A Glimmer of Hope supports programs in these areas:
Water and Sanitation
Water & Sanitation
A Glimmer of Hope’s approach to implementing water and sanitation projects is unique because it includes the benefitting communities in the process from site selection all the way through to operation and maintenance.
In addition to helping identify needy areas and optimal sites, members of the communities are included in the construction process. They provide volunteer unskilled labor and locally available construction materials in addition to any other support that may be required.
While construction is taking place, Water and Sanitation committees are selected and trained to take over the operation and maintenance of the project once it is completed. This helps ensure sustainability and efficiency over the lifespan of the project.
The lack of access to improved water supplies is a huge problem in Ethiopia with more than 80 percent of all disease being attributed to dirty water and poor sanitation. In rural parts of the country, where A Glimmer of Hope focuses its efforts, just one in three people have access to clean water while just 13 percent has access to adequate sanitation services.
At any given time, more than half of the country’s population of 80 million people is suffering from an unnecessary water-related disease. More than 250,000 children under the age of five die each year from diarrhea.
People do their laundry and bathe in the same places that they water their animals and get their drinking water. Latrines are virtually non-existent in rural communities with defecation taking place in fields, bushes or along drainage ditches. A simple long-drop latrine can radically reduce the amount of fecal matter that gets into the water supply.
Increasingly, A Glimmer of Hope is funding multi-purpose water projects that include components such as: protected faucets for drinking water; showers; latrines; basins for washing clothes, dishes and utensils; and, separate drinking troughs for animals. Beyond the issues of health, poor access to clean water also has a detrimental impact on development. In particular, water scarcity severely affects the lives of women as female family members are traditionally responsible for water collection.
Collecting water is a back-breaking chore that saps women’s energy, diminishes their health and restricts their involvement in productive activities and community affairs.
Most women in rural Ethiopia spend hours a day collecting water from distant and polluted sources. Many girls never get an opportunity to go to school because the responsibility of collecting enough water to keep their families alive takes precedence.
The role of education in eradicating poverty cannot be overstated. An education is perhaps a child’s strongest barrier to poverty.
It lowers birth rates, increases economic productivity and equips children with the skills necessary to participate in the workplace.
The power of an education continues to provide benefits to subsequent generations as educated adults tend to marry later in life, have healthier children, be more productive at work, receive better pay in the workplace and generally enjoy greater health.
Education is the foundation for higher living standards and an important tool in the long-term eradication of poverty.
While Ethiopia, in general, has made progress in increasing enrollment at the elementary level (enrollment rate exceeding 80%), the existing secondary schools have not been able to keep pace with the increased number of children graduating from elementary schools.
It is common for rural youth - especially girls - to drop out or be forced to travel far away from their homes in order to attend secondary school. The existing high schools are overcrowded and poorly furnished.
Most operate on a shift basis but even then there is an average of 90 students per classroom. The enrollment rate for high school education is 12%, however it is generally lower in the target areas.
Historically, education has only been available in the cities and larger towns and there’s still a long way to go before that imbalance is redressed. Right now, only half of all adults are able to read and write.
A Glimmer of Hope views education as a key factor in helping Ethiopia move from developing to developed. Its projects include the building or restoration of schools – particularly high schools – and the purchase of essential school supplies and furnishings.
Ethiopia‘s health care system is in crisis. More than half the country has no access to health care and, of those that do, only a small percentage lives within a two-hour walk of a health care facility.
Preventable and treatable diseases such as cholera, river blindness, yellow fever, dengue, hepatitis and typhoid fever kill thousands annually.
One out of every 10 Ethiopian children dies before their fifth birthday. Half of those die from diarrhea. Poor nutrition and infections contribute to one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
To make matters worse, at its current rate of growth, Ethiopia’s population is expected to double within the next 20 years causing an increasingly massive burden on already overstretched medical services.
To date, A Glimmer of Hope has invested almost $4 million in new health posts and clinics throughout Ethiopia providing improved access to care to approximately one million people.
It has also invested heavily in the rehabilitation of a regional base hospital in the remote township of Dembi Dollo. The hospital is now a main center for medical treatment in Southwest Ethiopia recording as many as 45,000 patient visits each year.
A Glimmer of Hope believes trade and aid is the most effective combination for helping the poor to create sustainable, long-term solutions to the economic problems they face.
It believes charity is not an answer to global poverty and that giving people a stake in their own destinies is an incredibly powerful force for change.
To break the cycle of poverty, the poor need access to credit. Without loans, they cannot launch their own enterprises, however small they may be.
Today, as part of its commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, microcredit initiatives funded by the foundation are playing an important role in giving thousands of rural Ethiopians a chance to develop sustainable local economies and improve their lives. Partnerships and co-investors have emerged in this area, most notably the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Men and women are taking out microloans funded by A Glimmer of Hope and using them to buy the items they need to start profitable businesses. These items include everything from low cost water pumps and drip irrigation equipment that dramatically boosts crop production to dairy cows for milk production.
Aside from agricultural pursuits, many aspiring entrepreneurs are starting up a wide range of small businesses including: retailing; tailoring; restaurants; arts and crafts; baking; and, manufacturing. The loans generally range from $50 to $500 per individual and are capable of completely changing the lives of the fledgling entrepreneur and their families.
For donors, microcredit is changing the face of philanthropy because it offers a unique way to measure the impact of their investment: income generation. For every dollar donated to a microcredit scheme, additional dollars are created in the form of income.
Instead of placing a band-aid on the wound of poverty by donating food, microcredit gives donors an opportunity to leverage their investment, create scalability and develop economic sustainability.
In terms of scalable results, microcredit investors reach an ever-expanding number of beneficiaries as their donations are continually reinvested after being recovered in the form of loan repayments