Today was our first day of work. It began with a wonderful welcoming ceremony by the school children. This is my third trip to Haiti, and my second to Jeanton. Barry Parker and myself were a part of a larger team to Jeanton about a year and a half ago. During the opening ceremony, Tony asked the children if they remembered us. They did, and as we scanned the crowd of faces, we recognized them too. I was so encouraged yesterday to see all that has changed at this school. Star of Hope is doing amazing things to make the lives of these children brighter, and I am proud that I get to be a small piece of that light. We spent today installing hurricane ties on the roof structure to help it sustain strong winds. We've gotten a lot accomplished on the first day. Tony says we work too fast, and he may have to find something else for us to do. It probably will not include hanging around at the beach! :) I've been encouraged by the other improvements I've seen on this trip. The highway out to Jeanton is nice and smooth. The airport is all in one air conditioned building! The change is slow, but it is changing. That is all to report for now!

Bob Baker


When I visited North Korea in 2003, you had to visit a number of tourist destinations. They included a couple of monuments honoring leaders among others. You also had to visit the Mangyongdae Children's Palace, which was a house full of various activities for children. I think these visits are still a must.

These children showed a range of activities for us tourists. It was sports, games, singing, dancing and more. It was reported that the children were more skilled than their peers in other countries. They were extremely talented, no doubt about that. However, there were many with me that questioned then and even now, the methods used to get the kids so talented.

Some pictures from my visit in 2003 below. These images concludes my short series about the disaster relief that Star of Hope did in 2003. The effort was much needed and very appreciated. I hope to return to North Korea sometime in the future.

 

Haiti quake – three years on. Where Did the Money Go?

Public donors pledged $9.5 billion in relief and recovery aid to Haiti for 2010 to 2012. About $5.9 billion had been disbursed by the end of September, though disbursed does not always mean spent. Figures do not include money – at least $1.5 billion – spent by private groups, including Star of Hope.

$2.2 billion has been used for humanitarian aid, and $1.4 billion on transportation, health, education, water and sanitation.

Ambitious projects are stuck on drawing boards or have been held up by land and ideological disputes, logistical and contracting problems, staffing shortages and even weather.

350,000 people still live in tents and only a fraction of the money pledged for permanent housing has been used. The rubble has finally been cleared, but building permanent homes has taken a back seat to other matters.

And then there was the simple and shameful failure of global donors to meet their promises to deliver money and aid.

The cholera outbreak that started ten months after the earthquake did not help either. A recently announced 10-year and $2.2 billion effort to rid Haiti and the Dominican Republic of cholera by improving water and sanitation will require close coordination among the Haitian government, the United Nations, United States and other partners.

The people working for the recovery process ask for patience. Things take times in underdeveloped and poor country as Haiti. The institutions were weak or nonexistent before the quake, and nearly every ministry was flattened by the quake, killing 20 percent of Haiti’s civil servants.

But schools are getting rebuilt. New businesses and factories are starting up and jobs are getting created.

I have seen most of when I was there several times after the quake; the rubble, the pain, the suffering, people dying in cholera, streets fights for survival…and so much more…

But I have also seen the spirit to come back again. I have seen the parents doing its best for putting food on the table. I have seen the sparkle in the eyes of the children trying to learn their ABC and 123. And I have seen the hope for a better future tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Lopez family has three children. The eldest is José, 8 years. He is relatively prosperous. His younger sisters Julineiys, 5 years, and Yesica, 4 years, however, are small in stature and malnourished. They both go to the small feeding centre Villa Gloria daily to get themselves a proper meal.

Julineiys and her sister Yescia hanging on the lock to the cafeteria for half an hour before it opened. They stand first in line as usual. The other bigger kids are also hungry but know that Julineiys and Yesica has been particularly difficult.

—    It's the only food we usually get, mom cook once a week, says Julineiys with feeble voice as she monitors their place in the queue.
She is very small in stature and looks very fragile out. It is believed she will fall together at any moment. Julineiys Nayibis mother says that she is very thankful to feeding centre Villa Gloria. Without it, the kids feel even worse, since there is seldom cooked food at the family home.

After school usually Julineiys play with her ??sister, often playing those with a small kitchen set in plastic.

