I am reading the book Uncharitable by Dan Pallotta.  His book deals with the big picture of how our society's thinking on charity actually hinders and prevents non profit organizations from truly creating change.  While an interesting read, it has given me cause to reflect on how Star of Hope acts and communicates.

Specifically it has caused me to think about charity and how we approach donors. I have come to realize that many donors give out of a sense of duty. They feel blessed and believe that they should share those blessings. To me this is charity. It is something good. But I want more than charity. Something better.

I believe that some donors want to make an impact with their gifts. Not just an impact but a high impact. The most bang for their buck, if you will.

Star of Hope has some of the most effective projects at affecting change or having a high impact across the world. That is something I am proud of as the President & CEO of Star of Hope here in the USA.

If you are looking for a way to have High Impact as a donor, give me a call. I would love to talk to you about it. My number is (866) 653-0321.

Barry Borror

Pre-school Star of Hope Maloney opened in 1987 and celebrating its amazing 25 years this year. Pre-school Star of Hope St. Jospeh is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Hundreds of children have started their school years by Star of Hope in Trinidad and the fine facilities. They have learned to read, write and count. They can play and have fun at the pre-school. Furthermore, everyday the kids get a much needed lunch. The teachers do everything for the children to get a good start in life.

A very important person for that work has moved on so well in Trinidad is country manager Naomi Reid, who is with her big heart very popular among the kids. Here are some pictures of Naomi among the children where she enjoys very good.


My wife usually takes the lead but when it’s time to clean out the house and take items to the local goodwill shop I get involved too as I usually have to carry, load drive and so on but I also have had the joy to go to the kids and guide them through the process of sorting their rooms to find items to give to the local charity. I don’t know why but they always have enjoyed this tradition and usually want to give away something quite new and relatively expensive and keep the old “obvious to me junk” it’s a pick your battle type thing and in the spirit of giving I usually let their will or heart decide.

Sometimes the cleaning for the needy becomes over the top as one of my son’s tell me “it will serve them better than me” and even if the item being lobbed onto the pile is a new or again an expensive item I am locked as I can’t really say “you can’t give that away” or can I?

In any event when my boys have had to weed out for charity it has always been a joy to see them, even from an early age, transform into a philanthropist and a true giver with smiles and purpose.

Sure they have had sponsored kids in their name since before they could talk and inherited the annual birthday giving to the sponsored children as they matured and were able. That info card and photo is proudly displayed in their rooms as it has been for many years, usually proudly displayed.

I do not know if their attitude was learned from me or my wife, or both. Perhaps it is instinctual, I do know it is a trait I am pleased with and it without a doubt is a small piece of the family puzzle that brings us closer together.

I know my youngest still wants to help all the strays and heaven forbid you walk past a beggar without giving. No point in dissecting the pros and cons of giving to beggars it’s just “dad we have to give” so we do. I think that is a good thing too, as the other side of that coin is rather cold. Concerning my kids empathy is alive and well and I always go back to our sponsored kids and wonder if they were the key, who knows, but being a sponsor is something we all can share and it has without a doubt added to my children’s compassion, willingness to give and just added to their being.

Do you sponsor a child somewhere?

If you are a sponsor, don’t forget to take down the photo you have of your sponsored child and talk with your kids about the child, share the photos and the letters. If you’re not a sponsor why not jump in and help a child while you at the same time teach your own a valuable life lessons to your children, its close and personal and takes very little time. Sometimes giving should be for the joy of it, for yours and your children’s, but there are many added benefits not in the least the life of the sponsored child.

 


There is a new StarTeam in Haiti. Four men from Ellinwood, Kansas will be installing and teaching how to install “hurricane ties” on the new roof structure on the new building in Bois Negresse.

This is a follow up team to the Swedish E-Team that was just there painting the new building.

By seeing that the foreigners place such an importance on this structural tie down Star of Hope project manager Tony has observed that local builders often adapt to these technologies. The acquired skills they then use to improve homes and other buildings in the area.

