OUR STORY

Meeting a Need

It began in just one little room of a rural building on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa. In 2003 Seed of Hope founders Derek and Heather Liebenberg, along with a small core of volunteers, felt the call to respond to the mounting Aids crisis in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

At that time the HIV pandemic was widespread and mostly unchecked with medications still not yet widely available. Lives were being turned upside down and communities were in turmoil. Derek and Heather saw the impact on the children of the community and were led to launch an afternoon drop-in program for the kids who would otherwise be unattended and left alone at risk of drifting into mischief, gangs or other dangerous behavior.

 Broadening our scope

In the following months the childrenʼs program grew to reach the needs of the greater community. Programs were developed to provide access of basic health care and education. An HIV-positive support group was established in the local community and a sewing class for unemployed women were established to reach the community from within.

With many deeply affected by the heartbreaking losses of the HIV pandemic, it was a time when hope was scarce in the community of Bhekulwandle. Our vision to equip local community members to overcome challenges was birthed through the experiences and resilience of these friends and neighbours.

A Partnership emerges

In 2005, John and Trish Pritchard, along with their family, came to Seed of Hope in South Africa for a 6 months trip to work alongside Derek and Heather. Seven weeks into the trip, Derek Liebenberg died of a massive heart attack. It was clear why God had called John and Trish to be in South Africa for such a time. The next four months changed John and Trish’s lives and they knew something more was needed to be done upon their return to Canada.

HopeShares Canada was born and was quickly supported by a committed group of volunteers raising support and awareness of the work of Seed of Hope back in South Africa.

In 2007 Carl Waldron and his family moved to South Africa to build upon the Liebenberg’s foundation – to bring growth and a greater impact to Seed of Hope’s work over the years to come.

Restoring a Community

Along the way, we developed a model of mentoring and training that equips people to be leaders by recognizing their God-given value and resources. People who experience restoration – physical, social, spiritual – turn into restorers of their community. 

The lessons learned in the past 10 years while supporting Seed of Hope has positioned HopeShares to offer our experience to smaller organizations. These organizations are often struggling to effectively minister to their full potential due to a variety of issues including leadership capacity, funding and program restraints. HopeSahres is growing and expanding our reach to come alongside these types of organizations.

In the summer of 2018 we began our partnership with HELP Madagascar (Health, Education & Life-skills Projects). They are a Christian non-profit, non-governmental organization assisting the Malagasy poor in Toamasina (Tamatave) Madagascar.