—    We play that we cook the meat, says Julineiys. Meat is good but it is seldom that we eat it at home.

Although the future looks pretty dark and gloomy for young Julineiys so happy she dreams about it. She says that she wants to become a doctor so she can heal the sick and make sure they do not go hungry.

The sound level of feeding centre is high. Before the food is served to the children sing and pray grace together. When the food comes in so throw Julineiys itself rice and salad. She has not eaten since yesterday she says with a little smile. She finished first of all children and stops the banana in your pocket.

—    I save it for dinner tonight, she concludes with a smiling.

The hospital “Pyongyang Baby home” also received goods at the Star of Hope relief in North Korea in 2003. Dr. Mun Chang Un showed us the products they received. We took off our shoes and put on white coats before we went in to the patient department.


Dr. Mun said the following about the hospital founded in 1980: It has 1,500 patient beds. 500 is for children, 1,000 are occupied by women. It is not only births to take care of there. It has also various gynecological departments, and about 15,000 women get through here every year. 50-60 children were born every day.


They have received technical assistance from China, India, Russia and Thailand. They have received lab equipment from Sweden.


They were very happy about the goods they got through Star of Hope, but they were still missing a lot. Their needs included vitamins and ultrasound machines. There was a great need for antibiotics - especially to the mothers who do cesarean which is a full 15% of all births.


Dr. Mun said that a full 12% of births are premature and that it was due to women's poor health. Dr. Mun showed us the premature children. They were very small!


I also found out that a seven years old kid in South Korea weight about 20 pounds more than a kid from North Korea on average. And the kids in South Korea is on avergare 8 inches taller than the North Korean kids. Big numbers.

In the USA there are 1.6 million Charities. That is about one charity for every 200 US citizens. During 2012, Americans gave an average of approximately 1200 US Dollars.

In 2010 John Hopkins University did a survey that posted the number of employed by the nonprofit and non-governmental sector at 10.1% of the working population.

In 2011 the Bureau of Labor and Statistics stated “loosely” that 16% of the population works for the Government although other sources swear that it’s nearer 25% of the working population.

I know that how you define the terms and where you look the numbers are all over the place. For our purpose these will work. We are going to be talking about the trend in new start-up; nonprofit or non-government US organizations- let’s call them for this space “Voluntary organizations”.

We will say for the sake of argument 1 in 10 works for the nonprofit or non-government sector via voluntary organizations and 3 in 10 work for the US Government.

One of the idea’s I wish to share is the social side, specifically nonprofit or non-government US organizations Voluntary organizations (VO) are growing at an amazing rate.

Without going into the political side of this lets just agree that many VO do work or have programs inside the US as well as outside. I wonder at what year the percentage of VO will grow to be almost equal the Governmental employee percentage and what will that do to the ongoing debate in Washington and the rest of the Country.

I offer that the US is most wary of the influences of any modern outside political ideology, however that the US is clearly anchored in their own type of social work for the less fortunate in local or distant society. Not only that but new organizations are popping up everywhere; not only due to the internet maturing but that individualistic ideas are being brought to action on a more frequent basis. It seems this will continue as the next wave of internet tools will make each and every one of us a: fundraiser, supporter or even an activist for their friends cause or their own.

How will this coming structure benefit the intended target? Whether the Child down the street with MS or the single mother perhaps a new school in a remote place in a poor small Country.

With so many actors it will be increasingly difficult for many targets to build long term relationships with helpers and donors. If for example a mother of a sick child needs help would it be better to have 2 or 3 connections helping with 500 givers each or the opposite 1500 givers to have contact with? In some situations it is better to donate through a central point.

Of course there are the big questions, should we help and who should get help first? Globally most 6 year olds would say” people should have food; have a safe place to live with good parents and to be able to improve their future-education”.

Ask the same question to random adults of all ages, political affiliation’s and religious affiliations and the answer would surprise you. One thing for sure it the common sense of the children’s response would be replaced by thousands of answers.

Diversification is generally good for some areas of our lives just as over diversification will lead to diffuseness. The global consensus on what we need to do is not absolute it is political for the most part as international governmental organizations tend to be the trend setters. The question is do you agree or not; do you know what the global priorities are and do you agree with them?

