In Estonia, our first ever Women’s Empowerment project has been running strong through a fantastic partnership with Focus Church in Tallinn! Eleven women that were recommended by local women’s shelters have faithfully attended the weekly classes for education and life skills to better provide for their families in the short and long term. Through the duration of the course, women are trained on topics such as basic business and finance principles for the job market or starting their own small business. They are also trained on family issues such as family finance, grocery shopping on a budget, and emotional health. AGWM Missionaries Nick and Olivia Puccini lead Focus Church, and had a heavy burden on their hearts for the fact that one in every five women in Estonia is a single mother. Convoy of Hope has worked Women’s Empowerment programs on the continents of Africa and South America, but was interested in seeing what could be done for the women struggling in Europe. Considering the different dynamics and challenges for European women versus those in third world countries, this project in Estonia has been a beta program for implementing new avenues of assistance for a group of people that has been marginalized in Europe. The course instructors included university professors, professional counselors, and other successful business women in the community. Throughout the course, women from Focus Church have been building relationships with each of these women which will continue past graduation day on the first of June. This support system is integral to the success of the program, and we are excited to see how it continues to develop over the next few months and into the future!
In the country of Moldova, poverty is the norm. Caught between the East and West, Moldova is a former Soviet nation taken from its mother country of Romania by Tsar Nicholas of Russia right before the Soviet Revolution in 1917. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldova has struggled to develop an independent national identity. It is the poorest country in Europe. The level of poverty in some villages rivals what you would see in Africa or South America, but definitely not what you would expect to see in Europe. Convoy of Hope Europe (COHEU) developed the Adopt-A-Community program around areas like these, where organizations and churches can make a long-term investment into improving conditions for those stuck in the perpetuating cycle of poverty. For those who cannot make a long-term investment, COHEU has alternate programs that can still make an incredible impact. The latest program involves providing groups of rabbits for families to raise and breed. Since female rabbits can safely provide up to 10 babies every two months, raising them can provide food and a source of income for people otherwise out of work. This affordable and sustainable solution has the potential to significantly impact lives in Moldova, as well as initiating meaningful relationships between the people in the community and our local partners. To find out more about how you can be involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Living in a small, one-room apartment in Romania, Pastor Alexandru and his wife share a passion to see lives transformed and their community infused with a fresh hope. They have suffered great opposition, moving 6 times over the past few years when local religious leaders pressured the landlords “to evict the pastors”. Even so, the couple continues to press on sharing love with their neighbors and the hurting in their community. Convoy of Hope Europe is partnering with these wonderful people in the village of Horezu to bless the local teachers and civic leaders, initiate an after-school program for children, and provide firewood for the neediest residents. All this to support significant and sustainable change in their community, and strengthen the local church. Horezu is an internationally acclaimed cultural epicenter for potters and wood workers. Pastor Alexandru would like to create an apprenticeship with local skilled artisans who can train the next generation in woodworking and pottery. He said, “This will ensure future jobs for young people, preserve the rich cultural heritage, and strengthen the local economy—all while sharing God’s love that will lead to healthy families and true life!” We are excited to see what God has in store for this village! If your church or organization would be interested in being a part of this Adopt-A-Community project, please contact our COHEU team for more information.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, which occurred on 12 January 2010. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and the country was practically destroyed. Thus began one of the biggest disaster relief efforts undertaken by Convoy of Hope International. We are deeply grateful that because of 16 European nations, we, as Convoy of Hope Europe, were able to contribute over a million dollars to this response. Within weeks, millions of meals and water purification units were distributed, especially in the area of Port-au-Prince. Over the years, the work has continued. An agricultural initiative teaches farmers needed skills to produce crops, and a 30,000 square foot warehouse was built just outside of the capitol. Today, Convoy of Hope is feeding 62,000 children every school day. For more information, check out the full article on the Convoy of Hope International website.