Where We Began | Where We Are | Where We're Going
About Voice of Hope
Voice of Hope was born in 2013 when Mary Anne Westeringh had the opportunity to accompany her husband Dick on a Hungry for Life trip to Kenya and Uganda. The objective of this trip was to familiarize board members and their guests with the various projects with which Hungry For Life was involved in.
Mary Anne saw an opportunity for further outreach. And it was only a matter of time before the Voice of Hope organization was formed.
The events of one particular hot and dusty afternoon became very significant in her life when they visited two women.
While both women were widowed and named Margaret, their needs were different. They happened upon the senior woman lying on an thin, worn-out mattress, where they learned she spent all of her days and nights. The other was a widowed mother trying desperately to raise her 8 children amidst a home that was falling apart.
Both of these women were hungry, tired, discouraged, and lonely. Both of these women lacked resources and hope.
Hope was what Mary Anne wanted to offer to these women, and many others in similar circumstances. Realizing how destitute, lonely, and forgotten many of these widows were prompted Mary Anne to put together a team of women to come and offer hope and assistance.
On this day, Voice of Hope was born.
The stress these widows contend with does not end with being a sole provider for children or grandchildren. They face impossible situations because of crop failures, food scarcity, high unemployment rates, decrepit homes, and school fees combined with loneliness, isolation, sickness, and hunger. The weight of this burden feels impossible and there are no options for social assistance.
Our Team Trips
Voice of Hope made our first team trip to Kakamega in October 2014. All our team trips have been facilitated by Hungry for Life International.
Throughout our first and subsequent visits to Kenya, we have met many inspiring women who are trying to make a life for themselves and their children without the protection or income that a husband traditionally provides.
We developed our Widow Care Program working with our Kenyan field partners, Everlyne Imbenzi and her assistant, Aggrey Mudi.
Together, they facilitate the assistance we provide for our widows and families, while also arranging and monitoring all projects.
In 2014, we started our operations in the Kakamega and Siaya regions with twenty widows. Each year, the number of widows has steadily increased. We expanded our program to the village of Yogo in 2019, where we were able to assist an additional twenty widows. To date, we have quadrupled our numbers in these three regions.
Voice of Hope currently has two groups engaged with one based in Chilliwack, BC and the other in St. Thomas, ON which was formed in 2019 and is led by Helen Van Dyk.
We visualize empowered widows and orphans building healthy families and contributing to a transformed world; by improving the overall quality of their lives.