REHABILITATION IN THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected all of us in unimaginable ways. Despite it all, we are continuously amazed by the resilience, hope, and care shown by the greater Hope for Life community.
We would not be able to weather this storm without you!

ven in the midst of a global health crisis, child homelessness continues. With your help, HFL has been able to respond in unique ways to ensure children and families in Rwanda remain safe and equipped with the care they need.

Our Rehabilitation Program experienced significant changes, including school closure, a non-essential travel ban, and the youth spent a few months in lockdown alongside staff. While quarantine was challenging for everyone, we were also encouraged by the resilience and creativity of our youth and staff.

One of the activities that youth in the Rehabilitation Program participated in during quarantine was art therapy. They spent several weeks on a “What’s in You” series, taking the time to think about and express their thoughts and feelings.

The end of every session brought the opportunity to share if they wanted to. Amongst the plethora of positive and challenging things depicted include, “Who should I trust?,” “Why do parents hate their children?,” and “I am strong.”

The boys have been enjoying their art therapy sessions, especially those who are more reserved as this allows them to express themselves in a way that feels safe and accessible.

In addition to art therapy, the youth participating in the Rehabilitation Program created and elected their first Children’s Council! Six boys were democratically chosen, with the expectation that they will be role models in the home and work together as a bridge between boys and staff.

Image 1: Art therapy “What’s In You”
Image 2: The youth in the Rehabilitation Program had their voices heard by voting for their peers to represent them on the Children’s Council

If boys have concerns, they can bring them to the Children’s Council who meets weekly to discuss solutions and bring them to staff. Ethan*, a younger boy, was elected as the founding President! The older boys had too many nominees on the ballot, effectively splitting the vote and putting a 10-year-old in charge! Ethan was thrilled and is taking his role as President very seriously.

We can’t wait to see how the Children’s Council empowers the boys to have an even stronger voice in their own empowerment!

A NIGHT OF HOPE GALA 2020 CANCELLED

In March, we announced that our A Night of Hope Gala, originally scheduled for May 15th, was postponed to October 16th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After further thoughtful consideration, the U.S team has decided to cancel an in-person gathering for 2020. At this time, it is unknown if large gatherings will be allowed or safe to perform.

As stewards of your generous financial resources, we feel it makes the most financial sense to host a virtual, week-long event instead.

Please join us online the week of October 5th for exclusive videos and to help raise necessary funds to continue empowering youth to escape homelessness and holistically thrive!

More information will come soon.

HFL HAS A NEW WEBSITE!

After nearly a year in the making, we are thrilled to announce a new and improved website! Be sure to check it out today! Please bear with us as we work through any glitches. If you would like to provide any feedback, we welcome you to contact us at admin@hopeforlife.us.

The website isn’t the only thing getting a revamp this year. You may have noticed that over the last year, we have been slowly transitioning away from our child sponsorship program. Sponsors have been an integral part of our community and we are deeply grateful for their faithful partnership. We will continue to honor all existing sponsorships until the sponsored child graduates from our programs.

However, we have ceased seeking new sponsorships and are transitioning to a new monthly giving program instead.

There are several reasons for this change. As an organization, both in Rwanda and the U.S., we feel this decision is in the best interest of the youth and families Hope for Life serves.

By not having a sponsorship program, we can better protect the identities of children, which is imperative in their trauma-healing and our ability to be ethical storytellers. Child sponsorship is also limiting our fundraising efforts and requires significant staff time and resources. By broadening our fundraising activities, we can be better stewards of your financial partnership.

On the new website, you will see a page dedicated to our new Changemakers monthly giving program! We are excited for the opportunities this program will provide both for the youth in our programs and for you, our community of partners.

The Changemakers program allows you to choose your monthly donation and if you would like to support a specific program. Then, you’ll receive regular updates on that program from us. There will even be Changemaker-only events in the future!

We hope you’ll consider becoming a Changemaker. Because that’s literally how we think of our supporters. Your partnership is making meaningful, sustainable change in the lives of youth recovering from homelessness.

Without you, youth and families would not have the resources to achieve a flourishing future! Please join us.

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