Star of Hope stands on four basic pillars with education and learning to know Christ being the first two. We have been helping children get educated in marginalized areas for over 40 years. We do not plan to abandon the task or to detour from it and we hope that you might decide to be a part of what we do. Together we are strong and we will have a great impact on countless children’s lives.

Star of Hope basically understands that some organizations feed the needy, some cloth the needy and then there are those that do it all. We stay aligned with education as it is a great tool to break the chains of poverty and cannot be taken away.

So please do think about the quality your donations will bring about; we offer a sound track record in results with children’s education. We have one channel to 30,000 children in our system with professional service and Christian attitudes. Star of Hope gives precise monthly feedback and personal donor service.

We need your help we ask for your support; sponsor a child with Star of Hope, change a life for one; break the chains of poverty!

Mark Presson

 

 

 

 february 24, 2013: Star of Hope Haiti receive mission team of 4 men from Kansas to help as volunteer  reinforce new school roof  structure of Jeanton to resist better of hurricanes wind.  they will strengthen tresses and lattes using hurricane-ties and adding more wood attach. They will have also privilege to meet 300 hundreds school staff and children in  Jeanton kids to talk about Jesus. It is a blessing for Star of Hope development works in Haiti. Pray for them .
tony

Also Nampo Children Boarding School with slightly older children received clothes and food from the Star of Hope disaster relief in 2003. Nampo Children Boarding School is located on the beautiful country surrounded by low mountains and green hills. We drove into the area that had a basketball court and a soccer field.


In total, here lived and studied 212 children. 111 of them were 7-11 years old and went to primary school (4 year grades), 101 were 12-17 years old and went to secondary school (six grades).


The subjects studied by the children included Korean, math, science, electronics and gymnastics. Students in secondary school also read English.

They got this time following the Star of Hope:
Clothes, sugar, cooking oil, rice, soybeans, meal and supplements.

I privately bought pens to all the kids with a little difficulty. It was not like going to the first available shop to buy. You had to ask permission to go to a store where foreigners like I could shop.

But it all worked out and the kids were happy. They also received two soccer balls which was very appreciated. It was very interesting to meet these children.

At the Star of Hope Preschool in Mombasa, most children comes from poor backgrounds. One of the boys is Sudi who has a complicated family situation and the mother is unemployed and the father has only odd jobs. With four children to care for, it is hard to put food on the table every day.

Sudi is doing fine the classroom says his teacher. But the only thing he thinks about is football she adds with a smile.

With more sponsors, we would be able to help more children to a good start in life. Click here to learn how to become a sponsor.

Here are some pictures of Sudi.


This is a amazing day! The people here have been so gracious and full of life. The fellowship with the guys on this trip have been a true look into the hearts of other brothers in Christ..We went too look at the work needing done at the school, and the Lord  had to humble my heart into remining me that this was not about me only about him..THANK YOU  Star of Hope foer allowing to find  this feeling. But prasise be to GOD for allowing me too grow in this part of my heart and soul. RICK S. 2/24/2013

Star of Hope delivered in autumn 2003 supplies to various orphanages, hospitals and other institutions in North Korea when it was a famine there. I was there to inspect so deliveries gone as they should. It was exciting and a whole new world, one can say for sure.


One of the places that we have delivered goods to was "Nampo City Children Orphanage." They had received cooking oil, sugar and dietary supplements that would have been enough 12-18 months, clothes and shoes to all the kids for at least a year. The orphanage director was very grateful.


90% of the 106 children who lived at the orphanage were orphans, the others come from very poor backgrounds where parents could not take care of their children. All children were aged 6-7 years, but they looked much younger. Clearly they had suffered / or were suffering from malnutrition.


There were enough staff but they had a lack of resources but did their best to take care of the children as good as they could.


One of the children was Kim, 7 years old. He, like all other children in the classroom, was very shy when I came in and was introduced. Kim was an orphan, and he had lived at the orphanage a few years. He had shelter and food for the day, which was nice to see. The meeting was short because we had a very tight schedule, but I wonder to this day what happened to Kim and the other children. It is of course virtually impossible to get some information about that, but it would be interesting to know.

 

Since there are only a few weeks left to make your 2012 tax year donations count, I thought you might like to know how to double your gift!

