Project HOPE UK is a health charity, but we look at health in the broadest sense, helping communities to identify all the drivers of poor health in children, and then to construct strategies to overcome them. This means tackling poverty that transfers from one generation to another and addressing poor education and serious child abuse, as well as increasing access to health services. Our mission today is: Through community empowerment and mobilisation, to enable Africa’s most vulnerable children to grow into healthy, productive adults, equipped to do the same for their children.
Project Hope UK was formed in 1994 but its story started many years earlier when its sister organisation in the US launched the world's first-ever peacetime hospital ship, the SA Hope. The primary aim of the project was to train hard-pressed health professionals in developing countries in the latest treatment methods so that they could continue giving better medical care to their patients for years after the ship weighed anchor and headed for the next port. In our first sixteen years operating from the UK we worked in over thirty countries, pioneering new, more effective ways of addressing old and emerging health challenges. Programmes have included village health banks in Malawi and Mozambique, child health training materials for mothers in Ghana and Honduras, and HIV/AIDs awareness training in Mexico and Russia. In 2010, we accepted our biggest ever challenge: to find a truly sustainable way for communities to address the growing crisis of orphans and other vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa. We took everything we learned from our previous projects, reached out to our friends and partners from around the world, selected the ideal location to test our theories and concepts and launched our new 'flagship' programme – The Thoughtful Path.