World Hope International works primarily in Southeast Europe to combat human trafficking and extreme poverty though various programs that address economic development and education.
World Hope International currently has programs in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Since 2004, World Hope International has been leading education and flood relief initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The Education Resource Center (ERC): The ERC provides teachers with educational training materials, computer equipment, and training seminars that enable them to create innovative and dynamic lesson plans. Five part-time professionals work in the ERC as well as support work in nearby schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. In addition, WHI is a partner organization to the Mobile Expert Team - a group of educational experts consisting of a speech therapist, child psychologist, and learning therapist who travel throughout the county to visit schools and give advice to parents and teachers. WHI provides transportation to the team and ensures that visits happen to communities that otherwise don’t have access to these types of specialists. In 2016, 31 children attended language classes at the ERC.
- School Remodeling: WHI helped with the renovation of two schools: Vocational High School and a village primary school. WHI raised money for the Vocational High School while the students and professors remodeled and re-purposed many classrooms to allow enough space to accommodate all of the students for a full school day. Previously, due to space constraints, the school was operating in two shifts each day. For the village primary school, WHI covered half the costs of new flooring.
- Flood Relief: In May 2014, a major flood wreaked havoc on Bosnia leaving many houses ruined in Doboj- an already economically depressed area with high unemployment (about 40%). WHI provided food, clothes, hygiene and cleaning supplies to the city and helped families repair their homes and their lives through donations. A relationship was also established with the local Evangelical Church of Doboj to assist with ongoing needs.
- English Classes: WHI provides free, top-quality English to the adult population in Livno. Participants gain practical proficiency that can open doors for employment and professional development. Over 80 students learned English in the Education Resource Center, City Hall, Islamic Center and the Evangelical Church of Bugojno.
- Mountain Rescue Service: WHI provides basic first aid equipment and medical supplies to a local search and rescue team. This includes: CPR masks, stethoscope and blood pressure kits, neck braces, first aid kits, and backboards. In 2014, volunteers from WHI’s Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the local search and rescue team to assist at least five individuals in three different towns.
World Hope’s work in Albania began in 1999, when there were over 375,000 Kosovar refugees flooding into the country. Since then, our programs now focus on education and anti-trafficking.
- Family Education: In Albania, we gather nuclear families together once a month for a nine-month class. In this class, we discuss topics like parenting, domestic violence, communication, family budgeting, health, hygiene, community involvement and other topics. We have seen great impact on family’s lives here and are very excited about continuing this program especially since it is one of very few programs that engages the men in the family as well. We work together with other NGOs and also the local mayor’s office on this program. We also have a pilot program in place, where we provide local people with education and assistance about the wide-range of problems that impact their communities. Focus areas include health-care, employment, welfare from the local government, disability/handicapped services, etc. Since most of the people have moved to the city from the villages, they are not integrated in the local system and are uninformed about how to seek proper care and services that may be available in the cities. This program seeks to connect these people to the programs and services that can assist them.
- Child Education: In Albania, we have an actively-running day care center for children of widows. Originally founded in 2008, this center has also expanded to offer after-school help and biblical education at another venue. Church partnerships from the United Kingdom have helped to sponsor this valuable project for nearly a decade.
- Anti-Trafficking: Unfortunately, many prostitution rings throughout Europe are in the business of exploiting and exporting Albanian women. Our anti-trafficking programs in Albania focus on human trafficking prevention through work projects for high-risk women and girls. The current work project involves knitting hand-craft work. These products are being distributed through two organizations, the biggest one being a company called “Eternal Threads.” Other anti-trafficking work involves education and awareness that is carried out by our wonderful World Hope volunteers in-country.