In addition to supporting pre-schools in Ghana Star of Hope has also helped to launch and develop several community development projects.

In the early 2000's, they gave support to women's groups in several villages. Most were various agricultural projects that give women a chance to develop their own manufacturing of various products of the vegetables they grow.

I visited Osae Kroduda 2008. There, the local women's group received financial assistance and other support for setting up a factory to make "gari" from cassava.

Women's Group's business concept is based on that they have access to cassava. They worked on the farm and saw an opportunity to make money from making and selling gari. After receiving support from Star of Hope they soon started their small business.

Gari is produced by press, filter and dry cassava. Gari is used as a base in various local dishes and stews.

The finished product is sold by the women in markets around Osae Krodua and women share the burden of work and money.


The new classrooms at Star of Hope School in Infanta in the Philippines are getting ready. They should be fully ready for the new school year starting June 13. Construction began in March. The above picture shows how it looked then. The new classrooms are added at the far left in the picture.

Star of Hope School in Infanta was inaugurated in 2009 and has five classrooms, toilets, running water, a library and a nice playground. During the academic year 2011 - 2012 the school had about 80 students in elementary school grades 1-5.

Infanta was severely hit by a typhoon in 2004 and claimed 2,000 lives and robbed survivors of the few possessions they had, as houses and livestock. Star of Hope went in with emergency relief assistance to 1,500 families. In 2006, Star of Hope built 300 houses in Infanta and later a school. Star of Hope has continued to support the community ever since.

 Below are some pictures from the school in Infanta:

 


9,755 people has been injured or killed by landmine in Colombia since 1990.

Of the nearly ten thousand victims of the past 22 years, more than 10% were children, while 2,044 people died from their injuries. Approximately 6,000 of the victims were members of the security forces and the rest civilians.

It is widely accepted that Colombia's two biggest rebel groups, the FARC and ELN, are most responsible for the laying of mines.

Colombia has the second highest casualty rate of landmine victims in the world, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

Colombia had 512 victims either maimed or killed due to landmines in 2010, putting the country second after Afghanistan with 1,211. Pakistan is third with 394 casualties.

Landmines killed 1,155 people around the world last year and wounded 2,848 --  a 5% increase from the previous year. The figures may be even higher as data from many countries is often incomplete.

Star of Hope has been working in Colombia since mid 1980’s through its partner Cirec. Cirec is one the finest institutions and grass root organizations regarding the work with physical injures regardless the cause. They have had around 40,000 patients, and many of them are landmine victims.

The pictures above shows two landmine victims that have been helped via Star of Hope and Cirec.

  

 


Today I had a chance to visit the Star of Hope supported schools in Boyer and a new school named Good Shepard. even though the children are busy studying for their year end exams, they are always glad to see visitors.

This time, Tony had pencil sharpeners for Good Shepard school. You see in February the children had a visitor from Great Bend, Kansas. While visiting she saw third graders sharpening their pencils with a double edged razor blade! As a nurse she was appalled.

Upon her return she approached a business who gladly ordered the old style heavy metal pencil sharpeners that will stand up under the heavy use. I got to deliver them and help install the first!



The joy on the faces of the first children who got to "sharpen their pencils" was something to behold. They kept saying thank you as their eyes showed how amazed they were at the clean sharp points. The grins were everywhere.

Just one simple act by a sponsor who gave of her time to ask a business friend who was so glad to help. That business was Office Products inc (OPI) Great Bend. If you are in the area stop and tell them thank you on behalf of the 300 children in the Good Shepard, Haiti School.

Today is Mother's Day in some places around the world. I've been to several countries where Star of Hope works when it has been Mother's Day and we have then handed out gifts of various kinds. There have been various types of needed supplies, flowers, or packages sent to them from overseas via Star of Hope.

Below are some pictures from Hesse in Haiti when we handed out the packages there in 2010, some months after the terrible earthquake. The packages were and are always very appreciated. Helping us back the was StarTeam members from USA.

Click here to find out how you can help mothers in need.

