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  • Shiphra Centre | Voice Of Hope

    < Back Shiphra Centre We work with a childrens’ home called Shiphra Centre in Nairobi. Thanks to your compassionate and generous donations, this little home has been receiving help with student tuition for many years. Martha Njeri has a generous heart, a lovely smile, infectious laugh, and a deep faith. Her home is warm and welcoming and the children are happy and well looked after. There are upwards of 90 children attached to the home, ranging in age from infancy to late adolescence. She also cares for mothers with babies who are in transition situations. Martha grew up in a nominal Christian home. She explained the troubles and problems she encountered in her family, in her marriage, and on the street; she asked the Lord to speak to her and reveal Himself. Her 'test' was that she needed a word from the Lord to not go back to an abusive man who had fathered her children. He spoke through Psalm 57. At that time, she realized she wanted the power of faith, and not just the form of it; she wanted the faith and perseverance of Daniel, and anyone who knows her, sees that she has found it. Martha knows what it is like to be a neglected child, to grow up poor and to have no food or education. Now that she had become an adult and had a strong relationship with the Lord she wanted to find a place in her community. She felt led to help children who were in situations like she had been. At first, Martha would just look after children where they were on the street, providing food and love, but she began to see that the next day they were in the same place with the same problems; in 2006, she began to take them into her home. Shiphra was a midwife in the book of Exodus, who refused to follow Pharaoh's genocidal instructions. It is said that Shiphra was one of the earliest, and in some ways the most powerful examples of resistance to an evil regime. This is an appropriate name for this home, as Martha is a powerful example of love and resistance to the status quo of child neglect in her community. She has earned a strong reputation in the community, with government workers, doctors, and police officers. The home has a board of community members that are passionate about caring for her and the children and helping her in her work. Martha feels so accomplished when she helps her children. Her heart’s desire is to see them succeed, to know God, and to grow to be caring and loving adults in their communities. She also sees the limitations of her work; her dream is to one day train others to care for more children so that all children in Kenya will have a safe and loving home. Donate Project Gallery

  • Contact | Voice Of Hope

    Contact the ON Team We'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments please fill out this form. We will get back to you as quickly as possible. Donate Contact Us First Name Last Name Email Message Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • Home | Voice of Hope

    We are Voice of Hope. Since our beginning in 2013, Voice of Hope has sought to improve the quality of life for impoverished widows and orphans in Kenya. We seek to encourage women spiritually, physically, and emotionally with the Word of God and by facilitating opportunities for them to have better everyday lives and self sustainability. This is done through the building of lasting relationships with our widows. By God’s grace and abundant provision, together with our generous donor community, we have made a difference in many lives! “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” James 1:27 Learn More What We Do We strive to be the hands and feet that show Christ-like love and compassion to the needy widows and orphans, to share a cup of water to the least of these, to be a voice of hope, to answer the cries of the hungry and helpless, to build relationships, and to encourage them in the Lord. ​ Widow & Orphan Care We have invested in capital projects, improving homes and living conditions. Furthermore, we invest in food hampers, tuition, agriculture and business training for a group of families. Community Care We visit schools throughout the area with feminine hygiene packs for girls and hygiene teaching for boys, run teaching days on a variety of topics, drill wells and so much more. We seek to bless all those we encounter in Kenya.

  • Education and School Tuition | Voice Of Hope

    < Back Education and School Tuition It was apparent when other members of the widow’s family were expected to pay school fees, there were often gaps in support, which would result in the children missing school and falling behind. Over the past few years, we have become more intentional in supporting the education of our women’s children. Our field partners, Aggrey and Everlyne, conduct regular check ups with the schools to ensure attendance and progress. We are taking steps to transition struggling high schoolers into polytechnic schools to learn a trade. We have developed protocols for this assistance and have also extended assistance to several post-secondary students. Esnas is an example of an elderly grandma struggling with school fees. She is 71 years old and has 6 grandkids that she feeds and tries to send to school. Some of these grandkids have lost their mothers to illness and some of their mothers may be working in cities like Nairobi, trying to send money home. Tuition payments were made inconsistently, but with assistance from Voice of Hope, Esnas now sends her grandchildren to school regularly, without the burden of scraping together funds. Security in education can be instrumental in breaking the cycle of poverty for many of these families. On a recent visit Helen wrote: “Esnas came to us singing as we approached her home. The little ones look well and well loved.” Arise & Shine School The Arise and Shine ECD program was started by a compassionate woman named Beatrice who noticed children in her community were not attending any ECD programs. With a desire to prepare them for school, she started a program for less fortunate children in her home. Shortly after, Beatrice built a classroom and took in 45 children between the ages of 2-6. Many of these children do not have parents but are cared for by a guardian/family member. Through the support of Voice of Hope the school is now expanded to four classes, a kitchen/dining hall, a sturdy playground, clean latrines and wash houses, a fresh water well, stipends for teachers and cook and up to date curriculum. Westbow Gives Back Donate Project Gallery

