Sharing Hope

Hope is that snuggly teddy bear...

Hope is what sustains us. Hope fuels us. Hope unites us. Hope is universal.

I founded Project Have Hope in 2006 because I was inspired by the abundance of hope demonstrated by women who had faced horrific circumstances, but were undeterred, were hopeful.  Each of us faces our own set of challenges, but it is hope that inspires us to persevere, to be our best selves and live our best lives.  #IHaveHope because I know anything is possible if we refuse to give up.

I believe that by leveraging the power of hope, we can move mountains. Okay, so maybe we can’t actually MOVE mountains, but we can surely climb them! Hope makes the impossible, possible. Hope encourages us to dream. But not just dream, but to attempt what we most desire. To identify a goal and work tirelessly to see to its fruition.

We each have faced a trying circumstance in our life when we weren’t sure if the outcome would be favorable. In that moment of darkness, hope gave us light. Hope gave us strength. My desire in creating the #IHaveHope #900StoriesOfHope campaign is to authenticate the power of hope. To allow each of us to dare to be empowered by the awesomeness of the simplicity of remaining hopeful in all times, even in those dark moments that cloud the sun and make us think rainbows are apparitions.

I encourage each of you to look within and find that glitter, that nugget, that sustains you – that’s hope – and share that through our campaign. Rise up and be heard. Let the world know that hope can withstand anything. Hope creates positive change. Hope unites us. Hope is that snuggly teddy bear you’ve had since your youth, that you still snuggle up to when the thunder roars and the lightening frightens.


Join me in sharing your #IHaveHope story to our #900StoriesOfHope.

It’s easy to participate.

  1. Take a photo or video holding an #IHaveHope sign
  2. Share why you have hope
  3. Turn your post settings to public
  4. Post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #900StoriesOfHope and #IHaveHope and tag @ProjectHaveHope
  5. Your story may be highlighted on the projecthavehope.org website

 

Thank you for taking part and sharing your message of hope.

What I Have Seen in 11 Years

11 years is a long time.  A decade.  A lifetime for the young.  An eternity in Uganda’s Acholi Quarter.  January 2017 marked 11 years since the “official” inception of Project Have Hope.  In that time, I have seen children born and namesakes grow.  I have seen children graduate from high school and from university.  I have seen children become mothers.  I have seen mothers bury their children and children bury their mothers.  I have been a witness to life at its best and its worst.  I have grown in unimaginable ways.  And I continue to do so.  In October 2005, when I was first invited to the Acholi Quarter, I was young, fool-hearted in thinking that I “just want to help.”  Of course, I had no idea how to help or of the journey I was about to embark.  Or that maybe I’d be the one being “helped.”

I learned to listen (and must continue to hone these skills).  I learned to listen to words.  Nuances.  Actions.  I learned to listen to silences.   I learned to listen to my heart and with my heart.  I learned that there’s so much I don’t know and will never know.  And now, I am also learning to listen to my voice.  A voice that has grown with wisdom and strength thanks to this journey.  A voice that can speak for those who are not always afforded the means to have their voice heard, paired with a mind that must keep learning to be quiet and listen.

Over these eleven years in the Acholi Quarter, Project Have Hope has made it possible for children to graduate from high school and from university, and pursue their dreams.  We have made it possible for mothers to feed their children and provide them with essential health care.  We have stood together, hand in hand, at so many junctions.  And together, we’ve all learned how to dream just a little bigger. 

We have achieved this by working together.  Listening to each other.  Learning from each other.  Just as the Acholi Quarter community has been forever changed by the presence of Project Have Hope, I personally, have been forever changed by the community.