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Financial literacy empowerment and emergency recovery nonprofit implements five-year plan to assist Haitian communities both in Haiti and living in American cities

LOS ANGELES – June 13, 2010 – Recognizing that earthquake survivors in Haiti continue to need support from the world community now and in years to come, financial literacy empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) sent a high level delegation to Haiti this month to explore the logistics of delivering HOPE’s programs in Port-au-Prince, with the hope of expanding to other cities in the U.S. and Haiti in the months to come.

In an effort to help Haitians recover and rebuild after the devastation that struck the nation on January 12, 2010, Operation HOPE first responded by expanding services to Haitian communities in New York, Miami, and Washington DC.

“Most, if not all, Haitians living abroad have been deeply affected by this disaster,” said Fred Smith, senior advisor to the Office of the Chairman. “By providing these people with support in their communities, we have been able to help them help the family and friends that survived the quake.”

As a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment, and working alongside other credible Haitian organizations, HOPE will hire and train staff and recruit HOPE Corps volunteers in Port-au-Prince to provide financial literacy, economic empowerment and emergency recovery services to survivors, in hopes of creating sustainable change on-the-ground in the Caribbean country. All this will be done with the aim of starting a new paradigm of how international aid agencies respond to disasters and empower local communities in the future.

“Our vision for Haiti, in concert with our belief of giving people a hand up and not a hand out, has Operation HOPE going to Haiti, setting up shop in Haiti when, where and how it makes sense, and training Haitians to provide services to help their fellow citizens recover from this disaster,” stated Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. “It is our goal not only to provide them with the financial tools to help build their future but to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs in the country.”

During the visit, Operation HOPE Founder John Hope Bryant released details of the nonprofit’s plans to deliver economic triage to Haitians, as well as financial life management programs and long-term economic enhancement services. Services offered include youth and adult financial literacy, operating a cyber café for residents, providing financial life management skills, effective self-employment skills, training for identified jobs and employment referral, small business ownership and access to microfinance loans. These services will be delivered in coordination and partnership with other nonprofit organizations, governmental services providers and private sector companies in Haiti and America.

The services already available in American cities include:

  • Adult financial life management skills to Haitians and their extended families through local HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Centers and community venues.
  • Access to HOPE Consumer Credit Crisis Hotline, Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, credit improvement, homeowner workshops and counseling, and small business start-up guidance and small business expansion.
  • Encourage individuals to obtain debit cards to “facilitate” the transfer of funds to Haiti with minimum fees.
  • Delivery of HOPE's award-winning Banking on Our Future curriculum to youth in Haitian communities which consists of a course on the basics of banking, checking and savings, power of credit, and investments.

 The following services will be available in Port-au–Prince:

  • Guidance and direction to individuals who are self-employed or want to become self-employed.
  • Employment skills training and referral to identified job opportunities.
  • Workshops on small business expansion and personal wealth building through the ownership of appreciating assets.
  • Financial life management skills workshops for individuals and families.
  • Access to micro-loan products for existing small businesses and self-employed individuals
  • Encourage individuals to opening savings and debit card accounts.
  • Youth financial literacy through HOPE's Banking on Our Future program modified for Haitian youth.

After Hurricane Katrina, Operation HOPE opened several recovery and relief offices throughout the Gulf States and still currently operates an office in New Orleans. Operation HOPE has helped over 130,000 individuals and small businesses in the Gulf States recover from the disaster. HOPE’s recent commitment to Haiti is another example of the “silver rights” mission to empower the underserved.  To get information on the Operation HOPE’s work in Haiti or to find out how to help, contact Operation HOPE at 888-388-4673 or visit us at www.operationhope.org.


About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE is America's leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 3500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 70 major U.S. cities and seven provinces in South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders in financial literacy, economic empowerment and silver rights. Through international initiatives and its principal programs, Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, 1-888-388-HOPE, financial emergency preparedness and disaster relief), Walk-In HOPE Centers (loans, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), and our 10,000 strong volunteer HOPE Corps, Operation HOPE has delivered services to more than 1.2 million low-wealth individuals and assumed the responsib ility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. Senior aide to Dr. King in the civil rights movement, Ambassador Andrew Young, serves as global spokesman for Operation HOPE, and along with music icon Quincy Jones serves as co-chair to 5MK (5 MILLLION KIDS), an initiative aimed at breaking the cycle of the high-school dropout epidemic in America. To learn more about HOPE, visit www.operationhope.org  and www.5MK.org, or read our blog at www.operationhope.org/blog.

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