trips to the clinic—trips they could not afford. “Every month we would have an outbreak of diarrhea,” Margaret says. She and her family were drinking from a contaminated source—an unprotected shallow well. They had no idea the water was making them sick.

When she attended her first hygiene training facilitated by Seeds of Hope, her life changed. Now, when asked about the last outbreak of diarrhea in her home, she says, ”I can’t remember … I don’t even know where the clinic is now!” After learning how to live in a healthy environment—one with a rubbish pit, tippy tap, latrine, and BioSand Filter—Margaret joined with Seeds of Hope to help us spread the word as a CHP. To date, Margaret has reached out to and trained 16 other households, two of which have received certificates from SoHIP recognizing their efforts to establish Healthy Homes.photo 1

Margaret is a witness to Mapalo’s transformation, but her vision extends far beyond her community—she dreams of a world where every home is free of disease. Margaret is committed to doing her part. How will we do ours?

 

Donate Today

 

 


Defining Moments

Kristin Horstman, SoHIP Administrative Assistant reflects on her fall trip to Zambia

Kristin and Agatha

Kristin and Agatha

One second. One conversation. One experience. One encounter. These are moments that challenge you—and change you. We all experience these moments in our lives— the moments of questioning, of discovery, of transformation. I often experience these moments while traveling. Each one of my international trips has what I call a “defining moment”—a moment that forever changes me. I know that I come back a little different every time, but most of the change happens incrementally. But there’s always one moment that impacts me in a way that’s difficult to express. It’s a moment that moves me to my core—that makes my heart burst … or shatter.

In Senegal, it was a woman that I didn’t even know giving me a ring because I told her I used to have one just like it. My heart burst. Kindness became real to me in that moment. In Sierra Leone, it was seeing a little girl weeping because she dropped all the food she was supposed to sell that day. She now had nothing—no money, no food. I knew she was going to bed hungry that night. I’ve never seen a child so devastated. My heart shattered with her. Poverty became real to me in that moment. In Kenya, it was the moment I knew the Lord was releasing me into my destiny—releasing me to work in Africa. I’d found my heart where I had left it last. My heart burst as joy became real to me in that moment.

My month in Zambia was filled with many memorable moments. I was joined by an awesome team, the Biersdorff family, who did a little bit of everything — including building BioSand Filters, fixing sewing machines, and capturing our trip on film.

April, Alayna, Craig, Mary, and Kristin<br />celebrate the completion of the BSFs.

I was so touched by the amazing SoHIP staff I met, and their passion to see communities transformed. Some of my favorite moments were the ones spent in the field with our Zambian staff. I had the awesome opportunity to observe our talented, expert trainers facilitate lessons on sanitation and hygiene, HIV/AIDS, and Community Health Promotion.

Although there were so many impactive moments that touched my heart, my defining moment occurred after one of the HIV/AIDS trainings. One of my responsibilities while I was in Zambia was to capture stories and testimonies from our staff and the people we serve. It was a really great way to hear about all the amazing things that Seeds of Hope is doing in Zambia.


We walked for Hope. Now it is your turn.

W4H team1 slider

 IMG_1923IMG_1941 IMG_1933IMG_1924IMG_1922

On August 3rd, we walked for Mary, Tauzen, and Safari. We walked for a nation. We walked for HOPE. Thank you to Mountainbrook Community Church for hosting our inaugural Walk for Hope in August! It was a success, with over 75 registered participants, many local volunteers, and media coverage from our local television station, KSBY! We were thrilled to see many different teams formed, from small church groups as well as local businesses. Participants walked either 1 or 5 miles, and were able to experience pumping their own water! Along the way, they also interacted with stations displaying the successful holistic solutions that SoHIP has implemented to reverse the cycle of poverty and create healthy homes in Africa. This interactive experience educated and inspired volunteers and participants alike. It was encouraging to see so many people excited about the difference that SoHIP is making in Africa!

Don’t Miss the Next One!

WFHbucketANDwaterWe welcome the whole San Luis Obispo community. We hope you can join—it’s not too late to sign up! Register to walk or volunteer at the event atwww.sohip.org/walkforhope. Don’t live in the San Luis Area? Contact us atinfo@sohip.org for other ways to get involved or to host a Walk for Hope in your community.We are excited about our upcoming Walk for Hope on October 12, 2013 at Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo! This beautiful park creates a perfect venue as the trail begins alongside the lake, where participants will collect water to carry the rest of the route. The trail will end with a display of Action Steps—ways in which community members can get involved and help SoHIP reverse poverty. We are also excited to be offering entertainment from the Bucket Busters drum circle, and team prizes!


