The first in a series that explores how and why MAMA HOPE remains invested in a people-first approach.

Early last month, in the midst of ongoing and necessary global conversations about the future of development and what our role in that should or could be, we were given a timely reminder of what has always been at the core of Mama Hope — our people.

In 2016 Denis Muwanguzi, the Programs Manager at BIC Shanti requested $156 to visit the Community Action Fund for Women, who among other things had a focus on strategies around increased food production and environmental…

Mama Hope was founded out of a desire to change the way the global development sector operates. It was born out of a recognition that a top-down, ‘West is best’ mode of operation wasn’t providing the efficiency and the long term solutions those at the top of the system were claiming they wanted to see. So, we tried a different approach and 12 years later that approach is still working. We’ve learned, adapted and changed along the way but we’ve held the elements below as fundamental to our operations. …

MAMA HOPE Family at the 2019 Annual Partners’ Conference

MAMA HOPE was founded with the intention to support a shift in the way global development operates. In a sector that is historically rooted in colonial systems, where power is held by high income countries and “development” is maintained by foreign actors through the control of finances and assets, we have always aimed to practice something different. Guided by the missions and visions of our partner organizations, we build pathways for locally-driven solutions, created by those who know their challenges best — the communities themselves. We provide unrestricted funding and put full trust in community leaders already doing the work…

This month’s blog is written by Denis Muwanguzi, Mama Hope’s Evaluation and Learning Lead and Co-Founder and Programs Director at BIC Shanti, a Mama Hope Partner Organization. The blog was originally published by the UK Research Council for Global Food Security.

Denis explains how BIC Shanti’s Population, Health, Environment (PHE) and Social Entrepreneurship Program is addressing food insecurity in his community. The approach is holistic in nature and offers a return to traditional subsistence farming, in response to the dramatic consequences that commercial sugarcane farming has had in the area.It is a stark reminder of need to account for social…

Resilience. It represents strength, inspires longevity, and breeds innovation. It’s a word the whole world is living and experiencing right now, and one we use a lot in reference to our partners. At MAMA HOPE, our mission is to champion community-led change. We support locally founded and operated grassroots organizations as they build sustainable, resilient communities. During a global pandemic, this mission is more important than ever.

Our partners, the leaders of these organizations, come from within their communities. They have built their operational plans around their unique circumstances, which vary between cities, towns, and villages; from organization to organization…

The Global Advocate Program is back!

Since the Global Advocate Program began in 2014, 118 Global Advocates have completed the program. They raised over two million USD in direct funding for our partners around the world and contributed significantly to the promotion of community-led development across the sector. Through it all, they’ve allowed and encouraged Mama Hope to grow, adapt, and come out stronger.

Our commitment to transforming aid from top-down to eye-level has meant a commitment to constant learning. We are so grateful that a year-long hiatus gave us room to do just that. We’ve been working hard on…

The MAMA HOPE Family at the 2019 Annual Partner Conference in Kenya

MAMA HOPE’s 2019 was filled with deep humility, reflective learning, and invigorating innovation. We’ve taken time to reflect on our foundational years as an organization. We hunkered down, slowed down, and used our new energy to transition into the MAMA HOPE we need to be for the decade ahead.

Here are three of the lessons we’re trusting to help us bloom into 2020.

(1) Embrace the learning process.

As practitioners of community-led development, we’ve always known how important it is to listen first, to those we are working with and for. As an organization based in the United States, many…

“When I look at all of you, I feel strong. I feel hope and courage.”
- Erick Aluru, Programs Manager at OLPS Kenya
at Mama Hope’s Annual Partners Conference 2019

When you look at the people around you, do you feel strong? Do you feel the same hope and courage as Erick?

Humanity feels increasingly divided. World news seems to be buzzing with it: leaders ruling from a place of fear and xenophobia, people turning against their neighbors in misplaced anger, gun violence shaking communities to the core, seeds of fear and division are sewn between and within borders. …

Written by Vincent Mwangi, Mama Hope Staff Member

The first time I went to Kisumu, Kenya was back in 2006. I was a standard seven pupil, and we were on a class trip to Kakamega, with a stop over in Nyanza Province, where Kisumu is. I remember on the first day of our trip when our school bus broke down in Kisumu. We had to be bundled up in a thirty seater minivan. How almost eighty kids fit in that vehicle, only God knows. I remember seeing Kisumu’s Ahero river, because we had learned about it’s famous irrigation scheme in…

Written by Mukisa Bernard Nadhomi, Coordinator of Budondo Intercultural Center Programs in Budondo, Uganda

Mukisa (lower right corner) in Russian language courses, during his first year in the Soviet Union

I came back from studying in Russia knowing I was going to be a teacher. I knew I was going to be a teacher and die a teacher. But things changed when I came back to Uganda and my wife told me stories about the different people in our community — especially those who had died.

An old man had swollen legs. He was advised to go to a referral hospital where he was told to pay some money so that he could have a blood…

Mama Hope

An advocate for global communities.

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