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New Hope

Lead Members- Sue Black and Allison Bennett

NEW HOPE MICROLOANS is a rather small, but very big hearted project with an ever growing vision to help people to help themselves and pull out of extreme poverty.  The project is located in northern Ethiopia.

OUR MISSION is to provide ways for people living in poverty to improve their quality of life so that they can provide themselves and their families with the basics needed for life and thereby gain new hope for their futures and their children’s futures.

New Hope began in 2008 with a $50 donation from a young family friend who made and sold cards to earn the money.  Some more donations followed and we quickly realized that although gifts of food and other necessities are greatly appreciated, they are quickly gone and the poverty remains.  When an individual or family is given the means to start a small business, lives can really change forever – and that is the goal of our project!

We have been providing microloans that have enabled people with very little or no regular income to start a small business such as:  selling grain, spices and vegetables, raising cows for milk and chickens for eggs, making and selling coffee; fishing nets, household items; fried fish; chips; clothes tailoring; laundry business and many more. Watch the video on how NEW HOPE Began.

This is Adamu.  New Hope’s first microloan recipient.  He first got a shoe shine kit, and was so happy just to be able to earn enough money for extra bread.  Then he repaid that loan and got a cart for working on constructions sites and he repaid that and now has a business using a motorized cart!

This is Ababa. She was raising her 3 children on her own without any regular means of income and then her sister died, so she took in her sister’s 3 children as well. They were struggling terribly until they received a microloan from New Hope and started an injera-making (national bread) business. Now they are doing really well, and are happy and full of hope!


In 2018 we started a new approach to our microloans program.  Bob (Black) travelled to Kenya in 2017 and witnessed a new microloans method developed through the collaboration of many agencies over about 16 years, that has been very successful in various developing parts of Africa and Asia.   It’s called Village Savings and Loan Associations or VSLA and it’s purpose is to target helping the very poor.  It makes it possible to help many more people than our current method.  Simply put, we train leaders/agents to go out into poor communities and form a VSLA made up of 10-20 people or families.  The agent teaches the members how the VSLA strategy works and gets them set up and going.  A one-time donation (of about $500-1,000 Cdn) is given to the group to get them started.  From then on there is a system by which the members can all, in turn, take loans to start small businesses and help with unexpected needs like medical expenses when needed.  Over time, as they pay back their loans, the money becomes available again to borrow from to expand their businesses and continue to help with medical/disaster expenses.  (Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!)

New Hope’s amazing “on the ground” leaders in Ethiopia. Demelash, in the middle, is our project director, and his co-leaders, Asdenik (left) and Mersha (right).

New Hope is a Microloans project that is seeking to bring new hope to people who are looking for answers to meet their physical and material needs in life.  New Hope also seeks to help people who are looking for answers spiritually.  Our leaders and agents are Christians who desire to share the freedom, love and hope they’ve found in Jesus.

New Hope Orphans Project


At the beginning of 2017 a project began to assist “double orphans”, that is those children who had lost both their mother and father.  We had observed very poor people taking in extra children even when they didn’t have enough to care for their own family.  Often these children are grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

The children are sponsored for one year at a time and the money provides a bed, sheets, clothes, school supplies, cooking utensils for the family and monthly food supplements.  The project manager reports on each child twice per year and there is provision for medical treatment when needed.

Visiting sponsor children one year later, we could see the difference this help had made; happy children thriving, attending school and very appreciative families.

Eyeruse, aged 11 is one of our first sponsor children.  Her father was shot dead when she was 6 months old and then her mother died soon after of an illness.  They were poor farmers in the countryside and her grandmother took her in and then made her shepherd sheep from 3 years of age.  Eyeruse spent 10 hours each day in the fields.  Her father’s aunt came and saw her poor condition and took her by force to Bahir Dar town.  This aunt has a bad leg and cannot work and relies on her daughter’s small income.  These people are so grateful to receive sponsorship for Eyeruse who is now healthy, is attending school in Grade 5 and is very happy. For sponsorship information contact Allison

Since New Hope began in 2008, there have now been more than 1,600 microloan recipients!  Approximately 90% have been women.

In January 2018, I had the opportunity to visit Bahir Dar again.  It was so wonderful to get to visit with Demelash and Asdenik and their families (Demelash is New Hope’s director/manager and Askenik is our accountant.)  We visited many microloan recipients and heard how their lives have changed because of the generosity of people, so far away, donating money so that they could start small businesses and find hope for the future.  I am so thankful for all who have given so that people in need can have a chance at a much brighter future!

Also in 2018, we welcomed Allison Bennett, a long time supporter and now co-volunteer lead member.  Allison is the lead member for New Hope in Australia and is heading up an Orphans program under New Hope in Bahir Dar Ethiopia.  She and her husband Ken have hearts of gold.   I am so thankful to have Allison as as a dear friend and co-lead member.

Lead Member for the New Hope Microloans in Ethiopia Campaign

Sue Black – Lead Member for New Hope Microloans in Ethiopia.

My name is Sue Black and  I, (along with my co-leader, Allison Bennett, who is now our Lead Member for Australia) have the privilege of being the Lead Member for New Hope Microloans in Ethiopia. I got involved in this way, because I’ve seen what a huge difference can be made in someone’s life if they are just given a means to earn a living.

Ethiopia, like many countries in the developing world, has rich people, a growing middle class, but also a lot of people living in extreme poverty, not even having enough to eat.

When I realized that a microloan of the equivalent of about $50 – $100 Cdn is enough to start a person, otherwise trapped by poverty, in a small business where they have the means to provide the necessities of life for their family and the potential to grow the business into making a good living one day … well, I knew then I wanted to try to start a project to support people like this and Devxchange provided everything I needed to do that.

My family and I had the privilege of living in Ethiopia for about 4 years, so I’ve seen this myself.

I believe that if people just knew what a difference they could make, they’d really want to help.

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