In honor of Giving Tuesday and World AIDS Day, your gift to Hope Through Health counts twice. Any donation made between 11/20/17 and 12/1/17 will be matched by co-founder Dr. Peter Davenport up to $6,000. Dr. Davenport explains why he still supports the organization he helped start in 2004.
I am a former Peace Corps volunteer, a Family Practice Physician, and a donor, so I am not being cynical when I say the world is littered with half-started humanitarian programs. Many well-intentioned projects fizzle after the initial enthusiasm—it is just a fact.
Programs across the globe started with excitement fall apart after too many setbacks. The odds are often stacked against these projects from the beginning, and when the enthusiasm ebbs, they can’t sustain.
Hope Through Health has consistently defied these odds for 13 years, but that is no surprise when you consider their roots.
I moved to Togo with the Peace Corps after medical school in 2004. At the time, HIV in West Africa was viewed the same way the disease had been in the United States in the 1980s. It wasn’t just a death sentence; it was also a shameful one. Many women caught the disease from their husbands, yet bore the brunt of the blame. After these women were widowed, their families would disown them. They were ostracized from their community with no means of economic support and no access to care. They were just trying to find a way to survive.
Instead of accepting this fate, they resisted it.
They fought against stigma. They fought for access to lifesaving treatment. They fought the odds with everything they had.
We did what we could to support them—trips to the capital to buy pharmaceuticals for patients, meetings to get the first HIV care center built, back-to-back shifts to provide basic care—but we were just doing what we could to keep people alive.
Today, when I see what has been accomplished, I am amazed. Working in nine clinics with 43 community health workers is inspirational. This work doesn’t just save lives; it transforms communities. Those early efforts helped remove the stigma around HIV. They helped empower women infected with HIV to become health workers and advocates themselves. It provided a means for them not only to support themselves, but to financially contribute to their home, their family, their community.
I am happy to make my contribution count twice, by matching every gift donated between 11/20/17 and 12/1/17 up to $6,000 in honor of Giving Tuesday to World AIDS Day. I hope that each of you will do the same and give today. Thank you.
Peter Davenport, M.D.
Hope Through Health Co-Founder
P.S. If you pledge a recurring monthly donation in the next two weeks, we will count the whole of your annual gift toward the match! So, a gift of $20 per month, which represents the estimated cost per capita of transforming the poorest-performing healthcare clinics in rural Togo into life-saving centers of excellence, will be matched at $240.