LADDERS OF HOPE
The first ladder, basic care, is not as such hope but the foundation of hope to the extent it addresses the physical formation that is a must in the working out of the subsequent ladders. In this ladder, Hope attempts to meet the essential welfare of the poorest of the poor by providing partial or full necessities such as food, clothing and footwear, shelter, medical care, protection, safety, etc. Hope assures people that they count with full rights and are in no way less than those with means and/or power. Hope also underscores a point about caring for people not as a matter of charity but duty. Excepting its efforts of relief, Hope makes all its inputs of basic care as the first chain in its work of human development. In this regard, it has full child care, partial child care, stipend for students in school and colleges/universities, street children breakfast, general relief, dry ration for farmers at risk, community based child care, etc.
2. Values Maturity
The second ladder is values maturity, which is a cross cutting ladder impacting personal development. Here we seek to reinforce values of self-worth, self-acceptance, and determination. Considering that most of the poor with whom we work have had mental and social scars owing to their marginalization and in many cases abuses of various types, personal doubts about self and about one’s direction become a fact of life. Seriousness about one’s responsibilities as a person and as a member of the community may also surface. Factors such as trust, initiative and overall sense of hope may be missing owing partly to one’s disorientation or misperception. Interpersonal relations may also show various deficits considering the much hate or rejection that one has experienced in life. In the light of these hurts and gaps, this ladder helps one to develop values about one’s self, meaning about life and regard for others. Furthermore, it demonstrates accepted behavior encouraging people to take care of themselves, maintain exemplary work ethics and lead lives of honesty and integrity.
In as much as the first ladder addresses the physical fundamentals, this ladder addresses the psycho-social fundamentals of character development. A number of strategies such as one-to-one counseling, peer discussion, values confrontation, instruction, role modeling, couching, life experience sharing and application of proper behavior are used in needed behavior modification.
The ladder of education inspires people to grasp information and knowledge for both personal development and life achievement. It also makes the individual aware of their inner capacities of intellectual development, and illuminates identity, self-worth and acceptance. To Hope, each and every individual has talents that need to be identified, nurtured and utilized. Education serves to cultivate these talents and expose people to knowledge that allows them to pursue what is useful to their growth and betterment. As empowering as education is, Hope uses three ways to have the poorest of the poor have access to education. These ways are Hope’s own schools from preschool to high school, government schools and non-formal education. In all cases, formal schools during the day are open essentially to children and youngsters while the same schooling in the evening includes adults like home workers, farmers, etc. Non formal schooling is open to both children and adults during times and places convenient to the beneficiaries.
Competence is marketable skills that allow people to be creative and productive members of society and that facilitate the development of self-esteem and confidence for people to accept themselves. Hope emphasizes both skill-training and entrepreneurship in its curriculum. To enable the desired impact, the curriculum is designed in such a way that it develops craftsmanship through not only heavy shop orientation but also apprenticeship. The curriculum also includes life skill training that pertains to survival skills, personal finance, self care, negotiation skills and the kind of attitudinal changes that make one fit in interpersonal, community and work situations.
Sufficiency, the last ladder, is the epitome of our achievement, as one whom we have assisted uses the help to stand on one’s own. Sufficiency comes about in one of two ways: There is job mediation on one hand and business mediation on the other. Job mediation connects the graduate with the job market while business mediation assists the graduate in having his own business through consultancy and a recommendation for a loan to a micro finance institution.