When I stayed in Haiti for longer period of times in 2010 and 2011 I meet many StarTeam members and it was great times. They brought happiness, joy and they taught the kids and the school staff many different things.

One team came down to teach local workers to produce all the school furniture that Star of Hope now uses in the newly built school.

I’m looking forward to the reports from this week’s StarTeam.

These pics are from earlier Starteam trips when I was in Haiti.

 

 

 

 

 

You remember how Gorbachev tore down the wall and how Pink Floyd sung about it, well we want to build a wall. The wall is to keep the kids in one of our projects in Argentina safe and active in a safe place.We just need bricks - a lot of bricks.



Click on the link and buy a brick then share with your friends or whoever and we will have this wall up in no time and the kids will be safe and happy as they play soccer.

 

Northern Argentina is home to the Toba people. Because this group is on the margins of society their children are at risk. The goal of The Wall is the first step in giving them a safe place. A place where they play soccer, meet other children, learn to work together, while learning more about Jesus. Together with your help The Wall can be built.

YES I WILL BUY A BRICK

 

Once again Metro Manila and the Philippines is hit by a disaster. Torrential rains have battered the megacity and floodwaters have poured in from almost all sides. A state of emergency was declared in and around Manila.

More than 50 were reported dead due to the combination of intense storms, monsoon rains and flooding, and at least 250,000 were evacuated, officials said. A landslide in the district of Quezon City killed nine people, including three children.

The flooding is the worst to hit the area since two storms in 2009 killed more than 900 people.

Manila is particularly vulnerable to flooding. The metropolitan area, which has a population of more than 14 million, sits in a low-lying area between a large lake and the ocean. The lake, Laguna de Bay, at the south of the city, drains to the ocean via the Pasig River, which runs through the center of town. The lake and the river are heavily silted and prone to overflowing their banks.

Star of Hope's school in Taytay, Rizal is in almost waist high water on Wednesday. The classrooms on the ground floor are flooded. Staff has moved books and expensive equipment to the second floor.

In some areas in Taytay, the water has reached the second floor Wednesday. Living in the area are 2 500 children attending the Star of Hope School. No reports of injured children yet but many sponsored children's houses are under water.

Pictures by Norman Coruna from Tuesday at Star of Hope School. More information soon. Internet and phone service is very poor at the moment! I wish I could be there to help out.

 

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner is very popular in his home country, but internationally she is not as well regarded. But what will happen now that the domestic economy is losing momentum?

Over the past ten years the economy has grown by an average of 7% in Argentina. It is good of course and many are satisfied. But this year the increase will, according to experts, only be 2.5%. Argentina also recently become energy importer instead of exporter.

In April, the state mysteriously took control of a local oil company worth $ 10 billion. Spanish major Repsol owner was not happy about this. Add to this the harsh verbal dispute over the Falkland Islands.

At the end of the 1990s the Argentine economy collapsed. It got very favorable loans, but now that the lenders of that time are not paid, they have turned sour and bitter over Kirchner.

With the global uncertainty in the economy together with the state's murky trade barriers and tactics have made that reality catch up. Many experts expect that Argentina will be in real difficulty within soon.
How does economy affect the vulnerable minority populations in Argentina? For the group of Qom in the province of Chaco in northern Argentina, it has become better general in some places over the last 15-20 years.

In and around Saenz Pena, Star of Hope has worked hard to improve conditions in the past thirty years. Through many different efforts the work produce even better results. More and more people come up higher in the educational system with really good grades (although racism and oppression), more and more come into work and create their own opportunities. Most have had a good start in life thanks to Star of Hope.

However, 75-100% of the Qom-population depending on which province lives with many basic needs unmet. No or poor housing, poor access to electricity, water and sanitation are common in some places.
Star of Hope's development continues, and we would like to help more people in different ways and levels.

