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The Hopeprint Blog

I met Violet in the fall of 2014. Her confident posture draped in colorful fabric gave her the look of an African princess. Having been in the U.S. a short time with limited access to English classes or resources, Violet relied on French translators to communicate, but her clear sense of strength and leadership didn’t [...]

Onondaga Lakeshore

Ali is a passionate, compassionate man with eyes that search for the overlooked. He is quick to speak encouragement into those who he sees sharing his burden, and a matchmaker for the the overlooked to the lovers of people. A resettled refugee himself, Ali had been in Syracuse for just a short period of time [...]

Categories: Her Village, The Blog | 1 Comment

It’s been one month since the students from Cornell came to Hopeprint to work with a select group of our Congolese women. Coming into the day, we had selected them because they were among the most discouraged, disheartened and visibly struggling women we were working with. Of course, looking at the history of the conflict [...]


She arrived just a few minutes before dinner, so we went to sit and chat. We’d been waiting all week for her arrival, expecting it nearly a week ago, so her safe arrival was a welcome sight. It had taken her an entire week to make the journey from the camp to this sitting room, [...]

The four women stood at the end of the driveway, dressed in vibrant colors matching the smiles illuminating their faces. Two a part of the Hopeprint family for years and two just joining us this year, these African sisters are a picture of what hope does. Being women raised in poverty, school was not a [...]

There is no woman I have ever met that has gone through a hysterectomy unscarred emotionally. It seems to strike as strong as an amputation to an injured limb. “They took it and I didn’t even know.” she shared in Swahili translated into English. “All I knew is they gave me two surgeries, and now [...]

Rosy and friends

The call came in that he had passed away. This young dad with two daughters – eleven and four years old, and wife who loved him much, had passed after suffering from five cancers ravaging his body. In my most recent visit, his coughing attacks brought up blood and caused his entire, bony body to [...]

Afra English Lesson

I remember the story from childhood Sunday School class. The teacher talked about how Jesus was walking about the streets of his day and encountered a man who had been blind from birth. He spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. When he washed [...]


The vibrant colors of her hijab wrap her face with a certain brightness. Her chocolate skin and bold eyes somehow stand out more poignantly amidst the flowing fabric and draw you in. Often times her lips are curled up in a glimmering smile. Her sister’s is more timid and hesitant, but still filled with a [...]

The knock at the door came as a familiar piece of the soundtrack of a day in the life of our home. Answering it, I was greeted by a small collection of sweating kids asking for a drink of water. While I know their homes just a few yards away have the exact same water [...]

It was really in passing that I first mentioned it. The girls asked if we were doing Christmas presents for the neighborhood this year and I explained to them how we’re going to do something special. We’re going to have a “Hope Store” where we’ll have gifts for “sale” for people to buy for their [...]

Life is full of high impact characters in our stories. For me, one of those characters is Promise.* While I don’t begin to know Promise’s whole story, I know that it has been filled with heartbreak, marked with poverty and overwhelmed by a sense of inability to overcome. Having been born less than a year apart [...]

Christmas Dinner at Delmonicos

I sat in Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse watching the clock tick with a fully set room awaiting the arrival of our family members. Tables were set with water glasses, silverware and small plates, and the wait staff briefed on what to expect. For many of our guests, this would be their first time in such a [...]

Snapshots of Congo

Grief. It’s a messy thing. It chases you down irregardless of your greatest guards against it, slapping your face like a cold wind on a subzero day. He was born in 1982. So was I. He called his friend right before the clock struck midnight and his head hit the pillow. She is my sister. [...]

Burmese boys

The three of us squeezed onto the small couch as the final stragglers from the evening programming made their way out the door. Somehow the two of them had broken away from the rest of their siblings and neighborhood kids to get a little alone time in the Hopeprint Home, a coveted treasure. Making teeth [...]

Climbing Apple Trees

The hour drew close and the ladies gathered at our home, some children in tow as well as a few brothers. We loaded onto the bus this chilly Sunday afternoon, ready to embark on a special outing: apple picking. For most of us who live in Central New York, the tradition of apple picking is [...]

Congolese Woman Pounds Cassava Leaves

I Met Africa by Lee Kim Kim served as a guest coach for a Cornell University graduate course during a Hopeprint site visit I met Africa for the first time. We went to a play house in the back yard. It had little tiny tables and little tiny chairs And a big box filled with [...]

Me and Congolese Women

  For most of our time on Lilac Street, I have had friends among the Congolese, Burundian and Rwandan women. For years, their sense of burden and need has felt a bit like an unshakable one between the trauma, demands, language barriers and other factors that kept many of them home, struggling with depression and [...]