Dear (Contact First Name)
Over the last year you have been receiving our Neighborhood Transformation Monthly News Letter.
Let me introduce you to Erin and Rebecca, one of the city catalyst teams who you helped raise up last year by your gifts. Erin & Rebecca are working together in the city of Baltimore. Erin Donovan served as a Trainer in the East Africa CHE office in Nairobi from 2002-2005 with the Assemblies of God. I had not had the pleasure of meeting her personally until last year when we were introduced at the International Wholistic Ministry Conference in Phoenix. On her return to the USA,
Erin has served as the Executive Director for the nonprofit HopeSprings (
) for the last 5 years.
HopeSprings was founded in 2007 by a group of churches with the mission to awaken, equip and engage the church to respond to the HIV pandemic in Baltimore. Through a network of churches, they train and equip volunteers to serve those infected and affected by HIV. They are working with over 80 African American churches in Baltimore and they have a high number of volunteers from these churches.
Rebecca Haworth is the newly appointed Director for Curriculum and Product Development of HopeSprings. In 2008 she had participated in a Community Health Evangelism training and employed her training working with Assemblies of God projects in Nigeria.
HopeSpring's main thrust has been in Baltimore and to a lesser extent in Washington DC, in areas where 1 in 20 people have HIV! However, they have been asked to go from a city-focused ministry to a national one by becoming involved in the 10 cities across the nation with the highest HIV rate.
In taking on the role of City Catalysts they are committing to involvement in the Training the Trainers strategy of CHE and NT. They fully understand that HIV is not just a medical disease but an issue that deals with all areas of life. Therefore they are expanding from their medical focus to a wholistic focus. Their target audience is people with HIV, and their impacted families and neighbors.
Erin and Rebecca have developed many training tools to sensitize and equip churches and individuals to those who struggle with HIV and its widespread consequences. They have also designed teaching materials on financial literacy. They use participatory techniques and are beginning the process of putting materials into the Neighborhood Transformation Learner center , participatory format. Their bottom line interest is to add NT teaching and materials rather than reinventing needed community organizing and development materials.
Erin and Rebecca team held their first Neighborhood Transformation training to introduce churches into Neighborhood Transformation in Baltimore. They are also beginning to work in a specific neighborhood where they are well known and accepted to get a good model started.