What will happen now with the Qom population when the economy is shrinking?


 

Preschools Star of Hope Maloney with 89 children and the Star of Hope St. Jospeh with 50 children in Trinidad will shortly go on summer vacation for two months. They derserve it.

The children have fought hard to prepare themselves for the upcoming primary school. They will come back to school the first week of September.

Thanks for your support for needy children. Together, we give children a good start in life.


I met little Paul on a visit to the village of Gomoa Domainase, Ghana in 2008. He lives with his parents and younger sister Linda. Dad Kwabena and mom Esi are farmers and operates normally other landowners farms and as salary they get to keep a third of the harvest, the other two thirds goes to the landowner. In southern Ghana, they usually get two crops per year, depending on what they grow.

Like many others who try to survive as farmers in Ghana the work gives poor income and the family lives by "from hand to mouth." They find it hard to get to it financially.

The family lives in a small room in a ruined school. A single room of 15-16 square meters is the family's home. A bed, a TV, a closet and a larger bucket is the family's possessions. With the bucket, they fetch water from a well in the yard. Cooking is done outdoors in a small campfire.

Paul goes to preschool, in the outskirts of the village, supported by Star of Hope. He thinks it's fun to learn letters and numbers. He is shy and somewhat reclusive but is diligent and take part in the activities in the classroom according to the teacher.

Thanks to dedicated teachers and support from the Star of Hope and its sponsors Paul and his classmates get a good start in life. The parents are very grateful for the support and do everything they can to keep Paul in school as long as possible so he an get a good education.

 

At the end of June Star of Hope's latest preschool in Sao Paulo, Brazil was inaugurated. It is the fifth pre-school in Sao Paulo where Star of Hope is involved. There are now 235 children nutritious food, love and care.

The pre-school has eight classrooms, a playroom and a large play area outside the building. It is gratifying to see this development. Pictures from the preschool here.

It was also in Brazil that Star of Hope's work started over 40 years ago. It was, however, in Montes Claros. I visited the area and Star of Hope's first pre-school a few years ago. Impressive was work carried out and is transferred to the new pre-schools. Some pictures from the first pre-school:


Some important work was carried out by Star of Hope in the poor north-eastern Ghana a dozen years ago was an upgrade of school facilities and the distribution of school supplies.

Together with the local committee for pre-schools in Bolgatanga a dozen extreme poor schools received new desks, blackboards, toys, paints, and teacher guides. Furthermore, many teacher received training through Star of Hope.

The results were several. The children were given proper school equipment and toys, the teachers got proper working material, and the parents were motivated to send their children to school. Everyone saw a definite improvement in this important work. This donation also gave echo throughout Ghana through the media.

The pictures below I took in 2008 on my journey to Bolgatanga.


A few weeks ago I wrote about how slow in general the construction of housing and other things are in Haiti. The reasons are many, and it is tragic for the victims.

Star of Hope has fought hard to re-build the schools that were destroyed in the disaster, 2.5 years ago. Star of Hope is also building new buildings in the projects that Star of Hope has supported for many years. Teachers are given training, water has been drawn, the classrooms have been equipped and much more.

Now, the 3 000 children supported by the Star of Hope are on summer break. From the seven projects that Star of Hope supports 150 children have completed kindergarten and will start elementary school in the fall. 130 have completed primary school and is now continuing in the secondary school.

To complete the vision in Haiti, Star of Hope needs more sponsors in the fall. Would you or someone you know become a sponsor, let us know as soon as possible.



Recently I wrote about ant loving Denis. Here are a few lines about another sponsored child who raised animals. I met fourteen-year-old Steven a year ago. He enjoys school but has no particular favorite subject, but he dreams of becoming an engineer when he grows up. He thinks it looks interesting, and he believes that there are good labor market for this profession.