  • Secure Housing | Voice Of Hope

    < Back Secure Housing It was common for our women to live in homes that had no security or protection from the elements. Many lived in homes that were falling apart. Personal hygiene was nearly impossible with no latrines or wash houses in which to bathe. Voice of Hope has taken it upon themselves to build new homes for all our women in the program or make the necessary repairs to allow them to sleep in a safe, dry, and secure home. Cooking customarily would be done inside the home, which compromises their living environment by causing respiratory issues over the years of breathing in smoke daily and damaging the tin roofs. This is why outside kitchens were built, as wood/fire is the main source of cooking. Prior to our women having latrines and wash houses, they would find a bush to relieve themselves, hoping nobody was around. If they had to bathe, it was a quick scrub outside the home, in the dark of night, frightful that there may be others watching and lurking in the bushes. Having a wash house with a lock provides a great source of comfort and security. All of our widows receive a latrine and wash house for bathing. All of our women live in a modest mud home, that is in keeping with the community of homes in their area. Our partners on the ground continually assess the homes and repair when needed. Doors and windows are reinforced, and locks are now being provided. All of our women are by themselves and to have a home that is safe and secure from intruders when they lay their heads down at night is a huge comfort to them and their children/grandchildren. For most of our families, sleeping on a mud floor with no bedding was their norm. We wanted to change this, knowing the positive impacts a comfortable sleep can provide; therefore, we provide beds, mattresses, and blankets. We believe a secure, safe, and comfortable home will bless our women immensely. Donate Project Gallery

  • ON Events | Voice Of Hope

    Fri, Jul 26 Arie & Helen Van Dyk's Home BBQ Birthday Celebration Jul 26, 2024, 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Arie & Helen Van Dyk's Home, 39601 Longhurst Line, St Thomas, ON N5P 3T2, Canada We welcome you to come celebrate this event with us at this special fundraising BBQ! Learn more

  • Community Development | Voice Of Hope

    < Back Community Development An important aspect of the work of Voice of Hope has been to fund clean water wells and facilitating piped water access. We have also focused on proper sanitation with new latrine and wash house facilities, improvements to existing homes or as needed the construction of new homes. We have also been able to facilitate adding some classrooms to an existing school. Four water wells have been funded though Voice of Hope in the Kakamega district. Safe clean drinking water is a luxury in rural Kenya. Women and children often bear the burden of walking miles each day to find water in streams and ponds, full of water-borne diseases that is are making them and their families sick. Illness and the time lost fetching water is significant. With safe water, clean hands, healthy bodies; time lost is dramatically reduced. Good functional latrines (outhouses) and a private bathing space is such a blessing for our women. It was not uncommon for our women to share that before she they received their latrines, they were taunted because they did not have bathroom facilities and were forced to use the neighbouring bushes to relieve themselves. Taking a ‘bath’ was also very difficult. Many of our women would wash outdoors in the dark of night, hoping that no one would walk in on them. All of our ladies have a wash ‘stall’ beside their latrine where they can wash themselves with privacy. Home improvements are on the ‘to do’ list for every widow that joins our program. Sometimes her home will be so dramatically dilapidated that a new home will be constructed for her. Our goal is to be sure they are comfortable and secure; that each family can proudly feel like their house is their ‘home sweet home’. Donate Project Gallery

  • Contact | Voice Of Hope

    Contact the BC Team We'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments please fill out this form. We will get back to you as quickly as possible. Donate Contact Us First Name Last Name Email Message Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • Spiritual Groups | Voice Of Hope

