Mpowering Hope was established in 2016 after its founder, Rebecca Loveall, had lived and worked in Guatemala for more than a decade directing an educational program. The largely indigenous project, which employed a staff comprised primarily of local citizens, received most of its funding from a variety of North American and European sources. Contributors to the project included international charities, independent religious organizations, individual families, businesspeople, church groups and non-church groups. The Guatemalans involved were determined to make a difference in their country, and the donating teams of North Americans and Europeans were equally determined to make a difference in education for Guatemalans. Participants brought to the table their own unique gifts and resources: financial, spiritual, educational and occupational.
However, when that original project hit an impasse, North American direction greatly overpowered local, indigenous know-how, abilities and
desire. Project direction from the States was seen as money management and fund-raising through whatever means necessary. Indigenous concerns about which projects were funded, by how much, and the personnel selected to administer such projects were ignored.
After returning to the U.S., Rebecca reflected on her experiences, and also assessed the challenges to delivery of community-based education services in an indigenous community. In particular, how could she best facilitate local “ownership” and maximum participation to ensure effective outcomes? Based on her in-depth experience and the lessons learned during her 14 years in Guatemala, Rebecca established Mpowering Hope in order to improve the organization and management of future service projects. Joining her in this endeavor as founding members of the Board of Directors are Idalee Vogel, M.A. and Chelsey Morrison Wylde, PsyD.
The Anglican Diocese of Kondoa, Tanzania