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May 15 2013

Operation HOPE Renews Partnership with the Peace Corps South Africa

 

 

HOPE Founder and Chairman in South Africa to sign historic agreement focused on developing empowerment opportunities for youth and women
 
Pretoria, South Africa– May 16, 2013– Global financial dignity nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) announced their goal to fuel entrepreneurship, increase life skills, and hone leadership tools for youth, women, and families in rural communities within five provinces, during an official renewal signing ceremony on April 23rd, at the Peace Corps South Africa office in Pretoria. (watch the Chariman speak about volunteering) 
 
Through the renewal, both organizations will continue working together to expand HOPE’s financial literacy initiative, Banking on Our Future. The initiative aims to reduce the 25% unemployment rate in South Africa by promoting financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and dignity through empowerment training sessions. Community growth and development is measured before and after each session using HOPE research and assessment tools.
 
"The Peace Corps, started by President Kennedy, in the backdrop of a civil rights movement in the United States, now finds itself extending those rights, privileges and sense of human dignity in nations around the world and in places such as South Africa. Peace Corps South Africa has witnessed many of the same changes and transformations around civil rights in South Africa, and has aided in extending human dignity to countless tens of thousands throughout the country,” said HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant.
 
“Now, we are proud to be working together with the Peace Corps South Africa, specifically Country Director John S. Jacoby and his team, to extend ‘silver rights’ empowerment tools for all. Here we have an opportunity to teach a new generation in South Africa about financial literacy, the language of money, and self-determination and give people the financial dignity that they need to fulfill their God-given talents, insuring the completion of Nelson Mandela's dream for a country,” said Bryant.
 
Expanded involvement will also include the addition of two new positions: a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, supported by the Peace Corps, and a HOPE Fellow from the FILE (Fellows, Interns, and Loaned Executives) program. Peace Corps Volunteers will continue to oversee program implementation, tracking and recruiting financial industry experts and college graduate volunteers. These volunteers will receive stipends and assist in customizing and contextualizing the HOPE curriculum.
 
“While HIV and health education remain critical issues for South Africa, life skills and leadership are critical tools necessary for the betterment of the country,” said Country Director John S. Jacoby. “We believe the tools Operation HOPE brings will equip the youth of South Africa to have a better future and look forward to continuing our combined efforts for a better South Africa."
 
Banking on Our Future South Africa was launched in June 2007 as part of HOPE’s global initiative to extend “silver rights” to underserved communities. Since that time more than 2,000 HOPE Corps volunteers have been recruited in South Africa and nearly 41,000 South African community members have participated in empowerment trainings.
 
Banking on Our Future is the winner of Oprah's Angel Network Use Your Life Award and the U.S. Treasury Department's John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence. In the last 15 years, 19,000 HOPE Corps volunteers have educated more than 700,000 youth around the world.
 
The Peace Corps began its work in South Africa in 1997, partnering with the department of education to strengthen teaching, learning and community service. Currently, 166 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in South Africa in the areas of education, and health and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. As the country continues to distance itself from the legacy of apartheid, the partnership with HOPE allows Peace Corps Volunteers to expand their role in economic education to help the nation's underserved build wealth and self-sufficiency.
 
 
About the Peace Corps:
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.
 
About Operation HOPE:  
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been America’s leading financial dignity and empowerment nonprofit.  Through its three principal divisions: Global Youth Empowerment, HOPE Coalition America, Adult Financial Dignity Empowerment, the organization addresses youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, bridges the digital divide and promotes home ownership and assists with foreclosure prevention. The social investment banking organization has raised approximately $1 billion in economic activity and empowered more than 2 million people. To learn more about HOPE, visit our website at www.operationhope.org, www.twitter.com/operationhope, and www.facebook.com/operationhope.