SoHIP teams up with Rotary to provide vocational training

rotary

SoHIP has been awarded a Matching Grant from the Rotary Foundation, which supports the humanitarian service projects of Rotary clubs and districts. We are so thankful for the Rotary Clubs from District 5240 in California, and the Ndola Mukuba Rotary Club in Zambia, for enabling us to provide vocational training to disadvantaged youth and women.

kirk in containerFor this project, District 5240 has purchased equipment and supplies for Seeds of Hope’s carpentry, water quality testing laboratory, computer-based business, and sewing vocational trainings, and will be shipping a container filled with all that, plus material contributions from our wonderful donors, to strengthen the training center in Zambia.

At this training center, students will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become qualified for employment, or even start their own small businesses. Students will also be able to purchase the tools of their trades—sewing machines, laptops, carpentry tools, etc.—through a micro-finance system, payments on which will finance the purchase of tools for future students.

florenceThe training is already working. Florence, SoHIP’s first sewing program graduate, is now working for Seeds of Hope as one of the Sewing for Business instructors. Being trained by SoHIP has changed her life:

“Before Seeds of Hope, I couldn’t pay my children’s school fees and I could only give my family one meal a day—but now that I’ve been trained, I can pay my bills, and we always have at least two, usually three meals a day.”

With between 75 and 100 students projected to be trained each year, this program will promote lasting transformation, and provide opportunities for disadvantaged Zambians to lift themselves out of poverty.

Seeds of Hope is very excited about this project and the possibilities of establishing more amazing partnerships. We would love to see our efforts to bring hope and health multiplied throughout Africa, and we greatly appreciate the generous partnership of Rotary International in helping to make that happen.


Kid's in Zambia

January 2014 Newsletter

Staying True to our Call

woman with baby

Reflecting back on 2013 reminds us of how Seeds of Hope got started. It was born in 2003, in response to the cries of widows and orphans calling out for God—to slum communities overwhelmed by basic needs—to people seeking refuge and hope. God heard, and He opened our hearts, inviting us to be part of the solution.

Clean water brings so much health and healing to communities, so that’s where we began. Seeds of Hope was founded to help meet people’s practical needs by training teams to repair broken hand pumps. We were quite successful, but we soon realized we could have an even greater impact on the health of Zambian families and communities by moving beyond clean water, to provide sanitation and hygiene training as well.

Soon, families were getting healthier as cholera and other waterborne diseases vanished, but the cries of the poor still rang out. We began to see poverty as a downward spiral, and to recognize that clean water, proper sanitation, and good hygiene were needed to stop it—but we believed, as we still do, that God intended something greater for humanity. God wants us to flourish, and live lives of purpose and destiny. We believe that God commissioned Seeds of Hope not to simply stop the downward spiral of poverty, but to reverse it, by addressing water, sanitation and hygiene, agriculture, health and nutrition, and business development. By addressing each one of these areas simultaneously, while infusing Kingdom values, we have seen vast sustainable transformation.

In order to foster true transformation, we encourage families to implement all of our solutions through our Healthy Home Initiative. Households that adopt all the elements of a healthy home receive a certificate, empowering them to advocate and promote a healthy lifestyle to their neighbors. As beacons of hope, these champions inspire their communities to step out of poverty and flourish.

With this comprehensive approach, we are staying true to our foundational call to help widows, orphans, and others who are struggling, out of poverty and into a life full of hope and purpose. We are charting a new course to saving and transforming lives, and as we establish this unique model of development, we need your support.


SoHIP teams up with Rotary to provide vocational training

rotarySoHIP has been awarded a Matching Grant from the Rotary Foundation, which supports the humanitarian service projects of Rotary clubs and districts. We are so thankful for the Rotary Clubs from District 5240 in California, and the Ndola Mukuba Rotary Club in Zambia, for enabling us to provide vocational training to disadvantaged youth and women.

kirk in containerFor this project, District 5240 has purchased equipment and supplies for Seeds of Hope’s carpentry, water quality testing laboratory, computer-based business, and sewing vocational trainings, and will be shipping a container filled with all that, plus material contributions from our wonderful donors, to strengthen the training center in Zambia.

At this training center, students will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become qualified for employment, or even start their own small businesses. Students will also be able to purchase the tools of their trades—sewing machines, laptops, carpentry tools, etc.—through a micro-finance system, payments on which will finance the purchase of tools for future students.

florenceThe training is already working. Florence, SoHIP’s first sewing program graduate, is now working for Seeds of Hope as one of the Sewing for Business instructors. Being trained by SoHIP has changed her life:

“Before Seeds of Hope, I couldn’t pay my children’s school fees and I could only give my family one meal a day—but now that I’ve been trained, I can pay my bills, and we always have at least two, usually three meals a day.”

