Role Reversal

I was on a mission this time. I wasn’t heading out in the field to see if just anyone was interested in sharing their stories, this time my focus was narrowed. The target? Mothers. The mission? Discovering their dreams for themselves and their children. I was excited to have such a specific task ahead of me, [...]

Pride, Prejudice and Poisoned Bread

The phone calls started coming in that morning. Children from school calling their mothers working at HOPE, “Don’t eat the bread!” they said. Slowly, gradually and then with a quickening pace the rumors spread on the dusty wind throughout Brazzaville. Don’t eat the bread! It’s been poisoned! The story went something like this: at a [...]

In Her Footsteps

Fridays at HOPE Congo are different. Our usually bustling courtyard feels empty without the typical 60 clients awaiting loan disbursements. Fridays are instead reserved for client trainings, repayment meetings and other staff meetings. It is also the day that loan officers venture out into the field for the client selection process, and I decided to [...]

Stella’s Story

She was the first client I interviewed, and I’ll admit I was unprepared. It was my second day in the field and I had planned on just sitting casually by and observing, seeing how another repayment meeting went, how HOPE conducted a bible study with its clients… apparently the day had other plans. Her name [...]