The High Center became the recording studio for an episode of The New Activist Podcast presented by the International Justice Mission and the Relevant network on Thursday. President and CEO of HOPE International Peter Greer, ’97, talked about the organization’s unique mission of social justice.
Host Eddie Kaufholz desires to be a source of good news by bringing people onto his show that are making visible and tangible change happen in the world.
Greer recognized that part of his reason for what he does is the importance of actions over words. “We need to stop talking about what’s wrong and start stuff about it,” Greer said.
This is the goal of HOPE. Greer’s organization provides financial assistance to individuals and people groups around the world, helping them to overcome poverty.
“Our model is not sharehold or return, but impact,” Greer said.
HOPE International uses three primary models to provide aid: church-based savings groups, microfinance through a group solidarity method and small and medium enterprises.
Greer and the HOPE team desire to give “not a handout, but a hand up,” Greer said.
He explained that when people in Western countries are asked to define poverty, they most often describe it as a lack of material things. Interestingly enough, in other countries poverty is described as shame and things related to that.
HOPE aims to empower individuals so instead of giving handouts in order to break this poverty.
As a Messiah grad himself, Greer urges students to get out of the ‘Messiah bubble’ and see the needs around us. “Loving starts with listening,” Greer said. “You have to listen to know how to respond to people in a meaningful way.”