Nearly 10% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, less than $1.90 per day, and struggles to fulfill basic needs like health, education, and access to clean water and sanitation. Additionally, 56% of primary school age children globally fail to achieve a minimum level of learning, which makes it difficult to get stable jobs as adults. Providing skills training, loan programs, and education opportunities helps set these individuals up for health and success.
Wellness Advocates Brian and Amanda Trent led a fundraising campaign to benefit the Andi Woods Christian Mission Institute in Sinoe County, Liberia. This institute has been gifted 160 acres to cultivate. The agriculture project will help an entire region become financially independent and self-sustaining by planting pineapple, banana, and plantain trees—the fruit will be sold to larger companies. The immediate impact of the project will provide jobs for 20 orphaned young men, as well as support for an entire school that currently has 46 students but anticipates 150 students next year.
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation matched the funds raised, which purchased seedlings to plant, tools and supplies, and compensation for 20 workers to clear the land, plant the seedlings, build a fence to keep out wild goats, and care for the growing crops.
“The beauty in this is that it’s not only going to create 20 jobs, but even more and more jobs as it grows. It’s actually going to also support the 12 children who live here, along with the many others who are going to come over the next few years—and the students! It’s going to help feed them, take care of them, clothe them, nurture them, and equip them.”—Brian Trent
Elevita is an all-volunteer organization that strives to help underprivileged artisans in developing countries become self-reliant. The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation matched $8,000 raised by Wellness Advocate Kristen Monson and sponsor Doug Castor to support this organization.
The funding will purchase materials for artisans in the Philippines, Cambodia, and India to make their microbusinesses more profitable. With the additional income, these families will have rice on their tables, shoes on their feet, and schoolbooks in their children’s hands.
For the people of Ghana, specifically Liberian refugees living there, success begins with literacy. Many Liberian refugees live in poverty because they lack job skills and educational opportunities. Families Mentoring Families is a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to address the issue of illiteracy in Ghana. By opening the Liberian Literacy Center, Families Mentoring Families hopes to preserve Liberian heritage through the written word and give refugees the skills needed to lift themselves out of poverty.
Together with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, Wellness Advocate LaReita Berky and Diamond sponsors Terry and Lil Shepherd contributed to the Liberian Literacy Center in order to help propel the education of Liberian refugees and their families.
“A library needs books, especially Liberian-specific books serving the Liberian community. The only library within a 30-mile radius serves the 20,000+ displaced Liberians living in Ghana. It’s housed in a school where 100 children attend, with 75 adults attending literacy classes. They have read all 200 donated, American-themed books. To give the rising generation a sense of heritage, 40 Liberian-specific books have been preselected for purchase and delivery. Additionally, the purchase of a computer, copier, and laminating machine will allow the school access more African-specific stories found at www.africanstorybook.org. An air conditioner was also purchased to make the library a comfortable and inviting place to learn, where people can come, stay a while, and read.”—LaReita Berky
Mentors International® has provided microloans in developing countries since 2008. With a 97% payback rate, these loans help individuals start and grow businesses, provide for their families, and influence their communities. In 2019, with help from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, Mentors International expanded, with projects in Nepal, Guatemala, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
Mentors International is currently working to open a Learning and Mentoring Center in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. This facility will provide mentoring to individuals as they plan, launch, and grow their businesses. With the facility, Mentors International will increase their reach and ability to support budding entrepreneurs.
Thanks to support from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, Mentors International is conducting a study to assess meaningful and sustainable assistance in Haiti. In addition to generational poverty and social, political, and economic challenges, Haiti is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake. The study will examine the best way to address these challenges, conduct evaluations, and meet with local authorities and experts.
In Guatemala, funding from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation will allow Mentors International to extend loans to more farming families in the Polochic region and support sustainable agricultural initiatives. Mentors International is organizing a cooperative of cardamom farmers and establishing a support structure for small-scale producers. This model will be used to support farmers working with other agricultural products.
Wellness Advocates that attended the 2018 Cō-Impact Sourcing® expeditions to Guatemala were able to participate in the cardamom harvesting process. Expeditioners also helped on the Sikaab’e expansion service project with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, backfilling the location of the new workshop and moving the cinder blocks that will become its walls.
In this podcast episode, we sit down with Curtis Bennet, President and CEO of Mentors International a non-profit who has partnered with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation. The mission of Mentors International is to empower, train, and mentor the world’s impoverished.