What is Hope Partnership?
The overwhelming issues of poverty in the slums and urban areas of Nairobi, Kenya, led in 2004 to the formation of the Hope Partnership, a team comprised of the Missions of Hope schools, churches, clinics and training facilities, plus CMF missionaries, more than 50 U.S. churches, a rapidly expanding child sponsorship program and a microfinance loan program.
The 2.5 million residents of the slums lack the basic necessities of life that most people take for granted: adequate housing, clean water, sanitation services and public schools. In response to these issues, CMF formed a new team in 2000 to begin ministry in the slums using the principles of Community Health Evangelism (CHE) as its primary strategy.
The team members visited the Mathare Family Hope Center and its founders, Kenyan nationals Wallace and Mary Kamau, to see CHE principles in action, and soon realized that they shared a similar vision for the people of this area. They formalized the Hope Partnership in 2004, and were granted legal status as a Non-Governmental Organization in Kenya as Missions of Hope International (MOHI).
Since that time, MOHI has exploded with growth in both facilities and programs and the Hope Partnership has grown along with it. There are now 16 schools and 14 Outreach Hope churches. Two major medical clinics provide services for preventive medicine, as well as for HIV/AIDS and malaria patients. MOHI dental clinics have a technologically advanced, patient-focused environment, delivering the highest standard of care.
In addition, more than 50 U.S. churches have committed to a long-term relationship and Community Partnership with a specific area in the Nairobi slums. These churches provide financial assistance and church-planting support, plus consultants and short-term teams to help with church leadership development, construction, medical work, business consultations, agricultural work and teaching.
A large part of the growth has been due to the Child Sponsorship program, which was initiated by MOHI and then absorbed by CMF in 2007. The program provides education and basic care for the children who attend MOHI schools. Hundreds of churches and individuals across the country have responded and now provide new life and hope for nearly 12,000 children in Nairobi and Turkana, Kenya, through their monthly sponsorship donations.
Skills training is yet another facet of the MOHI program. Students who graduate from MOHI schools and do not go on to further education can learn trades such as tailoring and welding, or work in the MOHI water bottling plant.
The micro-lending business development program was developed by MOHI to provide small loans for families to start micro-business in the slums. In the U.S. the program is funded with the BigDent website, which gives donors the opportunity to invest in specific entrepreneurs in Nairobi. About 2,000 clients of MOHI’s Business Development Services division have been assisted by donations to BigDent.
Lives and communities are being changed in Nairobi as churches are planted, schools established and small businesses turn a profit. Most importantly, God is being glorified in one of the darkest slums of the world, thanks to the vision of the Hope Partnership.