It is important to understand that to have a true impact on a community, the members of that community have to be the ones that truly experience change. At HGI, we work towards a goal of inspiring the people to become agents of change themselves. By doing life together we believe we can empower children, youth and adults to become those agents of positive change in their community. This is not only something we hope to accomplish in Newnan, but hope to one day accomplish in communities nationally and globally.
One major way we hope to achieve this goal is by taking the under-served youth out of their own community and into other societies that have a great need as well. Some of our current opportunities for this are travels to Nicaragua and South Dakota. While traveling in Nicaragua, teenagers have the opportunity to see other parts of the world, experience new cultures and meet new people, all while giving back to a new community. The activities in Nicaragua include hands on construction, participating in teaching children classes and events, feeding those who are in need and overall bringing hope to a community outside of their own.
Opportunities in South Dakota include being able to work closely with a sensitive community on an Indian reservation that has desperate practical, spiritual and emotional needs. We believe this opportunity is specifically eye opening because teenagers and member of local communities get to see how other people in America struggle and live a life without hope.
The importance of being able to take teenagers out of their comfort zones and into new places is that is provides them the ability to have hands on experiences that allow them to see that life is hard no matter where one is, but with hope there is always a way to change your life and the lives of those around you. The only way to truly accomplish this is by investing in our community and helping empower these agents of change so that they might spread hope at home and around the world. We truly believe that hope can change the world if people are given the chance to believe it themselves.