About Us: What Drives Us



Bright Hope World is, at its heart, a group of passionate volunteers united by a commitment to work for the development of the poor and the oppressed. The book of Isaiah in the bible expresses this passion extremely well:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7

That is what drives us. That is what moves us to action. And we do it because this is what we believe God would have us do.

What drives us

Our Vision

Our vision - the ultimate desire that guides everything we do - is:

“To see the poorest of the poor become spiritually and physically self-sustaining”

Our focus is on the very poorest in the world. The forgotten ones. Those that suffer and struggle to survive. We want to see them assisted physically with reliable food sources and clean water and safe shelter. But, we also want them to be assisted spiritually. We want them to live with hope and peace and joy in harmonious communities. And, we aim for everything we do to be self-sustaining, so that we are providing the tools and skills for people to provide for themselves.

Our Mission

Our mission – what we actually do to achieve our ultimate desire – is:

“To develop and resource partnerships with indigenous people who have a vision to transform their communities”

Everything we do is about genuine partnership. This means we find exceptional local people already working in stressed communities. We get to know them and we come alongside them as equals. We don’t call the shots or dominate; we aim to serve those who are serving their people. Our partners are visionaries that are able to translate their visions into concrete actions that transform communities. Our role is to provide funds and to work closely with our partners to ensure the best possible outcomes from their work.

Our Values

Our values are those beliefs we hold at our core. They are our ‘not-negotiables’ that guide every aspect of how we operate. They flavour our meetings, our decisions and our attitudes. We have five core values:

We focus on the poorest of the poor

No matter where you look, you will find poverty. It is in almost every community and is not bound by finances, but by broken relationships and dysfunction. Our commitment, however, is to those for whom material poverty is most pressing. We go where others don’t tend to. We go to the dangerous and sometimes unpleasant places. The worst slums, the isolated rural communities and the persecuted ministry areas. We gravitate to where people have the least.

We invest in strategic partnerships

Our model for reaching the poorest of the poor is connecting with local people already working in these communities. Our ultimate strength as an organisation is our ability to find the most exceptional people doing this kind of work.

Partnership is based on the belief that the parties have equal value – before God and in terms of capability. It is a recognition that a local person with a vision for, and commitment to, serving those around them will be far more effective than someone coming in from a foreign culture. It is a belief that local solutions to local problems will tend to be more successful and sustainable than imported concepts that fail to understand the nuances of local conditions, culture and traditions. It is about understanding that the agency's role is to provide accountability, oversight and resources, not to be the source of the 'bright ideas'.

We operate by finding and building relationships with extraordinary local people. Relationships are built slowly over time, before any funding is provided. The process, which usually takes from eighteen months to three years, ensures that the integrity and reliability of the partner can be assessed, and their performance and commitment evaluated over time. Experience suggests that partnerships established hastily do not succeed in the long term.

Once a partnership is initiated, our commitment is a long term one. Fast results and returns are not the focus, but rather the ability of the partner to deliver holistic transformation of their local community over a long time period. We will continue to invest funds into the partnership until this impact is seen and our support is no longer required, ideally because the project is completely self-sustaining. However, our relationships with partners and the input we give will continue, even when we are no longer contributing financially.

We are field-driven

When we say ‘field’ we mean the places where our partners are – the majority world countries in which we work. Being ‘field-driven’ means that we maintain a constant focus on the needs of the poor. We must not allow our primary focus to shift anywhere else – including serving the needs of donors. Our donors are, of course, both critical to the success of our partnerships and extremely dear to us, but we are – unashamedly - focused first on our partners in the field. Thankfully our donors tend to understand why.

In practice, this means that the initiative always remains at the field end. The role of Bright Hope World is as an enabler and a point of accountability. We do not take charge and steal leadership and responsibility from our partners. It also means we make every decision based on what is something of a mantra at Bright Hope World: "how will it affect the field?" We will not do anything that will detrimentally affect our partners.

We also labour diligently to respect and work within the protocols of local culture and customs. Avoiding a Eurocentric perspective in the field is not a matter of 'political correctness' but rather a core tenet of partnership. We recognise that requiring a local project to embrace western culture or customs is usually counter-productive and unnecessary. Developing projects with an inherent understanding of the local culture and customs, and allowing them to operate in accordance with these – except where this would breach a clear biblical principle – results in better outcomes and the avoidance of unnecessary barriers to success.

We emphasise sustainability

Dependency is the enemy of good development. We do not want our partners to be dependent on us if it is at all possible to avoid it. We are focused on helping our partnerships to be self-sustaining where we can, and a great many of them have made this transition. When we can achieve this with our partners, it generates both dignity and initiative, and means that the local community can build something over time without worrying that funding will dry up. We particularly like projects which deliver jobs to the poor, or which can stimulate local economies and self-provision through micro-loans or micro-enterprise.

While this is not always achievable, self-sustainability benefits communities hugely, and frees up funds that can then be focused on other partnerships.

We are committed to a low overhead structure

Quite simply, we want as much of the money we raise to go to the poorest of the poor. We do not want to waste one dollar on something that is not going to deliver better outcomes for the people that we are focused on assisting. Keeping this constantly in mind ensures that every expenditure decision is carefully weighed and justified.

As a result, we spend little on marketing and advertising, and instead rely on our networks of people of influence. It also means that our team is made up of volunteers who have 'caught the vision' and want to be a part of the work that God is doing through Bright Hope World. Most of our volunteers work in other roles and give part of their time, unpaid, to the ministry in addition to paying their own travel costs.

This approach is often challenging for those who have come from a secular business environment – as many of our team have – and requires a restraint and discipline that is not the norm in the commercial world. Because of this, our team members tend to be highly committed to the vision, and to serving sacrificially, which is a vital witness and sign of integrity to Bright Hope World's donors and partners.


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OUR CORE BELIEFS

Our vision of seeing the poorest of the poor become spiritually and physically self-sustaining.

Our mission is to develop and resource partnerships with indigenous people who have a vision to transform their communities.

Our values are:

- We focus on the poorest of the poor

- We invest in strategic partnerships

- We are field-driven

- We emphasise sustainability

- We are committed to a low overhead structure

At least 90% (and often 100%) of the funds we receive go to our partners in the field.