    < Back Spiritual Groups Loneliness and isolation is prevalent in the day to day toil in our dear women’s lives. A sense of hopelessness and fear often prevails because life is hard. In 2019, it was decided amongst the women to create small groups in each community to study the Word of God and to encourage one another. Each week sees our women joining together in their small groups with a hunger to learn from the Word. The women developed these Spiritual groups amongst themselves, and help to keep each other accountable in their attendance. Their days can be long and lonely and the times spent with each other is refreshing and renewing to their mind, body, and soul. Each group is different, but generally consists of a time of worship, singing, and sharing. There is a designated speaker who delivers a message from God’s Word each week, with some of the women taking turns helping out. Most of the women are alone in their homes, with no other adults to converse with in the evening and so this time spent with other women who truly understands the struggles and desires of their hearts for their families is extremely comforting. These women have a deep desire to learn and an openness to share when it comes to their prayer requests and needs. The dependence on our Heavenly Father for provisions is something that they live with daily because there are times when they do not know what hardships they may face the next day. There is a real sense of community within the groups. A time of fellowship, a small snack, and a cup of tea is enjoyed after each meeting. It is encouraging to see the women develop this community and take ownership of the groups. These groups have had a larger effect in the sense that the women now know there are others looking out for them, and they are building new relationships within their own communities. Donate Project Gallery

  • BC Events | Voice Of Hope

    Sat, Jul 27 Chilliwack Free Reformed Church Corn Fundraiser Jul 27, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Chilliwack Free Reformed Church, 45471 Yale Rd, Chilliwack, BC V2R 4H3, Canada Local fresh sweet corn! All proceeds go to supporting widows and orphans in Kenya! RSVP

  • About Us | Voice Of Hope

    Where We Began | Where We Are | Where We're Going About Voice of Hope Our Beginnings 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. Our Why 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. Our Expansion ​ 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. Our Future We visualize empowered widows and orphans building healthy families and contributing to a transformed world; by improving the overall quality of their lives.

  • Adult Education | Voice Of Hope

    < Back Adult Education Receiving education is a rare privilege for most of our widowed women. Some of our ladies were able to receive a primary education. Few were given the opportunity to graduate from high school. Many in our program did not have the advantage of any formal schooling. Women in rural Kenya have many obstacles which make their desire to become adult learners difficult to sustain. They have responsibilities which range from caring for children and/or grandchildren, to management of their family farms which leave them little time for study or class attendance. At home they are confronted with a myriad of demands on their time - gathering firewood for cooking, fetching water sometimes as far away as 20 minutes walking, tilling the soil by hand, washing clothes by hand in the river. Voice of Hope Literacy and Numeracy Class This amazing and super exciting project is an incredible combination of teaching literacy, numeracy and better agricultural practises all in one classroom setting. This project can empower our adult students with skills and enable them to be self-sustainable through improved farming practises. Our ladies are excited to have this opportunity! Small Business Training We are making exciting advances in business training. There is high need for our women to supplement their farming income. In the past year we sent a delegation of leaders and business women from our Voice of Hope program and the community to a course put on by Partners Worldwide. The students who attended this training were taught good and practical business principles. They were provided with the tools to take all they learned to their communities and teach others. This has opened up another avenue for some of our women to diversify and bring in a little extra income. At a very basic level these teachings are being implemented in starting small businesses. Growing and selling vegetables, making mandazi’s (like a donut) and selling them at a roadside stand are two examples of the businesses. This is all done in conjunction with all their other daily tasks. The hope is to change their ingrained thinking of living day to day to putting a small amount of their resources aside for ongoing business. https://www.partnersworldwide.org/our-work/where-we-work/africa/ Sewing Class In 2017 two dedicated team members, Johanna and Fran, took it upon themselves to develop and implement a beginner sewing course for interested women in the community. This class has evolved to the women sewing uniforms for local schools, skirts for the VOH spiritual groups, and much needed mending in the community. It has provided a source of added income. The group meets twice a week and have added knitting and crocheting to their talents. One Acre Fund Practical Hands on Agriculture Training Voice of Hope has partnered with One Acre Fund for several years. One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with everything they need to grow their way out of poverty. Simple interventions like providing access to naturally-produced hybrid seed, quality fertilizer, and training on farming best practices can have a dramatic impact. They allow the opportunity for our women to feed their families, improve their nutrition and increase their incomes. Working with family farms in rural areas, One Acre Fund focuses on last-mile delivery (the supplies are delivered to a location in close proximity to their homes) and ensures that the hardest to reach people have access to seed, fertilizer and other products. Technique goes hand-in-hand with quality supplies when it comes to success in farming. Farmers need the know-how to maximize their yields and keep their soil healthy. One Acre Fund’s team of field officers provides expert, tailored training directly to farmers throughout the year. This includes training on land preparation, planting technique (for example, seed spacing and fertilizer microdosing), weeding, top-dress fertilizer application, pest and disease management, harvesting and drying, crop storage and processing, composting, and tree planting. https://oneacrefund.org/what-we-do/areas-focus Donate Project Gallery

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