With between 75 and 100 students projected to be trained each year, this program will promote lasting transformation, and provide opportunities for disadvantaged Zambians to lift themselves out of poverty.

Seeds of Hope is very excited about this project and the possibilities of establishing more amazing partnerships. We would love to see our efforts to bring hope and health multiplied throughout Africa, and we greatly appreciate the generous partnership of Rotary International in helping to make that happen.


Praise & Prayer

kidsPlease rejoice with us over what God is doing through SoHIP, and pray for even greater success!

Praise:

  • Container filled & being shipped to Zambia
  • Awarded grant from 25-40 Foundation for BSF Factory in Solwezi

 Prayer:

  • Funding for 2014
  • Container arrives to Zambia on schedule
  • Short term teams traveling to Zambia in March & April
  • Volunteers needed in all areas

Kids with smiles

Thanksgiving ~ November 2013 Newsletter

SoHIP logo

Saving Lives through Healthy Homes

By George Musabandesu

george4Through our work in the community, we at Seeds of Hope have learned that establishing healthy homes can transform and save lives. Our Healthy Home Certification Program was birthed out of our desire to see true transformation and deal with health issues related to water, sanitation, and hygiene in a home setting. The Healthy Home Certification Program enables SoHIP to partner directly with households to develop workable plans that best fit the needs and interests of entire families.

Addressing health issues at a household level will, in time, expand to a community level. The program is currently targeted at our Community Health Promoters (CHPs) because of the vital role they play in health-related community interventions. CHPs were considered first because they are the beacons of hope in their communities. They are the familiar faces carrying and promoting the good news of health.

CHPgroup - CopyThe program’s focus is to develop an action plan that describes what qualifies a healthy home: one that prevents diseases and promotes health. Participants in the program encourage one another to raise the health standards of their homes. SoHIP staff trainers facilitate this by providing guidance in identifying potential health hazards in homes, and by formulating initial steps to eliminate the dangers related to water, sanitation, and hygiene. The Healthy Home program runs for a period of six months, at the end of which SoHIP trainers conduct household visits, and homes that meet the criteria receive Healthy Home Certificates.

The Healthy Home Certification Program has been very successful—we now have 164 people with certified healthy homes! Establishing a healthy home has incredible benefits for entire families, including decreased hospital visits, a heightened sense of peace and security because of the absence of disease in the home, and ample time to engage in activities that foster social and economic welfare, such as starting a small business. We look forward establishing even more healthy homes in the coming year!

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A Season of Reaping

By Kirk Schauer, Founder and International Director

The Thanksgiving season is my favorite time of year, because I feel that focusing on thankfulness is incredibly powerful and is a great catalyst for transformation.

kirkwithCHPMy last trip to Zambia in September was a time of reaping! Each day, I was so full of thankfulness and felt so blessed to see the fruit of many projects that we have worked hard sowing for years. It had been eight months since my last trip, and I was so encouraged to see the staff and the level of ownership they’ve taken in so many different projects. It was amazing to see the Resource Center transformed, and to hear many great testimonies from our work in the communities.

The most amazing experience for me was when I visited a group that Seeds of Hope has been working with in the Mapalo community for over a decade. Everyone in this group of Community Health Promoters was awarded their Healthy Home Certificate. Throughout the years, we’ve struggled to get people to adopt multiple interventions that would truly break the cycle of disease. So, we came up with the idea of rewarding and acknowledging their achievements by helping them to certify their home with all of SoHIP’s interventions. It was a wonderful time of celebration! I was able to address the group, and told them that what they had helped create is now impacting individuals, communities, and nations throughout Africa. We danced, sang, and celebrated their achievements!

While visiting the George compound, I met a woman who had received her Healthy Home Certificate, who was kind enough to show us around. She was so proud of her home, her certificate, and her new knowledge, that she has began encouraging all of her neighbors to establish healthy homes as well! A beacon of hope, this woman is now taking part in transforming not just her home, but also her entire community!

I wish that everyone who has supported Seeds of Hope could see the fruit that I was able to see on my last trip. It’s amazing what sowing a few seeds of hope can do in an entire community. To be witness to the transformation of lives, see hope restored, and hear words of thankfulness, is truly an honor, and something that will forever be in my heart.

