The Hope Alliance
The Hope Alliance is a humanitarian organization (501(c)(3)) that provides a combination of resources and services necessary to address the root causes of poverty: unhealthy and under-educated populations and the lack of economic development. Local organizations and villages co-lead these projects that include health worker training, vision, dental and medical care, clean water and sanitation projects, micro-economic development opportunities and education projects. The Hope Alliance assists communities in development, not relief. Development is teaching the skills people need to help themselves and linking them to necessary resources. Although relief plays an important role in saving lives, it is only temporary and is not sustainable.
The vision to create The Hope Alliance arose from a series of humanitarian relief projects organized by John Hanrahan, a family practice physician, and Joe Mitchell, a minister. Recognizing the critical need, and driven by commitment to a shared vision, Hanrahan and Mitchell founded The Hope Alliance in 1999 to continue work on these and similar projects.
Throughout the world, communities exist where, through environmental instability, economic imbalances, political oppression or natural disaster, people are left lacking the essential basic needs - nutritious food, clean water, shelter, access to health resources. While many humanitarian relief programs exist to address basic needs, few address longer term recovery issues such as long-term health, education, and helping people find a means to make a living. The Hope Alliance implements programs in locations where sustainable solutions for meeting basic needs and attaining a minimally acceptable quality of life are not yet in place.
Program Goals, Objectives and Benefits
We use a “hand up” not a “hand out” approach. As co-founder John Hanrahan says, “We are a diverse group of citizens partnering with communities in need to raise their quality of life through sustainable, locally-operated projects.” Likewise, the volunteers who participate in implementing the programs of The Hope Alliance find satisfaction and fulfillment through helping others. They develop an expansion of their own world-view, resulting in a deepened understanding of, and compassion for, the experiences and lives of diverse and less fortunate populations.
Selecting Projects and Evaluating Success
Evaluation of The Hope Alliance’s programs is both objective and subjective. We track numbers of people treated, medicines prescribed and glasses distributed. Populations served and general health improvement statistics measure the effectiveness of sanitation and water projects, including wells. Before embarking on a project, members of The Hope Alliance team consult with community leaders to ascertain the needs of the community, using an objective needs-assessment. Success of a project is evaluated through comparison of identified needs with the elimination of those needs. The subjective evaluation should not, however, be overlooked because there is no way to measure the hope and delight of children climbing on newly installed playground equipment or the satisfaction felt by the far-sighted elders able to read again with their newly donated reading glasses. Making such a profound difference in the lives of people cannot be measured objectively.