PURPOSE OF THE NGO
The purpose of the association is, in France and abroad:
– Raising funds to help vulnerable populations, particularly in Africa;
– Promoting the prevention of risky behavior, particularly related to HIV-AIDS and unwanted and / or early pregnancy;
– Support and develop initiatives to fight discrimination and exclusion, using art as a prevention tool;
– Strengthen access to food, and food self-sufficiency through the development of sustainable family farming;
– Promote natural and ecological agricultural techniques such as permaculture and agro-ecology, and initiatives to protect the environment and biodiversity;
– Encourage children to adopt healthy and balanced nutrition, in particular by setting up organic vegetable gardens in schools;
– Develop north-south footbridges in order to promote exchanges and sharing of experiences;
– Support education and training to enhance equal opportunities;
– Promote actions that encourage young people to solidarity and responsible citizen behavior
Since 2003, year of its inception in Paris, Designing Hope has been building cultural and social bridges between France and several countries in Africa, supporting projects in the following areas:
-Health education, especially HIV / AIDS awareness, and prevention of early pregnancy.
-Artistic mobilization to create awareness campaigns
-Social inclusion, combating stigma, supporting the education of children in difficulty, and promoting access to income-generating activities for the most vulnerable.
-Nutrition, and access to a balanced diet, in particular by promoting family and organic farming
Designing Hope developped in projects in Southern Africa, mainly supporting HIV-positive women, through training, psychological support and income-generating activities that were initially oriented towards crafts, with the support of big names in fashion (Operations “Fashion Designing Hope”, and “Fil des Mots”) These activities helped to strengthen them psychologically, promote social integration, and self-esteem.
Artists4life project has been mobilizing since 2005 international artists to fight stigma towards people affected by HIV & AIDS. Each artist’s interpretation has brought a lot to this campaign, emphasizing the universal need for love and support, regardless of HIV status. This project gained a lot from a constant partnership with Art Paris Art Fair between 2006 and 2013 and a faithful support from UNESCO and its Goodwill Ambassador for the fight against HIV/ AIDS, Lady Cristina Owen-Jones.
Over the years, these activities have been oriented towards actions with local and social outputs. For example, desiginghope trained a women from a support group in Swaziland, supplied them with professional sewing machines and training, and set up a school uniform distribution program in South Africa and Swaziland and Zimbabwe (countries were this uniform is compulsary) targeting the most vulnerable children in 16 targeted schools in these 3 countries. This project has helped since 2011 many thousands of disadvantaged children while supporting vulnerable women.
Designing Hope has been supporting on a daily basis several nutritional programs, such as the distribution of meals to HIV-positive patients at the Piggs Peak Hospital in Swaziland since 2005, to encourage adherence to treatments, the distribution of hot meals in a Half Way House for orphans in Kwazulu Natal (South Africa) since 2006, and the supply of fresh vegetable to Bulembu Orphanage in Swaziland.
In order to provide fresh vegetables for these projects, Dessine l’Espoir has been committed since 2011 to the establishment of vegetable gardens, involving beneficiaries of its programs and demonstrating sustainable farming techniques (permaculture, agroecology, Agroforestry) targeting various audiences. These gardens have been welcomed with great enthusiasm by local communities, as these knowledges are perceived as ways to access to more balanced food at a lower cost, cultivating small surfaces with techniques saving both water and expensive and unhealthy chemicals.
Designing Hope is also committed to the “Garden Your Health” educational program, with the support of The Ivory Foundation.
The NGO has been creating educational gardens, in a hospital, in several schools, day care centers for orphans, youth centers in several African countries, which today benefit several hundred children, and raise awareness for them and their families.
This approach also aims to enable families to be self-sufficient, in a context of physical fragility, poverty, and rising prices of staple foods that promote malnutrition. The association develops pedagogical manuals for supervisors and children, according to their age range, and recipe books to encourage the consumption of vegetables from the vegetable garden combining dishes inspired by traditional recipes.
In 2016, Dessine l’Espoir launched Transgardens, a platform for exchanges creating links between the different children involved in its various local gardening initiatives in different countries. Also in 2016, the association applied for the Parisculteurs competition launched by the City of Paris, aiming to vegetate roofs and terraces on buildings of the capital. The project of the association was chosen to create a pedagogical urban garden on the terrace of the Bercy school, near the Gare de Lyon, close to its offices. This garden was inaugurated in September 2017.