Happy New Year!
As I look back over 2019 and how World Hope International has impacted lives across the Asia Pacific region, there are a few highlights which I want to share with you as our partners in this work.
Our vision is to provide those in need with opportunity, dignity, and hope so they can possess the tools for change in themselves, their family, and their community.
In Cambodia we saw the impact of simply providing one nutritious meal a day to students, with 71% increase in enrollment, zero dropout rate and over 90% of the students passing their exams at the end of the school year. Empowering children through education which will impact them and their community for generations to come.
The number of women smallholders producing mushrooms through our Thera Metray Social Enterprise increased from 98 households in 5 villages to 116 households in 13 villages in Kampong Cham, Cambodia and producers have earned $202,054 AUD selling just over 50 tons of mushrooms. This means that farmers have a year-round cash income and can feed their families, pay off debt, purchase farm and household equipment and connect to utilities such as piped clean water to the home.
This programme also saw an increase in sanitation facilities with 66% of households now having a toilet.
In Wopasali, Papua New Guinea, an area with no road access, we facilitated the training of 72 Village Birth Attendants & Community Health Workers to improve the quality of basic health care to pregnant mothers, their babies, and the wider community.
Another highlight for me was to see 29 young women and 21 young men in Papua New Guinea begin to see the value in themselves as individuals and become empowered through attending Flourish and Courageous, a youth empowerment and life skills workshop addressing topics such as healthy inside and out, breaking the power of words that have been spoken over you, God created men and women differently and respond differently, healthy boundaries, it is not what happens to you, it is how you respond, respect and value of yourself and others. In a country where 70% of women experience violence, my desire to facilitate this workshop to help young people break that cycle has been achieved and I hope that the 7 women and 9 men trainers we raised up will be able to take this training to the rural areas and raise up many more young people to continue the message of value and respect for themselves and each other.
Going into 2020, I am encouraged by the growth of World Hope in Australia and the programmes we support in the Asia Pacific region.
I hope to see our School Feeding programme in Mondulkiri Cambodia continue to grow and expand to more schools, I hope to see more women and families empowered through our Mushroom Grow project and the education and support of young people in Papua New Guinea expand.
Thank you for standing with us in providing opportunity, dignity and hope and I look forward to continuing to partner with you in the year ahead.