Teens from the Youth Development Program proudly present their proposed playground.

Bright Hope board member, Tammy Massey, shares about her recent visit to Bolivia, being inspired by a youth leadership project and what she’s learned while seeing the ministry in action.

Tammy Massey is a long-standing Ally and one of Bright Hope’s newest board members. Although she’s experienced ministry work firsthand in several countries around the world, Tammy was deeply impacted by her most recent trip to Bolivia.

One project she found particularly inspiring was Bright Hope’s Youth Leadership Development Program, which provides supervision and organized activities after school for children who have both parents working long hours. To develop leadership skills and teamwork, students are divided into groups to address problems in their own communities and work towards a solution. One group had an ambitious idea to transform their local park by designing outdoor furniture and playground equipment using trash that littered their community.

While input from children isn’t always valued highly in Bolivian culture, the principal of a local school and a few local leaders saw how useful the program was and began to help. “The mayor and school board representative promised to support the park project with money and resources,” she said. “These kids are bringing about change in their own community in a way even the adults weren’t able to do.”

When reflecting on the similarities between Bright Hope’s projects in Bolivia and other parts of the world, Tammy pointed out the focus of partnering with churches is already making a difference in their communities. “I love how Bright Hope works through local people and programs,” she said. “It’s always a consistent factor you can see…”

She also spoke highly of how Bright Hope was moving even more towards a church-centered community development model. “I was super excited to see how field staff are doing an amazing job engaging with the people they serve and caring for them,” she said. “We are providing pathways for the churches and ministries to do things themselves and we can come alongside them and support them in things they are already doing.”

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