In 2010, Steven received a monetary gift from his sponsor in Sweden. He knew immediately that what he wanted to do for money. He bought pigeons, because they are relatively easy to maintain and is a little unusual where he lives in the village of Rigaud. He built a cage for the pigeons and they multiply rapidly. He sold the pigeons on the market, and raised new ones. He had to build a new cage for his growing pigeon herd.

When he raised enough money, Steven bought new shoes to use for school. Then Steven got some money to. For the money, he bought a turkey that is also reproduced, and he sold them as well at the market. For the money, he bought new shoes. Nice to see such a young ambitious guy fight in order to help himself.



 

Star of Hope schools in the Philippines started yesterday the academic year 2012-13. There are about 2 500 students at the school in Taytay.

The new official school plan is implemented, which means that schools must now offer 12 grades instead of the earlier 10. So there are new deamands on teachers and students. Many new challenges lie ahead, but in the long run, the children will get a better start in life.

I wrote several posts last week about the new curriculum. I believe in it.

It rained hard yesterday in Taytay. There were many new students. Many were nervous and cried.

I remember how it was like. What will happen now? Is it my teacher good?

Below are some pictures from the start of school yesterday taken by Star of Hope staff. More here on Flickr.


 

 

 

According to a report the Philippines struggles to curb child labour. More than half of the country's five million child workers do so under hazardous conditions. For example they work on garbage dumps, in charcoal factories and in sugarcane fields.

But now the government says its new policies will be able to eliminate child labour by 2016.

Many children work because they want to support their parents, but they are part of the illegal economic system of child labor.

Every child has the right to the most basic of necessities in life like a healthy environment, formal education, and most importantly, a loving family to come home to. Yet, poverty hinders the child to any of these things and forces labour in farming fields, mining shafts and peddling in the busy and dangerous streets in Manila and beyond.

Star of Hope runs two schools and one preschool in the Philippines. All together almost 3,000 children get their basic education and family support by Star of Hope to get a good start in life to create a more positive future for themsleves!

 

 

 

As part of the village development in northern Ghana, Star of Hope in 2004 together with local authorities built the Kulbia dam in the Bolgatanga area. This was the third dam Star of Hope helped with since 1997.

The purpose to construct the dam was to alleviate poverty and underdevelopment in the villages through development programs in the fields of agriculture, and food security.

Approximately 10.000 people live in the area and benefit from the dam.

The villages concerned were very much engaged in the planning and their representatives have been in meetings with both Star of Hope and the Ministry about the construction and their participation.

The primary use of the water from the dam is for the domestic animals and the secondary use for prolongation of the time for kitchen gardening and fields, from the normal four months rainy season up to the year around.

With only four months of rain there is not much water for the development of agriculture – which is the main economic activity of the people of the area. It is not surprising that the area has been experiencing perennial drought and famine with short farming seasons and lack of grass to feed the livestock.

These dams that Star of Hope built has been very useful and appreciated in a very poor area of Ghana.

 


Pics by Björg Farstad


In May 2009 I visited for the first time the village of Bois Negresse and the school that Star of Hope supports there. We were there to do the routine check of the project and to distribute the extra gifts sponsors send to the children.


One of the recipients was six-year-old Denis. She was then in grade 1, she told me she likes school and her favorite subject is math. But she also likes to learn about other subjects as the local language Creole, French and social knowledge.

For the money that her sponsor sent she was very clear what she wanted to do.

- Now I will buy ants, exclaimed Denis in a big smile.

She was excitedly happy and wanted to use the money the same day. The family has no animals, but Denis loves ants. Denis said enthusiastically that she should have them in a plastic jar and feed them and take care of them as her pets.

When she grows up she wants to become a teacher. She thinks it's fun with the school and to teach things to other children would be fun.

 

 

As part of the recovery program after the earthquake in January 2010 Star of Hope started a sewing school in the fall of 2010, as a pilot project where young women and men from the Boyer area have received professional level seamstress training.

