1. WATER FOR GOOD

    Each day millions of people in Africa live without clean water, and spend hours fetching water almost guaranteed to bring sickness and death to people in their village.

    The solution to this crisis seems so simple – drill a well. Yet, despite many groups stepping in and drilling thousands of water wells in Africa, there’s another crisis, one that follows behind the new water pumps that are installed, eating away at the progress.

    Pumps often wear out and break within a few years, forcing villagers back to their old unsanitary water source. When the new pump fails, health problems return.

    “In many ways, the broken promise of failed wells is the real water crisis," says Jay Hocking, a missionary kid who grew up in the Central African Republic, a landlocked and neglected country in the heart of Africa, with one of the most unstable governments and poorest populations. "For years, my father saw the need for an organization focused on meeting the urgent needs of the Central african Republic. He responded 10 years ago by founding Water for Good, a non-profit organization committed to providing access to clean water in the Central African Republic." says Hocking, who has served since 2013 as Water for Good's Director of Communications.

    “With over 80% of the country’s population dependent on unsanitary water, and spending enormous amounts of time hauling that water to their homes, solving the water crisis became the core value of Water for Good, and what we believe to be the first step out of poverty,” says Hocking.

    Water For Good crews go into villages and provide clean water wells, but that is not enough according to Hocking. “We want to solve this problem for good,” he says.

    Well maintenance service is key to a lasting impact in the communities Water For Good serves. Local staff regularly provides service visits and repairs throughout the country, visiting hundreds of villages each year to keep the pumps working and to teach hygiene and sanitation principles.

    Once the clean water is flowing, Water For Good turns its time and energy toward the relationships it has built with the communities it serves. Together, Water For Good staff and village leaders search for ways to develop the village’s potential for economic development, which in turn gives the village a way to pay for the long-term maintenance of their water pump.

    “We do this work to not only help maintain clean water sources, but more importantly to provide communities with the opportunity to learn how to keep that water flowing forever, taking on responsibility for the long-term maintenance costs of their own water,” says Hocking.

    In the past 10 years, Water For Good has already provided lasting clean water for more than a half a million people, saving countless lives, keeping thousands from getting sick, and saving an estimated 100,000 hours of back-breaking water-hauling labor every single day.

    “We want others to see that the water crisis is solvable, even in what is arguably the most forgotten and ignored country in the world, where the solutions are more expensive and more difficult than almost any other region,” says Hocking. “By empowering and using local talent and resources as much as possible, we are supporting solutions that solve the problem for good.”

    For more information and to discover how you can get involved:

    http://www.perspectivesglobal.com

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  2. GRACE MINISTRIES FOUNDATION - THAILAND

    The northeastern Thailand province of Buriram is the home of sprawling rice fields, exquisite Khmer ruins and beautiful traditional festivals. Yet, there is a sense of tragic irony in Buriram’s name, which means “city of happiness.”

    Buriram is one of the country’s poorest provinces, with poverty and a pervasive debt mentality leading to fractured families and social problems of all kinds. Regrettably, Buriram has become a major supplier of young girls and boys to the country’s burgeoning sex trade and labor exploitation industry.

    Grace Ministries Foundation Thailand (GMFT) is working to break this cycle of poverty and exploitation for a growing number of NE Thailand’s children and young adults.

    “In a loving family setting, we give these children the nurturing, training and equipping they need to participate fully in God’s beautiful plans for them,” says Charles Harvey, who along with his wife, Yoke Fong, have directed GMFT since 1996. “Sexual abuse and exploitation by the cheap labor industry is totally unacceptable to us. It is our privilege and duty to protect as many children and teenagers from these two evils as possible.”

    GMFT houses and provides scholarships (first grade through university) to young people from deprived backgrounds and trains them to become leaders in their homes, in their churches and in society.

    “We want them to become leaders who understand their own intrinsic value and that of others,” says Harvey. “Equipped with college degrees, these young people can improve the lives of their families for generations, and in doing so, their cities, provinces and country.”

    GMFT currently serves 80 children in three homes (at GMFT’s campus in Krasang) and hopes to increase to 100 youth in the next two years and eventually open two more homes. GMFT currently partners with Westside Christian High School (in Oregon, USA) and is actively seeking two more strategic partners (schools, churches or other organizations) who share GMFT’s vision.

    “We aim to give our children the love, mercy, justice and grace they have been deprived of so they may be adequately equipped for a future of hope,” says Harvey. “We believe if you change one child, you change the world.”

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  3. For 15 years, More Than Compassion (MTC) has been bringing safe, loving, and stable shelter and education to orphans in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

    MTC was created out of the vision of Sandra Temaj, whose mission, work and passion was to simply provide a home for 13 children in Guatemala. Following Sandra’s death in 2011, a team was formed to help start a child sponsorship program for MTC. It was an immediate success.