 


May 11,2012: Rigaud new school reconstruction financed by Star of Hope is near to completion. It is a construction of three unit buildings, each building measures 200 square meter and has 3 class-rooms.   The inauguration of rigaud new school is scheduled June 9th. Tony

The opening of classes this school nationwide year will be marked by the pilot implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, with its new curriculum. This means that all students in Philippines could have 12 years of basic education instead of 10 years.

12 years of schooling will provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.

The adoption of the program is in response to the need to improve the competitiveness the Philippines graduates as the ten-year basic education cycle is seen as inadequate for work and higher education.

The Philippines is the only country in Asia and is one of only three countries in the world with a ten-year basic education cycle. Djibouti and Angola are the other two.

Star of Hope school in Taytay has also implemented this new program. It has a lot of new challenges to keep up with, but in the long run it will benefit the students and give them a better start in life.

 

 

 

The sewing school that started in the Haitian village Boyer 2010 was an instant success. It was a direct response to the various development projects in the backwater of the tragic earthquake that year. Star of Hope Country Manager Myrtha Dor was and is also the teacher since she is recognized as a good seamstress.

More than 30 young people graduated in summer 2011, and some of the students currently have revenue through their new skills. Good! In the autumn of 2011 the new sewing school started in the Jeanton village. It also became an instant success. Students there will graduate in a few weeks.

In the autumn of 2012 to Star of Hope is to launch another sewing school in a new village. In order to proceed with these sewing projects more resources are needed. You can give a gift here.

Below are some pictures from the sewing school in Boyer 2010-2011:


May is the major month for Mother Day celebrations around the world. Countries like the U.S.and many more are celebrating this coming Sunday. 

Share your blessings this MOTHERS DAY help a Haitian mom provide food for her children.

This week the school year 2012 – 2013 opened in the Philippines for the public schools. Non-government schools opens this and next week. Star of Hope school in Taytay opens June 13 and will welcome some 2,500 pupils.

The Department of Education in the Philippines welcomed 21.49 million students in public schools for the opening of classes on June 4. Last year, the actual enrolment for public schools was 20.48 million. That is an increase with 1 million students from last year. With a population growth in 2011 of almost 2 million people, the need for more schools, classrooms, and qualified teachers is always growing.

Of the expected enrollees this year, 5.76 million are secondary, 14 million are elementary, and 1.73 million are kindergarten; they will be accommodated by over 45,000 public schools nationwide.

771 schools with heavy congestion (extremely overcrowded) was expected to be trimmed down with the number of school building construction to be finished in the second half of 2012.

The Star of Hope School is be running since 1989 and is regularly renovated to keep it in good standard. This post includes some pictures from the school at Taytay.


My journey with Star of Hope began a late summer evening 1996 when I was introduced to a Jossi. She had recently been to the Philippines, she told me in an engaged way for hours about the country, the people and the Star of Hope good work there among the poor.

I had long wanted to support any development organization. Star of Hope felt right immediately after listening to Jossi.

A few days later Star of Hope was contacted and I became sponsor to a little girl in the poor district of Crame in the megacity Manila. More on her later, but she has now graduated college.

I had great connection with Star of Hope right away and the staff was helpful with my questions and more.

It turned out that some of my friends were on vacation to the Philippines in spring 1997. I asked Star of Hope whether it was possible to visit Star of Hope schools, and my sponsor kid. Of course the staff said. I got the contact information and faxed to the Philippines about my visit. Got an answer within a few days that I was welcome. I booked my ticket and packed my bag.

End of Part 1.
Some pictures from the Star of Hope preschool in Crame and its graduation ceremony in March this year. More pictures on Flickr.



 

I shoot a lot of pictures of faces. I’m fascinated by the various faces and eyes that tell so much. You see joy, suffering, hope, curiosity and more. In rural areas in Ghana, you notice an extra curiosity for me and the camera. Who is the man with the camera? It's fun, I think. Most kids want to be in the picture, and get very confused when they can see themselves on the LCD screen on the camera back. Some want to be photographed again and the second time around the kids a pose or make a face. All images above were taken in Ghana.
These brief meetings are fun and interesting wherever you are. Usually it will be much laughter and joy. We do not understand each other but both have something to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Star of Hope has worked in Ghana since 1983 and was officially recognized and registered as a relief organization in the country by the Social Welfare 1998. This made the Star of Hope one of only five official non-governmental organizations in the country. Today there are thousands.