They have been taught appropriate technology and given design skills to enable them to produce products that are marketable both inside Haiti and outside.

The school was a success and the pupils graduated in the summer of 2011. The program continued to Jeanton village in late 2011 and the students will graduate next week. In the fall the program continues in Hesse.

You can pictures from last years graduation here.

 

 

An important part for Brazilians is the body language as a supplement to speech, and a common sign is a thumbs up as below.

 Common is the thumb along with the phrase "tudo bem". Tudo bem is both a question "everything ok?" and the answer "everything ok!".

Tudo Bem is also used as a general simple courtesy phrase but is an important part of everyday communication.


On Saturday morning, June 10, it was my opportunity to address the 80 Haitian pastors being hosted by the church in Rigaud, Haiti. Pastor Samson, (speaking), was the host for the four day convention.

It was exciting to see the encouragement on the faces as I shared with them that they are not alone. First God is with them, always. Then as I shared with them that people worldwide pray for them, their faces lit up with excitement.

Here we were in a broken down church building that was all but destroyed in the January 201o earthquake. As we struggled to meet as many needs as possible with the resource that we had, the leaders and people wanted us to rebuild the school buildings first. The outlook on life that says the children are important is so rewarding.

I believe that God has something big planned for Rigaud and I am excited that we now have some resources available to help them rebuild a building for worship.

Want to help? Your gift would mean so much to those who have so little. Click on the Donate button and note Haiti Church in the remarks section. We will make sure the gift gets where it should go.


During the last 2 ½ years since the earthquake the number of displaced Haitians has dropped from 1.5 million to just under 400,000 changing the look of a capital whose landscape was defined for many months by piles of rubble and fraying tent encampments.
But the progress is largely cosmetic. Although a few camps have benefited from aid programs, a grave underlying housing shortage means that the majority of those who left the camps have disappeared into the overcrowded homes of relatives or constructed precarious shacks in hillside slums, which is really another disaster to happen.
The recent clearing of the major public square Champs de Mars is one sign of how urgently Haiti's government and its image-conscious elite want to return public squares to normality.

On the eve of the earthquake it was estimated that 300,000 new lodgings were required in Port Au-Prince. And a post-quake survey showed 20 per cent of the estimated 414,000 buildings in the capital were damaged beyond repair, with 25 per cent needing structural repair.

The report shows reconstruction efforts have focused on building temporary shelters, which have absorbed 79 per cent of the $461m spent. A total of 109,000 temporary shelters have been constructed while only 5,000 permanent homes built.

All the above feels very strange and beyond my understanding somewhat. Why is everything so delayed and not happening?


Four years old Akiela from grade two at the preschool Star of Hope Maloney in Trinidad shows her workbook.

The teacher has put a little sticker to show that she has approved the assignment. This time Akiela gets credit for the letter fCongratulations!


Get it?

After about 30 hours of traveling, we finally arrived to Haiti this morning. It is really hot and we have now spent our first day here. First we went home to Tony and Myrtha’s place to drop our bags and have some breakfast. Directly after that we went to a pastor conference in Rigaud. We thought we were just going to sit there and listen through the meeting, but the whole thing ended up with us, standing on the stage, having flowers and a medal. They also sang two songs for us and told us that we were in their prayers. We couldn’t have had a better first day in Haiti or a warmer welcome.
We have also been guided in Port-au-Prince and are now back at Tony and Myrthas place, eating mango and watching geckos on the walls. Tony and Myrtha are talking really good care of us. We feel completely safe here. The feelings after today are mixed. Everyone is pretty taken from the first impressions. This is like another world; it already feels like Sweden is a whole other planet. From team Sweden! Maja, Maria, Kristoffer, Frida, Elin and Anna

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Did you know that...

Star Shop18 landerStar of Hope has projects in 15 countries around the world?


30000 barn

Also every day, more than 12,000 children receive education and care through Star of Hope? Also, we touch over 30,000 children each day with services!

 

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