CALEB \c(a)-leb\ as a boy’s name is pronounced KAY-leb. The meaning of Caleb is “faith, devotion, whole-hearted”. Noted for astute powers of observation and fearlessness in the face of overwhelming odds.
HOPE \ˈhōp\ 1: to desire with expectation of obtainment 2: to expect with confidence: trust
Founded by Holly Elissa, Caleb’s Hope is dedicated to improving the quality of life of women and children affected by armed conflict, enslavement and oppression, HIV/AIDS and multiple forms of gender-based violence. We engage with women and their communities; allowing their voices, needs and ideas to be the driving force to find practical and compassionate solutions that leave them empowered and in charge of their lives. They strategize for their own success and we provide the tools, mentorship, and training to make sure they succeed.
Transformation starts from within. It’s like that saying goes, ‘Give a woman a fish; feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish; feed her for a lifetime!’ Okay so maybe the saying was ‘man’ but it’s time to shift our consciousness and acknowledge that empowered women equals a better world. We want every woman around the world that is facing violence, enslavement, brutality and oppression to know that her life and what happens to her matters. We want her to believe that her existence has meaning, that her sons and daughters can live in a better world and that it’s possible for all of this to change. Every single voiceless woman around the world has a story and that story matters. As a committed group of people from all walks of life, the Caleb’s Hope family is dedicated to doing everything we can to not only assist these women in making better lives for themselves, but we are also committed to doing everything we can to make sure others hear their stories and are so inspired to act that the thought of doing nothing is intolerable.
We genuinely want to go out of business. We really do. If we’re doing our jobs right then we should effectively, in time, become redundant. Right? We think so.
Many charities and NGOs unintentionally create co-dependant relationships with their beneficiaries and within the regions they work. For example: a job-creation program with a village bank is great, but if those jobs rely on the charity to sell their goods and raise funds for their salaries, then it’s a bust. It never ends. How is that empowering? It’s not. It’s time for us all to really look at how we invest in humanitarian efforts. The old model isn’t working.
Co-dependency is creating an unnecessary crutch. It is neither realistic for true economic development and sustainability nor is it ethically responsible. It further perpetuates a negative stereotype of developing nations – particularly in Africa – that they couldn’t possibly exist without us first world folk helping them out. Let’s get one thing straight: Although it’s totally awesome to want to help people – and we should all be looking at how we can serve people around us every day – let’s not confuse that for looking down on folks just because their life isn’t like yours. When we help people, it should be about empowerment and service, not condescension and co-dependency.
Of course we believe NGOs and humanitarian aid play an important part of world development. We wouldn’t exist if we didn’t believe this. We just believe there’s a new way to do things. Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We think this whole humanitarian aid business needs to reinvent its wheel a bit, because it’s been doing the same thing over and over again and it ain’t generating a whole lot of different results. (ie positive awesome sustainable results). We also believe in ethical businesses doing their part and investing responsibly in developing nations. Is this concept really such a crazy hippy idea? We don’t think so. Every day more and more people are becoming aware and making better choices as charity supporters and consumers. It’s inevitable that as more people become educated, things will change and the world will clearly be all the more awesome for it.
Holly Elissa, Oneka Richard, and the CH team