Thank You for your support!
As always, this year has been a busy one at HOCW. On November 26th, we celebrated the graduation of 75 of our students from English, Business, Tailoring, Computer and Hairdressing classes. Everyone enjoyed the colourful graduation ceremony that featured cultural dances, food, drinks and speeches. With funding from the Finish Refugee Council, we are currently embarking on a new income generating activity, building a canteen on the HOCW grounds where we will sell snacks and other products, including those made by the Women's Collective.
This year we welcomed medical students from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in March to do workshops on health topics such has HIV/AIDS. The Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science has also been overseeing our counseling program at HOCW. They are responsible for training and supporting our counselors who provide important mental health services to our clients, many of whom are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This year we have also launched our very own "Hope Development SACCO". Similar to Credit Unions, Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) are member-owned saving and lending societies of at least 30 people who come together to pool their savings and take out loans. Members save their money in the SACCO as they would in a commercial bank, earning interest on deposits. SACCOs also provide loans to members using the pooled savings and charging interest on loans to cover the interest cost on savings and the cost of administration. SACCOs are democratic, community oriented institutions that provide access to financial services for those members of society who are most often excluded from commercial financial institutions due to expensive bank fees, high interest rates, and lack of collateral for loans. We are very excited to see the benefits our community members receive from this improved financial access.
We want to thank all of our friends who donated on November 29th, "Giving Tuesday". We received 14 donations worth well over $2000 on that day alone! It is through your generous donations that all of our programs and services are possible, and that HOCW is able to continue to grow in the services it provides. If you haven’t already seen it, check out our good friend and volunteer Stephanie’s short video about HOCW at http://vimeo.com/192880051. As we enter the Holiday Season we wish you and your families all of our blessings for a safe and happy New Year. Thank you!
2016 Graduates from HOCW's programs
Rwandan Cultural Dancers