I am a Seattleite who God directed to Rwanda in 2008. I jumped on the chance to go to Africa and teach English at a church, because ever since I was 8- years-old, God has placed in my heart a longing to help vulnerable children in Africa. While I was there, the opportunity to join 2 other women and start a home for street children arose, and we took up the challenge.
What is Hope for Life?
Hope For Life is a ministry dedicated to serving street boys in Kigali, Rwanda. We operate a children’s home for twenty-six former street children who have been neglected, abused, imprisoned or orphaned. Our vision is to help these children be reconciled with their families and reintegrated into society, being equipped with the skills to lead a successful life and the opportunity to make a difference in their communities.
Why did you start Hope for Life?
Hope For Life was inspired when 11 street children we befriended were arrested and imprisoned. The jailers told us the only way they would let them out is if we had a place to take them. We felt convicted by God that we could not abandon these children in their jail cells, began the process of starting and NGO and 5 months later rented a house and freed our children from prison.
What has been your greatest challenge in running Hope for Life?
The greatest challenge in running HFLM has been that I jumped into an entirely different culture, with no experience, and co-founded a ministry. We learned all of our lessons the hard way–I could write a book on what I wish I knew before starting and NGO. The greatest single challenge, is not having a foundation of a team to build the organization on.
What is your fondest memory?
The first street child we met in Rwanda was a little crippled boy named Veterne, who would pull himself with his arms through the dirt and beg in the bus park. My fondest memory was seeing the joy on his face when he walked for the first time after having corrective surgery on his legs.
Thanks Hilliary! To learn more about Hilliary’s ministry, click here.