The name of the organization, Hope for the Village Child Foundation, has been the inspiration for its work with children to improve their possibilities for a better future – as well as caring for parents, especially mothers, who are crucial in providing a future full of hope and possibility.
But what happens when those possibilities are thrown into disarray? This is the situation of many of the communities in areas where Hope for the Village Child Foundation has been working. An example is the community of Telele, one of the first communities of HVCF when its work began almost thirty years ago. Recently Telele it was attacked in a terrible way by bandits who killed some of the men, kidnapped some women and children and forced others to flee for their lives as homes and fields were burnt. This being the season when food had been stored up during the previous harvest, it means disaster for such families. For other families, the outlook was that they would have to survive and manage on the little they had because farming had been largely curtailed due to fear of kidnapping. That little for management is also gone. For others who may have had small businesses for trading, that too no longer a reality. But the worst of all was that all sense of community was lost as people had to go in every direction looking for friends or relatives or some kind persons who would give them shelter or any other form of support. The concern of HVCF and its supporters is especially for the children who have experienced the trauma of what happened and now live with other harsh realities. Some have lost fathers or mothers. Some of their parents have been taken as hostages; other themselves have been taken with their parents. For those who knew only the home and community in which they grew up, they are now among strangers, in an environment where they don’t know whom to trust, where they don’t have enough to eat, where they feel the fear that pervades the society around them.
HVCF, through the generosity of friends in England, was able to reach out to the people of Telele to give them a little support by way of foodstuff. But more than that, it was to help give them a sense of hope, to let them know that they are not abandoned, and that people do care for them. Those who knew the founder of the organization, Mrs. Margaret Mama, were grateful that she still carried within her heart her love for the people of Telele. For all of HVCF and the communities, the hope is that the insecurity experienced presently will pass, and that someday people will be able to return to their homes and rebuild their lives for the sake of their children’s future.