    Today, MTC is comprised of young visionaries and dreamers seeking to send the gift of love and education to the children of Huehuetenango. The MTC team works with approximately 120 children, the majority of whom come from the tragedy of abuse, neglect or abandonment. The MTC mission has one with four components: love, disciple, educate, and prepare.

    • LOVE – Through providing an atmosphere where children are accepted, and challenged to grow in life and in faith.

    • DISCIPLE – Through teaching children about a God that loves them and values them as more than a product of bad that has happened in their lives.

    • EDUCATE – Through the School of Hope, a bilingual elementary school staffed by Americans and Guatemalans. Students learn English through their classes, and are also offered private tutoring after school. Recently, MTC opened the School of Hope up to the community and is striving to become self-sustaining.

    • PREPARE – Through equipping children with the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty and injustice they were born into. MTC believe these children deserve better than what the world has originally handed them. By reaching out, MTC look to break this mold.

    More Than Compassion is committed to rewriting the stories of orphans in Guatemala. The organization provides children with tangible hope by meeting their basic needs and equipping them with skills to succeed in the future, primarily through bilingual education. It seeks to share the stories of these children with others, in hopes of exposing people to the needs of the world and providing them with a practical means to meet those needs.

    To hear more of their story visit our website at http://www.perspectivesglobal.com

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  4. Imagine living in a dump…breathing in the smoke from combusting garbage…spending your days searching through the waste of the city for food or anything you can sell for food.

    Now imagine living there as a child. Imagine the desperation and abandonment you’d feel if your parents, struggling to survive, considered selling you into prostitution for first access to the newest load of garbage.

    Not long ago, this was life for the girls living in La Chureca, a village in Managua, Nicaragua’s city dump. Most of them were not allowed the luxury of school, and fewer still the luxury of a childhood. They often turned to drugs or suicide for relief.

    Gloria Sequeira, a humble woman from a local church was serving families in the dump, seeing first-hand the horrific conditions girls here were forced to live in. Gloria Sequeira began to envision a refuge for them, a place for a new, better life.

    “These girls suffer rape, drug abuse and disease. By the grace of God, we can rescue them, restore them and release them into their God-given destinies,” says Gloria, the director of Villa Esperanza.

    In 2008, Gloria and her husband Wilbert partnered with Forward Edge International to establish Villa Esperanza, a place where young girls from La Chureca can recast their futures. The Villa currently consists of four homes and each can house up to eight girls and one house mom. The girls are given their first bed with clean sheets, clothes, nutritious food and loving caretakers. School suddenly becomes an option, and with it, hope for a better future.
    Villa Esperanza goes further, by offering life-skills and social skills training, psychological evaluation and counseling, and medical care. Here the children receive personal care in a family environment. The Villa staff also continues to serve the girls’ families back in the dump.

    All this is possible through child sponsors. Sponsors who help pay for the girls’ food, education, shelter, health care, psychological care, and spiritual guidance. The support of others offers these girls a better life…a life that shouts of HOPE!

    To hear more of their story visit our website at http://www.perspectivesglobal.com

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  5. When Eve Horowitz began visiting Honduras in 1992, she initially considered sponsoring Honduran children in need as a learning experience for her own two children. But at she became more aware of the social issues facing poverty-stricken children in Honduras, her consideration became a much larger mission.

    It evolved into the Honduras Child Alliance (HCA), a diverse and collaborative, volunteer-based organization collectively working to make lives better for impoverished children in Honduras. United by a love of children and the desire to improve their opportunities, HCA coordinates volunteer-powered projects to support education, health & hygiene, families and community.  

    “I recognized that my actions and support (and that of others) could create immediate, tangible improvement in the lives of these children,” says Eve. “So we began combining the energy of our directors, project managers and volunteers into a unique and effective set of skills to create viable opportunities for children in Honduras.”

    A primary focus of HCA’s efforts is aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty in Honduras perpetuated through lack of education. HCA projects in El Porvenir and La Union, Atlantida, Honduras reinforce basic academic skills while enhancing children’s development of critical thinking and decision-making capabilities. The programs include teaching English as a second language so children can pursue education and employment opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable.

    “Our programs encourage children to share ideas and help each other,” says Eve. “We develop social skills and teamwork and provide English language instruction so children have the benefit of being bilingual. The name of our town is El Porvenir and it means ‘the future.’  We believe each child should have the opportunity to discover the range and variety of what they are capable of doing, and by providing opportunities for education and creative expression we are giving children a chance for a better future.”

    Last year more than 200 children were served through HCA programs, which are provided at no cost to the children or their families through partnerships with donors, sponsors and like-minded organizations. HCA is committed to serving many more children in the years ahead through the continued support of individual volunteers, volunteer groups and general fund sponsors.

    Eve notes that HCA’s mission is modeled after a passage from Bengali poet, philosopher and novelist Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy.  I awoke and saw that life was service.  I acted and behold, service was joy.”

    Says Eve: “Honduras Child Alliance and the service we do is a wish come true for me.”

    To hear more of their story visit our website at http://www.perspectivesglobal.com

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