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We are thankful for your support

Through our partnership with you, SoHIP has:

~ provided safe water to more than 678,250 Zambians;

~ repaired more than 630 broken water well hand pumps;

~ drilled or overseen the drilling of over 280 boreholes;

~ built and installed more than 7,760 BioSand Filters (household water purification devices);

~ helped rural communities to build 297 latrines in schools and villages;

~ trained more than 44,710 people in participatory hygiene and sanitation classes in 250 villages;

~ trained more than 290 Community Health Promotors (CHP) who have trained more than 19,650 community members;

~ and equipped more than 160 people with increased vocational or agricultural skills.

 kidssmiling


Kirk at CHP training

Letter from founder and International Director

October 22, 2013

Dear Friends,

Certified healthy home recipient proudly demonstrating her tippy-tap.

Certified healthy home recipient proudly demonstrating her      tippy-tap.

I just returned from an amazing month in Zambia. It was encouraging and inspiring to see community members proudly showing me their healthy home, equipped with all of Seeds of Hope International Partnerships’ (SoHIP) interventions. Walking through the George compound, I was overjoyed to see BioSand Filters, mosquito nets, drying racks, latrines, and rubbish pits in so many homes. Families shared their stories of hope and health with me – stories of cholera being completely wiped out in their community and children being able to attend school now because they no longer suffer from chronic diarrhea. Transmission of disease is being stopped. It’s remarkable what we have managed to accomplish with limited resources, but in order to continue building healthy homes throughout Africa, we need more support.

We appreciate amazing friends such as you, who enable us to save lives and restore hope to African families and communities, but we are in the midst of a funding crisis and need your help. So, I’m inviting you to become a SoHIP Monthly Champion.

International Water Association Award

International Water Association Award

Seeds of Hope is growing and gaining international recognition. Last week, along with Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), we were awarded the prestigious Project Innovation Award from the International Water Association for our Water Expertise Training Centre. Our holistic solutions are yielding incredible results. To date, we have provided clean water to over 600,000 Zambians.

This growth is a blessing, but with growth, oftentimes comes growing pains. While our impact has been great, there is still much work to be done. There are 300 million people in Africa living in extreme poverty. But with your support, you can help make a difference!

Our goal is to raise $15,000 per month to strengthen and sustain our work. A monthly investment in Seeds of Hope can have a massive impact. Would you consider joining us as a monthly supporter in our efforts to reverse the downward spiral of poverty? Your help will enable us to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene training, food security, and vocational skills to families. As a monthly supporter, your donation will go where it’s needed the most, bringing lasting transformation and hope to families and communities throughout Africa.

Your donation will save lives! To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit http://sohip.org/donate. You can also mail a check (payable to Seeds of Hope International Partnerships) to: PO Box 4405, San Luis Obispo, CA 93493.

Thank you for partnering with us. Together, we can bring hope and holistic solutions to Africa!

Kirk congratulating the Certified CHPs

Kirk congratulating the Certified CHPs

In Service,

 

Kirk Schauer

Founder & International Director

 

 

 


We Walked for Hope, Now It Is Your Turn

W4H team1 large

 

On August 3rd, we walked for Mary, Tauzen, and Safari. We walked for a nation. We walked for HOPE. Thank you to Mountainbrook Community Church for hosting our inaugural Walk for Hope in August! It was a success, with over 75 registered participants, many local volunteers, and media coverage from our local television station, KSBY! We were thrilled to see many different teams formed, from small church groups as well as local businesses. Participants walked either 1 or 5 miles, and were able to experience pumping their own water! Along the way, they also interacted with stations displaying the successful holistic solutions that SoHIP has implemented to reverse the cycle of poverty and create healthy homes in Africa. This interactive experience educated and inspired volunteers and participants alike. It was encouraging to see so many people excited about the difference that SoHIP is making in Africa!

Don’t Miss the Next One!

WFHbucketANDwater

We are excited about our upcoming Walk for Hope on October 12, 2013 at Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo! This beautiful park creates a perfect venue as the trail begins alo00 ngside the lake, where participants will collect water to carry the rest of the route. The trail will end with a display of Action Steps—ways in which community members can get involved and help SoHIP reverse poverty. We are also excited to be offering entertainment from the Bucket Busters drum circle, and team prizes!

We welcome the whole San Luis Obispo community. We hope you can join—it’s not too late to sign up! Register to walk or volunteer at the event at www.sohip.org/walkforhope. Don’t live in the San Luis Area? Contact us at info@sohip.org for other ways to get involved or to host a Walk for Hope in your community.


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