There are an amazing number of companies that will match their employees giving. You should check with your companies HR department to see if yours is one. GreatNonProfits has a good blog entry which also includes a listing of some of the bigger companies that match. You can read it here and check the list.

Employeer matching donation. Good stuff. Thank you to all the companies who do good by matching the passion of their employees.

The armed and violent conflict in Colombia has been going for 50 years. Right now, peace negotiations are ongoing betwwen left guerrilla group FARC and the Colombian State on neutral ground in Cuba's capital Havana. It goes not so well, according to most experts. Hopefully there can be a sustainable agreement reached soon, although most think it can take time.


The conflict has killed a quarter of million people and there are approximately 4-5 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs). I have meet several families that are displaced in their own country. Many sad stories. One of the families was José and Nayibis Lopez and their three children, who were forced to flee three times.


They were forced to flee in 2002 from the small community Fundacias Magdalena when paramilitary groups alleged that the family worked with the FARC. José and Nayibis were threatened to death and had no choice but to pack up and flee. They were forced to flee twice agan in similar circumstances before they ended up in Villa Gloria outside the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena.


The family lives in a small borrowed poorly built wooden shed of about ten square meters. It has two beds, a fan and a TV. Along the walls above the beds hangs clothes and toys. Outside the small room is a small space without a roof where they cook.

Mom Nayibis told me that during the dry season it is fine but when the rainy season comes, the soil in and around the house is partially under water which made it very difficult. After many years without a job José finally get a job as a motorcycle taxi driver. It is good for the poor family, who lived very scant and poorly since they fled the first time.

 

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mombassa, dump, star of hope, mothers lap

I have met many children and young people in various difficult situations. One of the worst meetings for me was a meeting with three month old Luyono. It was in Kenya in 2008. We met during a visit to the dump in Kibarani outside the coastal town of Mombasa. He was laying in the lap of her mother Asha.

Asha sat in the shade inside the garbage dump and sold changaa (homemade alcohol). She brewed it herself and sold to those who worked at the dump. Everything was done with little Luyono in the lap.

Asha had five children, two went to a preschool where Star of Hope did some extra work efforts. Two pictures of the siblings:

Luyono, kenys,5 years old,star of hope,

kenya,boy,needing something,help, you can, support, star of hope

 

I WILL HELP


I have been to the small pre-school that Star of Hope operates outside Mombasa several times. I'm always happy to go there. The children bursting with joy, the teachers are dedicated to teaching the children and there are nice tools at hand.

Two of the children I remember below. Of course remember more but these two boys were energetic and fun in many ways. It's got a good start in life, even though they live in simple conditions. I hope to return sometime in the future to this preschool for getting to experience the energy again.

Trevor was very focused on learning as much as possible.

David was always fun and with something going on.


Of Haiti’s 9 million inhabitants about half is under 20 years of age. The life expectancy is 53 years for men and 56 for women. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. The living conditions, with unemployment around 70% and a totally inadequate healthcare system makes death physically present and a natural part of everyday life.

To get an education is getting more important. Please help Star of Hope give more children a good start in life. We need more sponsors for the kids that we are trying to help. Maybe you can be a sponsor as well? Thank you!


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I have during my travels with Star of Hope met a number of children. In 2005, I was in Montes Claros, Brazil, where it all began for the Star of Hope. At the nice nursery there I met Daniel Almeida, six years young.

Daniel was a lively and cheerful guy. Recognized myself in him from my childhood. Always on the move, could not sit still. Spirited, curious, restless and mischievous. Daniel was ambitious and talented, he was talented in the classroom despite his restlessness.

I was at the home of the family who was the poor and problematic. His father had pulled when he did not stand the pressure to be the breadwinner, which unfortunately is very common among the poor. So Daniel's mother took care of Daniel, plus three sisters. In the house also lived two teenage cousins ??who both given birth, and whose boyfriends then pulled. Tragic.

The house they lived in was cramped and dark, and the family spent much time on the street, so even Daniel where he played soccer with neighborhood boys after school ended at 3 pm every day. Otherwise, he liked music and was hoping to learn to play an instrument for real in the future.

