Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer of Hope Update

DHF Family,

I hope you are having an incredible summer! The TX heat is keeping us absolutely warm here in Austin. I haven’t been blogging much lately, as I love Nora’s entries from the field, and more than anything, reporting to you on the work we are doing in the field is the most important aspect of this blog for DHF.

First thought—for you Austin folks, save the date: Sept 26 6pm “Band Together for Hope” event, we will post the invite soon, but prepare for an evening of music, food, drinks, and fun featuring the Mother Truckers and other great music...true Austin style.

I wanted to let you know that on Sunday August 9, our two Meadow’s Fellows, Brad and Desiree, will be traveling to Cajamarca to work for DHF for two weeks. The Fellows were funded by the
RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Services at The University of TX at Austin. Nora has been making the preparations for their visit and arranging interviews, focus groups, business workshops, and more. Brad and Desiree are both fluent in Spanish, and will work directly with our beneficiaries on the ground to focus on field impact evaluation and development of business resources for our village bank participants.

Beginning next week, Brad and Des will be blogging on Adventures in Hope (under my login). They will ID themselves in their messages so you know it is coming from them, but wanted to let you know to standby for some fresh perspective from these amazing intelligent folks!

Our Building Homes of Health initiative is in its fourth month, providing health education and infrastructure improvements to 30 families in extreme poverty, with the ultimate goal of reducing respiratory illness and child malnutrition. Thus far, 100% of families have completed their family vision plans (pictured here) to serve as a roadmap for the changes they will make in their household to promote healthy behaviors. As of the end of June, twenty-one of the families completed the construction of their new stove areas with the materials purchased for them. In the next several weeks, all of the families should have their new stoves completed! The families are undergoing monthly health educational sessions with the field nurse as well to learn how to practice healthy habits such as boiling water in their lives. We are happy about the progress of this work, generously funded by
Firland Foundation.

Summer Supper Circles series has been going well with six suppers thus far supporting DHF’s work. This is a low-key way for people from any location to help lift DHF and contribute to projects they love. There are five more scheduled this summer and we are thankful for the amazing support!

Our new logo is close to completion and we look forward to unveiling it to all of you soon, thanks to
Thinkstreet here in Austin for their work on this. Our new website development is in process and will likely be completed in the fall.

I was recently asked to write about the DiscoverHope Fund “creation story” for the second volume of
A Cup of Cappuccino for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, a compilation of entrepreneurs’ stories. The final edits are in the works, but I figured I would post it here in case anyone wants a sneak peek at it: The Still Small Voice. The process was so much fun to document the story.

As always, we love the family of people around DHF.
Endlessly thankful, MM

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