Vfplogo_1WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ — The Office of Volunteers for
Prosperity (VfP) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and
Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE), a leading non-profit organization, have agreed to
jointly promote international volunteer service by American professionals in
developing countries.
    "Operation HOPE has achieved great success in addressing the economic
challenges of underserved minority communities throughout the United States.
Its approach has enabled people to share in the American dream as homeowners
and entrepreneurs," said Jack Hawkins, USAID Director of the Office of
Volunteers for Prosperity (VfP).  "An important focus of VfP is to promote
economic growth in the developing world by having the nation’s most talented
professionals, as volunteers, advise and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs.  The
combined efforts of our two organizations will certainly make a difference in
the lives of so many around the world."

"Operation HOPE is excited to be working in partnership with VfP because
we share a common goal — the goal of empowering underserved communities
everywhere through economic education and the provision of much needed
knowledge and expertise," said John Bryant, HOPE founder, chairman and CEO.
"I believe that volunteerism is a uniquely American asset, and our partnership
will focus on using our collective influence to help developing countries find
the solutions they need through the volunteerism of Americans.  I believe that
if the main issue of the 20th century was about race and the color line, all
over the world, then the 21st century will be about issues of class and
poverty.  Financial literacy and economic empowerment are two key factors in
bridging the gap that separates us."
    HOPE created HOPE Global Initiatives, a program designed to apply the U.S.
experience to promoting and supporting economic prosperity to peoples
throughout the developing world with a particular emphasis on developing
countries on the African continent.  The role has recently expanded to serve
underserved communities throughout the world.
    "As we’ve seen in many communities here in the U.S., economic empowerment
is key to improving the quality of life in developing countries," added
Bryant.  "Our partnership will help to bring financial self-sufficiency and
sustained spirit of revitalization to inner city and disadvantaged communities
    HOPE Global Initiatives will be implemented by Operation HOPE’s vast
network of corporate and non-profit affiliates.  This network will identify
and recruit American professionals who will serve as volunteers under flexible
arrangements of time, duration and location.
    As the U.S. Government’s coordinator of President Bush’s Volunteers for
Prosperity initiative, VfP promotes the international voluntary service of
American professionals in support of the nation’s global health and prosperity
    Among the joint activities of the two organizations will be public
relations efforts to promote the new VfP/Operation HOPE model for
collaboration to support international volunteer service.

    Operation HOPE, Inc. is a non-profit organization, which was founded in
1992 to empower minorities in underserved US communities by connecting them to
mainstream, private-sector economic resources made available through ongoing
collaborations and long-term partnerships with leading government, private
sector, and community interests.  HOPE and its programs can be found online at

    Volunteers for Prosperity was established by Executive Order in September
2003.  VfP works with leading U.S. non-profits and companies to deploy highly
skilled American professionals in volunteer opportunities that support the
global health and prosperity goals of the U.S. Government.  VfP is part of the
USA Freedom Corps, the White House’s coordinating council on volunteerism.
For more information, please visit http://www.volunteersforprosperity.gov.

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