For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29.11
The Hope Project
In 2006 a small group of Karen refugees from Burma joined Croydon Hills Baptist Church (CHBC). This group has now grown to over 450 people.
Having heard stories from the Karen community of their experiences under the military regime in Burma and 65 plus years of civil conflict in the Karen State a group from CHBC – lead by a local Karen community leader – visited the Thai/Burma border in 2010. The group was able to see first hand the conditions on the border. The group visited refugee camps, medical clinics and schools which assist Karen refugees as well as meeting key Karen leaders and community-based organisations.
The group came away feeling compelled to do more to assist refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the border area. Out of this The Hope Project was established in late 2010 to provide advocacy, support and encouragement for refugees & IDP’s on the Thai/Burma border.
The Hope Project understands that locals know what locals need. By developing and maintaining relationships with community gatekeepers, the Hope Project is able to lean on local knowledge when initiating projects.
We support locals supporting locals: Our projects are planned and built by local people for local communities using local knowledge to target the communities with the greatest need.
Our team on the Thai/Burma border is made up of local Karen volunteers. They regularly visit IDP areas to ascertain the greatest needs for the local community.
Our aim is to assist in the provision of medical and educational needs and basic infrastructure. Now the political situation in Burma (Myanmar) is changing we are also beginning to work with IDP’s to find ways they can rebuild their communities.
In 2015 The Hope Project became a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission and, as a Public Benevolent Institution, donations to The Hope Project are tax deductible. Our team has now grown to include representatives from multiple churches and organisations who have ongoing partnerships with Karen communities in Australia.
Our Vision and Values
It is the Hope Project’s prayer that all who live on the Thai/Burma border may once again enjoy lives of peace, security and prosperity.
The Hope Project’s vision is based on Christ-centred principles that compel us to share hope, support and encouragement with refugees and internally displaced people on the Thai/Burma Border. We consider it a privilege to partner with those who are suffering as a result of prolonged civil conflict in the region.
We share Hope to those who have experienced conflict, oppression, poverty and disadvantage by engaging with, and serving one another in humility.
We share Support with people regardless of religion, age or gender, by funding small sustainable projects in response to the needs of local communities. We also understand that support goes beyond providing funds and equipment. Because of this, The Hope Project also shares support by taking the time to engage and build relationships with our partners on the Thai/Burma border. The Hope Project firmly believes that the best development agenda is relational and patient.
We share Encouragement by listening to, learning from, and building relationships with individuals and groups who had feared that they had been forgotten by many in the outside world.
By listening to and learning from locals, we aim to become cohesive partners. We aim to spend time together, listen together, learn together, work together and grow together as advocates for change.
Our logo is based on the Karen drum – a ceremonial item which is used for communication, ceremonies and special occasions. It is a cherished cultural icon and we have chosen to use it as a symbol of our communicating hope on Thai/Burma border.