Star of Hope has worked with education and other things in Kenya for decades, especially outside the coastal town of Mombasa. Many children have gone through the Star of Hope's schools, and thus had a good start in life. I have been to Kenya several times to document the work up close.

Kenya is a great country in many ways and when. Beautiful national parks, high mountains and beautiful white beaches at the coast, but the people are the greatest asset I think. However, the country has in recent years been hit by drought, ethnic strife and more. Recently, several bombs melted the country with several dead and injured. Tragic that these disturbances will haunt the country.

Star of Hope is struggling on to give as many people as possible to a good start in life.

In Dano village in Haiti the village leader is also the pastor at the local church. Mr. Wallas is a busy man of God, he has also a big heart and always in a good mood. He fights hard to do the very best for the villagers, the children and the elderly. If not preaching the good word he is out doing good works.

His personality encourages the people to help others in the village and he is always ready to step in and do the work himself if needed.

Here are some pictures from a service after the flooding in 2008:

It is now three years after the terrible earthquake in Haiti. Many positive things have happened. Factories are being built, hotels are being built, the infrastructure, including better roads and the internet has improved.

But still 350,000 people living in tents in and around the capital Port-au-Prince, and many countries have not sent the money they promised after the earthquake. One can understand that the Haitians are tired of the countries that promised much and delivered little.

Haiti has for many years been one of the poorest countries in the world. It depends on many things. But why should this poor country and people be affected by such a disaster?
I have been to Haiti several times both before and after the earthquake. It is poor, dirty and much misery. At the same time a wonderful and helpful people. It is difficult for most people to get out of the bottom of the swamp. They try, but it's hard.

I have seen poverty in many parts of the world, but not as in Haiti. And I've seen it up close. Children dying of AIDS, dying of cholera, children living and begging on the street for survival.

I have met and talked with many people in the projects sponsored by Star of Hope, especially children about their difficult circumstances and mishaps. Many do not have access to either food, water or toilet. The only hot food some children get each day is the school lunch at Star of Hope's schools.

Large parts of the population in Haiti lives day by day. They can not plan for the future. They live from hand to mouth. They consume immediately everything they can get. The small crops they grow, they try to sell and then buy cooking oil and other necessary things for survival. Approximately 80% of the population live on less than two dollars a day.

The only asset many people have is a goat or a cow that they managed to save up for. Many handles a goat as their bank book, sold only in the worst emergencies. They sell the offspring to get some income if necessary. And if a man earns two dollars a month and receives 60-100 U.S. dollars from the sale of a goat, it can make a big difference.

Therefore, Star of Hope's goat and chicken program that started 2008 is very appreciated. About 900 goats have been distributed and about 800 chickens.

Many are fleeing the countryside trying to find a job and a living in the city where it happens. There are many possibilities most people think. That's why many people remain in tent camps in Port-au-Prince. They hope and believe that they will have a new home in the city.

Star of Hope has consciously during all the years they have worked in Haiti focused on the poor in rural villages. It has been working closely with the villages groups and planning efforts together. Star of Hope to continue this work. The goat program is just a way to help farmers to remain in the villages. We have also distributed seed, had tools banks and trainings for them.

However, the large Star of Hope focuses on education. Currently Star of Hope supports about 3 000 children in eight projects in Haiti. They receive education and school lunch in the new school premises with new desks and further trained teachers. All children received school supplies. They get a good chance for a good start in life.

For many, there are better opportunities to stay in rural areas. Children receive a good education, the farmers get help with different things. All this is very much appreciated. They are very thankful to all the sponsors and want the sponsors to know that. They are extremely grateful. At the same time, they want to stand on their own eventually, earn their own money, pay for themselves. The Haitians are a proud people who constantly had to fight. They are prepared to fight even more if it knows it can get better.

I wish we (the Star of Hope, sponsors, and the world) could do a lot more for these vulnerable people so that they can get better opportunities. Star of Hope's model works on several different levels, but more resources are needed. If the Star of Hope will continue forward as now, we will see great results in 3 years, in 10 years and 20 years.


The Haitian Government have asked the international community of two billion U.S. dollars to fight the cholera outbreak that is still raging in the country. The cholera came to Haiti by UN peacekeepers from Nepal in 2010, and 7,500 people have died of cholera. That’s more than those who died in the unrest that led to UN troops came to Haiti.

