Sew Much Hope

SEW MUCH HOPE

Joseph, our school principal, has along with the Liberian staff, longed to create an in-house vocational program for our current high school students. Their goal is to have 3 vocational certification options available for our high school students. The three desired areas/industries, chosen by Liberian staff because of their employment stability in Liberia, are: Drafting, Culinary, and Tailoring/Sewing. We hope also to have an IT Certification once our computer lab is up and running.

This past spring, we were given the opportunity to apply for a grant with Project Redwood of Tides Foundation, an amazing group of Stanford Business alumni, whose mission is to provide funding, expertise and connections to social entrepreneurs who address the challenge of global poverty. We were informed that we are receiving the full $25,000.

We proposed a program called Sew Much Hope which will fully fund a sewing classroom with sewing machines and supplies for two years. It will also have a micro-loan component providing for 30 graduates to apply for a micro-loan to purchase a sewing machine and begin their own businesses.

This $25,000 grant is a beautiful opportunity to begin the work of simultaneously earning a high school and vocational degree, providing opportunity for self-sustainability for our graduates.

We Have a Van!

Because of YOU - WE HAVE A VAN! Hope International School students and staff desperately needed a school van - we put the call out. 69 of you came together and answered with your hearts and generosity.

Because of YOU, students and staff started the school year off with a van. Please stay tuned for more updates and photos.

We extend our deepest gratitude for making this long-held dream a reality. We couldn't do what we do without your partnership. Thank YOU!

Motorcycle Club

Liberia Motorcycle Club is underway!

While in Liberia this past year, some Hope International graduates on scholarship approached us and said that if they had a motorcycle, they could pay for their own food and living expenses while at college, since that is not covered in the scholarships we have provided. Motorcycles are the Taxi/Uber/Lyft of Liberia. It got us thinking and the Liberian Motorcycle Club was launched this summer. This will be a pilot program with four motorcycles (we currently have two) for 4 students in different parts of Liberia to have a small business opportunity while pursuing their educations. The motorcycles are $800 and the students will have 15 months to pay back the loan for the bikes. A small portion of each payment goes back into the school as a payback for the opportunity.


Through the generosity of so many, the pilot project has been fully funded! Four graduates of Hope International, currently attending college, have been selected to participate in this program. Smith, Cornelius, Junior and Lorenzo will be provided a motorcycle to use as a small transportation business while in school, providing income for food, books and other college expenses.

This is an exciting time for The Hope Project as we continue to walk beside our graduates, creatively supporting their sunglass needing bright futures.

Hope News

Hello Partners in Hope,

I want to share with you four amazingly exciting things that have happened for The Hope Project over the past three months. I’ve been so anxious to tell you about them. Please keep in mind as you read this letter, these opportunities happened because you gave to keep the doors open and the teachers teaching. This is the foundation that all these tremendous gifts flow from.

SEW MUCH HOPE

Joseph, our school principal, has along with the Liberian staff, longed to create an in-house vocational program for our current high school students. Their goal is to have 3 vocational certification options available for our high school students. The three desired areas/industries, chosen by Liberian staff because of their employment stability in Liberia, are: Drafting, Culinary, and Tailoring/Sewing. We hope also to have an IT Certification once our computer lab is up and running.

This past spring, we were given the opportunity to apply for a grant with Project Redwood of Tides Foundation, an amazing group of Stanford Business alumni, whose mission is to provide funding, expertise and connections to social entrepreneurs who address the challenge of global poverty. Just last week we were informed that we were receiving the full $25,000.

We proposed a program called Sew Much Hope which will fully fund a sewing classroom with sewing machines and supplies for two years. It will also have a micro-loan component providing for 30 graduates to apply for a micro-loan to purchase a sewing machine and begin their own businesses.

This $25,000 grant is a beautiful opportunity to begin the work of simultaneously earning a high school and vocational degree, providing opportunity for self-sustainability for our graduates.

MOTORCYCLE CLUB

While in Liberia this past year, some Hope International graduates on scholarship approached us and said that if they had a motorcycle, they could pay for their own food and living expenses while at college, since that is not covered in the scholarships we have provided. Motorcycles are the Taxi/Uber/Lyft of Liberia. It got us thinking and the Liberian Motorcycle Club was launched this summer. This will be a pilot program with four motorcycles (we currently have two) for 4 students in different parts of Liberia to have a small business opportunity while pursuing their educations. The motorcycles are $800 and the students will have 15 months to pay back the loan for the bikes. A small portion of each payment goes back into the school as a payback for the opportunity. This is an exciting time for The Hope Project as we continue to walk beside our graduates, creatively supporting their sunglass needing bright futures.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

We applied for a grant to continue the completion of our new buildings on campus. Through the generosity of the Douglass Financial Services JSB Program, we were awarded a $10,000 grant as well as a $25,000 matching funds opportunity. This is significant and we are so grateful. The tiling of the first floor and windows have been installed and the bathrooms are now functioning. It’s the first time in the history of the Hope International School that we have had flushing toilets. We have until May 1, 2020 to raise the $25,000 to be matched. Little by little we are getting there. As Nelson Mandela once said, “it always seems impossible until it is done.”

