Tag Archives: micro finance

Kony: Who? What? Why?

The Invisible Children (IC) campaign, “Kony 2012,” has brought to light the terrorist activities of Joseph Kony, a Ugandan rebel leader.  IC’s video about Kony has been viewed over 100 million times in just the past few weeks and created a firestorm of controversy and increased pressure for his arrest.  In support of this call for justice, I want to share with you some actions you can take that will help African churches minister to those who have experienced the pain and destruction of Kony’s nightmarish civil war.

Who is Joseph Kony?  Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic.  Civil unrest caused by the LRA has made refugees of over 2 million people and increased poverty throughout the region.   Kony’s troops have spread terror and destruction for over 20 years.

The tactics of the LRA include stealth raids and hit and run attacks against mostly civilian populations, making his movements and activities tough to stop.  His troops have abducted an estimated 60,000 children, turning them into child soldiers and sex slaves.  Accounts of children being given drugs and guns and then forced to shoot their parents have been recorded along with thousands of other atrocities.  In the past month alone, 3 people have been killed and 43 young people abducted.

As a teenager, Kony was the witch doctor for his village and many believe Kony to be demon-possessed.  He uses spiritual language and symbols often in his propaganda and claims to be serving God through his actions.

Since 2005, Kony and four of his deputies have been charged with war crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.  Two of these officers have been killed in fighting, but even with increased US military advisers and technical support, Kony has evaded arrest.

Pray for justice and give to churches helping people destroyed by Kony’s war?

Bright Hope has always focused on helping churches in impoverished areas of the world to share the love of Christ in practical ways.  So, when the LRA moved out of Uganda and it was safe for people to leave the refugee camps and return home, Bright Hope began partnering with in-country churches to help victims of Kony’s terrorist attacks repair their lives.  In 2009, in a remote northern area of Uganda, near the town of Apac, we began a program to help widows, former child soldiers and those with HIV and AIDS (which was also running rampant in the refugee camps).

Using the powerful micro-lending tool, we are helping mothers and their children (average size family in Uganda is eight) earn enough money to feed the family, send the children to school and repay the loan.

Because our programs are accomplished through partnerships with churches, the Gospel message is shared with all those willing to listen.  Many have committed their lives to Christ and have faith and hope for eternity with Jesus in Heaven.

Hope for Today, Tomorrow and Eternity is our motto – and we are seeing it in action!

The cost of the program, including the loan capital, three training sessions, and other fees is $274 per family or $34 per family member.  Our goal is to have 100 families on the program by the end of July.

Could you help provide a loan for one family or one family member?

As you hear more about Kony (IC’s “Kony 2012”campaign will make a major promotional push from April 16th-21th) please remember that you can actually help bring life and love back to the people Kony tried to destroy. The complete details of our project and links for donating can be found on BrightHope.org at http://bit.ly/BrightHopeKONY.

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and write a personal note when you do.

Zambia’s Tree Shortage Increases Poverty

Zambia is one of the highest rated countries for deforestation, in fact, it is ranked in the top five. Why?

  • Increasing demand for firewood and charcoal, especially in urban populations.
  • Charcoal making and slash-and-burn farming yield short-term gains, but long-term destruction of the environment.

You could say that rural families are quite literally burning through their children’s inheritance.

Bright Hope recently began work on Mbabala Island in Zambia and found the island to be a devastating example of the impacts of deforestation. With just over 5,000 people living on the island, all of the trees, except for a few fruit varieties have been chopped down. The expense of importing wood from the mainland is high. Families who can’t afford to buy wood make a five mile round trip walk around the island looking for scrap to burn.

Many resort to burning grass, which results in under-cooked food and poor or no water sterilization. Poor hygiene is also an issue as bathing is reduced when only cold water is available. The standard of living declines because families spend the majority of their money on firewood instead of food, school and clothing.

Fortunately, with a little education and ingenuity, the situation on Mbabala Island can be reversed. Working through island churches loans will be provided to help people plant tree farms. The loans will enable poor families to plant a multitude of trees that are fast-growing and great for use as building materials.

Changing lives by providing a micro-loan is a simple and effective way to lift people out of poverty without giving handouts and creating dependency.  Click here to SUPPORT THE MBABALA ISLAND PROJECT.

Upcoming Special Events:

Bright Hope is hosting two Bright Hope Council and Board of Advocate events featuring our Zambian Partnership Developers, Mark and Carmen Brubacher.  The first is in downtown Chicago, 131 S. Dearborn, 30th Floor,  on March 8th, 2012 at 7:30AM-9:00AM and the second at Bright Hope in Hoffman Estates, IL on March 9th, 2012 at 10AM.   If you would like to receive an invitation and RSVP for either of these events please contact Madelynn Reyes at Bright Hope 224-520-6133. 

Click these links for more information about becoming a MEMBER of Bright Hope or to join our Bright Hope COUNCIL or BOARD OF ADVOCATES.

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