334 000 people were affected by cholera in Haiti last year, more than the rest of the world combined.

Haiti has a ten year plan to significantly improve sanitation and water issues, and thus raising the standard of living for the entire population.

Star of Hope has long been working with these issues. We have built various types of water systems in the projects in which we are working to ensure safe drinking water for the villagers and schoolchildren.

However, we need to be dig more wells and build other aquatic systems to ensure clean water for more people and to reduce the problems of disease and death.

Please click here to know how you can support us.


In Haiti we have given out goats and chickens since mid December again. The animals were given by sponsors that wanted to give a good and useful Christmas gift to poor children in one of the poorest countries in the world. Pictures has arrived and I would like to share them with you.

The pictures are taking Tony Boursiquot, Star of Hopes project manager in Haiti. You can see more pics on Flickr if you click here.

 

I have been to Haiti several times and totally of more than 15 months after the earthquake three years ago. It's been an emotional roller-coaster. I've seen suffering in many different ways and levels. But gradually, I also experience many positive things.


Star of Hope in Haiti has made many efforts since the earthquake. First, it was necessary to save lives, Star of Hope sent several medical teams during the first few months to help with surgery in general, and then to carry out a health survey of the Star of Hope projects.


Star of Hope has rebuilt and strengthened the schools that were destroyed and damaged. It has also expanded the school, made new desks, brought in water, brought in electricity. Everything to make the school environment better and safer. I think that's good. Real schools in poor villages a must to keep families and children, so they do not move to larger cities.

An important part of Star of Hope's work in schools is the daily lunch to be distributed. For many of the children is the only goal with hot food.

In efforts to get people to stay in the villages, you have to also work on the overall development of the village, which the Star of Hope has done for many years. It has helped farmers with seeds and tools banks. Since 2008, after the heavy stormy autumn, Star of Hope seriously distribute goats and chickens in the villages. To date, more than 900 goats and 800 chickens distributed villages. And the more we want to share.

After the earthquake, the Star of Hope organized three sewing schools, allowing locals after completing the course to monetize on their new skills. Many of the students have already started to work as seamstresses. Another reason to stay in the village. Several times, all schoolchildren received school supplies. Many are so poor they can not buy their own school supplies, making it difficult for them to keep up with the school properly. In addition, all teachers received training in recent years through the Star of Hope so that they can work in a more professional manner with the children.

Star of Hope has also sent various volunteer groups, called StarTeams to Haiti to perform various tasks. Among other things, various professionals trained local people to build school desks and more.

Just when everything started to roll in Haiti for the Star of Hope and the schools to be rebuilt ten months after the earthquake, the cholera epidemic came and paralyzed much of the country. Star of Hope toured the projects and vaccinated schoolchildren and teachers, plus we made sure that all projects had access to safe drinking water. It delayed a lot of other work.

The schools affected by the earthquake are rebuilt, but we continue to ensure that the villages we work to get better educations centers. Right now we're working with a preschool in Marigot, and we hope to build a primary school building in Bois Negresse shortly also.
It's a shame for the people in Haiti, they are regularly affected by disasters and will never come out of poverty. Hopefully it's on the right track now. Star of Hope is moving on in the projects that they work.

There has been too much suffering in the country. I've seen a lot. I hope it can turn and that the country and its people slowly but surely coming up on a higher level. I hope the authorities can stabilize the economy and fight forward for the good of the people. Star of Hope has done very well in the villages, but I hope the Star of Hope can continue to do their bit for the greater extent and development of the villages we work in.

Star of Hope has worked with the village of Jeanton since 1989. They have mainly been supported to school and the kids, but Star of Hope has also helped with village development.

They have received goats and chicken. Recently Star of Hope built water wells in the village to secure safe drinking water. Last school year Star of Hope also organized a sewing classes for the youth of Jeanton. Many of these youngsters can now make money with their new skills.

Here are some pics from my trips to Jeanton.


Did you know that...


18 landerStar of Hope has projects in 15 countries around the world?


30000 barn

Also every day, more than 30,000 children receive education and care through Star of Hope? Also, we touch over 35,000 children each day with services!

 

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