University News

Leading with Heart

Posted: September 12, 2023

Servant leadership can play a crucial role in achieving an organization's mission and goals. Nonprofit organizations operate in a unique environment where their success is not measured solely by financial profits but by the incredible empathy of their donors. 

Earlier this year, Hope International University alums, Sam Samanda (MA '21) and De Angela Smith (MA '19), partnered to serve the global community through their nonprofit organization called “Hope Women Empowerment.”  The organization aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for young and adolescent girls in Uganda, Africa. The organization focuses on reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development by addressing these girls' physical, educational, health, emotional, and spiritual needs. 

 Our faith in the work of HWEO is resolute. We passionately believe that the ever-present God is over, under, around, and through all who call on the Lord. God connects people, and through this connection and our collective efforts, we have the power to bring about transformative change in the lives of individuals and create a more inclusive and compassionate society.  

Empowering women and girls are essential for the sustainable development of Uganda Africa. Poverty and inequality are persistent issues in many developing countries, often due to limited access to resources and opportunities. To eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development, it is crucial to empower women and girls through education and skill development and provide them with the necessary resources and supportive ecosystems.  

To address the physical and financial needs of young girls, the HWEO sports program helps exceptionally talented girls secure half-bursaries in schools with sports programs. Games and sports activities are also used to communicate key messages and raise awareness of the girl child's rights and aspirations. 

HWEO goes beyond the traditional approaches of securing donations. We involve universities, local schools, private donors, and social service organizations. Through these partnerships, the organization can address the needs of young girls. For example, this summer mission trip included the Hope International University soccer team donating equipment and uniforms to the HWEO sports program. 

In their efforts to serve the community through their nonprofit organization, Sam and De Angela continue to demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary collaboration. With the dependence on donations from the community and HWEO Uganda team volunteers, the organization strives to maintain a comprehensive and holistic approach at the residential home in Uganda 

The HWEO organization provides Educational support to Girl children - providing school fees and scholastic materials, Establishment of a safe place - providing a safe environment for previously abused and vulnerable Girl children with a comprehensive care plan for the girls that includes monitoring & evaluation plan that assess the progress of the girl reintegration of their respective communities, Entrepreneurship (skilling up): skilling building is in its early stage of development and training such clothing alteration & bag making and livestock sales, and Spiritual Transformation: facilitating spiritual development and conducting Christian devotions at the residential home daily, and age-appropriate biblical based counseling. 

The principles and values that guide HWEO resonate deeply with our personal beliefs that “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26. We are dedicated to advocating for the young girl child's social and economic inclusion. Although it is heavy, and the global community is aspirational and not fully realized, nonetheless, it is at the same time achingly beautiful to stand with God in complete agreement for social and economic justice.