FAMILY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP

Through the generosity of one of our partners, a gift of $25,000 from a family foundation was granted to our Scholarship Fund. Through this generosity the top 2 graduates from the class of 2018 were granted full university scholarships. Additionally, 15 students were awarded vocational scholarships. This is the kind of opportunity that will transform the future of Liberia…one graduate at a time.

Now, I know that is a lot of amazing things to have happened recently. Big, big stuff. But as I said at the beginning, YOUR perpetual generosity is what allowed us to have graduates to receive scholarships and micro-loan opportunities and to have a renovated campus that will house a sewing lab and future vocational opportunities. YOU did that! WE did that! Together, with our partners in Liberia, we are making ways where none existed. Thank you for dreaming big with us.

Jackie Frazier
Executive Director
The Hope Project

Driving Hope

Dear Friends of HOPE,

Recently, my husband, David, and I have been forced into the car buying market, which as we all know, can be fraught with anxiety and frustration. How old can we go and still get something reliable? Is it in our budget? How much of the budget should our car take up? You get the point. And in the midst of the sometimes painful process, I’m struck with the thought “how fortunate am I to have the option to purchase reliable transportation?

Turns out, our school in Liberia is in need of a little car shopping too. Actually, our school has never had the funds to purchase a school vehicle. As is usually the case, other things have been given more priority: the general operation of the school, scholarships once graduated, as well as the purchase and continued renovation of the school campus. But the truth is, the school needs a car…well a van specifically.

While in Liberia this last January, our school principal, Joseph, was able to borrow a car for our time there, through the generosity of a Hope graduate whose father runs a repair shop. We were grateful…and slightly terrified. We almost lost a few of us out of the back when the door that intermittently latched flew open often and unexpectedly. It broke down at the most inopportune times, and was “fixed” on the side of the road multiple times by skilled and resourceful youth. Having a working car in Liberia is a luxury. Having one for the school feels like a necessity.

There are many times transportation is needed to get kids to and from academic events, team sports and school administration business to attend to, picking up of materials for the school and ongoing building needs, and students who travel long distances in the rainy season to obtain an education and need help with transportation. Over the years, Joseph has expressed this need and we have put it off and put it off, because we needed to focus on the things mentioned above…and frankly, we just couldn’t afford it, but that is true of almost every single beautiful thing we have accomplished together. We share with you, friends of HOPE, and you step up big and together we make what seemed impossible, possible. We are sharing with you this need with the knowledge that something amazing just might happen. In both small and large gifts, somehow, because of you all, we will get there.

Will you join me in helping us purchase a school van? We have set a goal of $10,000 to get a reliable van for our students. It will literally carry Liberia’s future and allow these dream-chasers ever-increasing opportunity and hope. You are the absolute best…really.

Moving Forward,

Jackie Frazier

Dear John

Dear Friends of HOPE,

Maybe you've never received a Dear John letter. If not, count yourself lucky. If you have, I guarantee this will be a much happier one.

Recently, our principal, Joseph, sent some photos of the bathrooms they are installing in the newly constructed 15-classroom building that your generosity and love built, together with the hard labor of our Liberian team. I teared up immediately, not fully understanding why.

I was brought right back to the photos we have of when we first leased the school back in 2008. There were no bathrooms. There was only a flimsy piece of metal hung to offer some privacy between the two outdoor stalls. There wasn't even a pit. Imagine for a moment, the 100s of students and staff using these "facilities" daily.

You, the community of HOPE, stepped in and helped us put in pit toilets. We built a structure, and later installed non-flushing toilets and doors and it has been this not so "Dear John" situation for many years.

So you can imagine the deep symbolism of the new bathrooms. The gravity-fed flushing toilets that will soon be the norm for over 1,000 students. In the photos above, you can see this entire decade-long transformation. It is both a small and gigantic happening, like so many of the things that happen at our little/big school.

As Liberia continues to recover from the deep destruction civil war brought, these bathrooms show one country and one school moving forward to brighter things. YOU did this! WE did this! TOGETHER we are amazing.

Happiest of Flushing,
Jackie Frazier
Executive Director