Star of Hope has been funded by among others Swedish government to start and implement several projects in the country. These have been the building of schools, community development programs in different fields: agriculture, water safety, small enterprise for women, health, development of personnel in various fields, teacher education.

All projects with pre-school center and Star of Hope has worked with all groups within the municipality to strengthen the whole community.

Here are some 'blackboard' pictures from various schools in the country that Star of Hope support.



As I wrote the other day it seems that the severe cholera crisis in Haiti do not budge. Nearly 250,000 people can be affected by the water-borne disease this year. 7,000 people have been killed since the fall of 2010.

Some experts expect that a proper system for water and sanitation in Haiti would cost around $ 1 billion.

Clean water is our most important social function. Clean drinking water is man's first and greatest need. The Star of Hope plan for a better Haiti is to have safe drinking water in the projects where we work. It is a very important and central point.

When the cholera outbreak began in autumn 2010, Star of Hope acted quickly. There were several short-term solutions: we treated water, we did cholera vaccination and implemented simple but effective hand wash stations, known as "Tippy Taps".

The long-term plan was and is that all projects should have access to safe drinking water through wells, cisterns and other solutions. Star of Hope has come a long way, but still several projects needs wells and more.

If you want to help with the Star of Hope's long-term plan, find out how you can help:

http://www.starofhopeusa.org/give/projects/790-water-project.html



StarTeams are a small team of volunteers that Star of Hope invented a few years back! They go to a foreign country to help out for a few days or a week. Star of Hope is looking for StarTeam members that are ready to go to Haiti and Bois Negresse in the summer to help out building the roof on the school being built.

I have been to Haiti when a number of different StarTeams have been there to do some work; fixing a roof, painting classroom, building school furniture and so on. There has always been time to educate the kids in many different ways as well.

To be a StarTeam member I think it is fantasic way to do something really good! Here are some videos and pictures from StarTeam activities:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COm91dMO_2w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgPTyjAHrIA

It is for sure a life chaning experience in many ways to go to Haiti and do someting good!

 

 

 


Under latest news on the website, you can now see pictures of food shopping in Northern Ghana.

One of the reasons that the Star of Hope began working in Bolgatanga area in northern Ghana in late 1997 was precisely the widespread hunger and malnutrition.

Star of Hope also made a major relief effort during the spring and summer of 1998 when there was a severe famine in the area.

Bolgatangas feeding center have received monthly support from the Star of Hope since 1997.


The pictures in this post is from Queen Elizabeth School in Bolgatanga.

 



This is one of my favorite pictures from the preschool in Boyer, Haiti. I feel joy when I see these two happy girls eat lunch at school in November 2010.


Boyer is very near the area where severe cholera outbreak started just weeks before this picture was taken. Star of Hope, purified drinking water with Aqua Care, and vaccinated all the children in the Boyer against cholera. Later Star of Hope build a water system to secure safe drinking water to the kids and the staff.


Star of Hope has been supporting the school in Boyertown since 1993 and the current school year has more than 550 students. Children receive education and school lunches and thus help to a good start in life.

Speaking of the cholera outbreak, it seems they are more problems. Some expect that up to 250 000 people may suffer from the desease this year. 7,000 have already died since the outbreak started in autumn 2010. The bacteria may have split up into two strains, which may increase the problems. Those who have already been hit once, may be hit again by the new strain.

Many aid organizations have withdrawn from the hardest hit area around Mirebalais where it all began. Health clinics in the area are short on antibiotics and clinic staff in some areas have not been paid since January.


I hope they can get to the bottom of this. The sick and suffering people I saw in late 2010 was not a pretty sight. The authorities must get help from various area to overcome this once and for all.


To many child laborers.

Today is the International Workers' Day. All around the world 215 million children work, many full-time. They do not attend school and have little or no time to play. Many of them have no proper food or care. They are denied the opportunity to be children. More than half of those exposed to the worst forms of child labor such as working in hazardous environments, slavery or other forms of forced labor.

215 million child laborers is 215 million too many.

Please give these children a thought today.


 


I am very pleased that Star of Hope is building a new school in the Bois Negresse which lies about 100 kilometers from Port-au-Prince. For the old school, it takes about three hours to drive, then at least an hour to walk. The school is situated in a valley among high hills, and many of the children have far to walk to school.
The school was founded in 1987 and Star of Hope support began in 1992. Besides the regular support Star of Hope funded the construction of the school in 1994. We have also supported several development projects in the village at various times. The school has 324 students this academic year.
Parts of the school was destroyed when the four hurricanes and tropical storms Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike swept over Haiti in autumn 2008. As the new school will come in handy.
Here was the school after one of the storms. Just a few seats remained.

The colour pictures were taekn in February 2011, when I visited the school.


At the moment I’m goring through the material from Ghana and especially from Bolgatanga district in Ghana's north-eastern province. Bolgatanga is the capital of the province and is one of the poorest regions of Ghana. Star of Hope has been involved in education in the area in many schools for many years.


It is seldom I take the time to have look at the entire image archive for Bolgatanga but have done it now. Have found several pictures that I might not seen since they were taken and sent to office years ago. Nice to rediscover them again.


It is nice see and feel again the joy for these children that they have a school to go to. Some children walk maybe mora than an hour to get to school. I’m extremely glad I got to see their joy at close range. They want to learn, they have dreams and hopes for the future. They want to satisfy their hunger.

Star of Hope has helped them a bit on the way to their goals.

Good, it's necessary!

 


 


Star of Hope has worked in Haiti for many years. We have helped thousands of children to a better start in life in one of the poorest countries in the world. Through education, nutrition, health projects and other things we have, together with sponsors and institutions helping children, youth and families to a better life and given them hope for the future.

 

 


Now the Star of Hope has a half-dozen newly constructed and renovated schools, ready to provide even better training. Many school teachers have received training to provide even better support to 3,000 students. Children have access to great facilities, nutrition and safe drinking water.

 

 

<Star of Hope> many years in Haiti


However, we want to develop the schools even more and help more children better. The Star of Hope needs more sponsors for Haiti.

The pictures in the article are from the school in Rigaud Haiti, let me know if you have any questions. More photos on SOH Flickr.

Dennis

The time to get to school in Bois Negresse to outsiders will be significantly reduced when the new school is ready for the school start in September. It will be easier to visit, easier to help. I'll be back with some posts to the Bois Negresse shortly. I'm just going through the material from my three or four visits to the school. And that project is really special to visit.

I today start with a few portraits of some children who are helped by the Star of Hope. In this remote place, I get to me that people look a little different than other projects that Star of Hope supports. Do not know what it is but hope to return to the matter soon. Is it due to the cooler mountain climate? These pics are from my first visit in 2009.

Linda Borror, my wife and Star of Hope staff member and Sam Thier from Great Bend, Kansas left this morning on a very long journey. They will travel for some 30 hours to arrive in Saenz Pena, Chaco. It is a smaller city in northern Argentina.

While there they will walk the proposed sports complex, where Elijah has dreamed of playing soccer and building self worth. This is the site of The Wall. They will meet Elijah and the other young Toba indians who are growing into educated, healthy adults who love Jesus and care about their communities.

For Sam, it is his first visit to a Star of Project county. He is excited about seeing what God is doing and how the donor accomplishes great things through Star of Hope.

Upon their return, both hope to share with as many people the excitement that I saw already in their faces as they drove off this morning.

StarTeams do so very much. They help the children we are serving, they encourage the donors by reporting back what they see. But, perhaps more importantly they grow themselves and often change their priorities in life.

How about you? Could you see yourself on a work team or mission trip?


April 15, 2012: Tony and Myrtha are in Sweden for funds-raisings events: to meet star of Hope sponsors and media to presente Star of Hope completion of 5 schools reconstruction work, organize Haitian dinner for staff and sponsors, participate in Ice Gala funds-raisings for water project in Haiti. Sweden is a blessed country, peacefull place, forest and trees everywhere, lake, river and water everywhere, but very cold, snow cover the whole place where we stay. Iy is a great suceessful vlisit! Tony
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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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