In August 2005, St. Peter's Episcopal Church of Poolesville, Maryland joined with their new friends in Richmond, South Africa to establish a partnership. Since that time, our efforts have expanded with the help of our Rotary partners to neighboring communities including Colesberg and De Aar. This partnership is called Hope in South Africa, HISA. Hope in South Africa is a global partnership that nurtures youth in the Karoo to reach adulthood as healthy, responsible, contributing citizens and leaders in their racially diverse communities.

Richmond, Colesberg and De Aar are located in the middle of the Karoo, which is part of the Kalahari Desert. These three towns are roughly halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The land is very dry, and the only real employment base is the sheep farms that surround the town. Unemployment is in excess of 70%, and the HIV/AIDS infection rate is estimated to be more than 35%. Over 15% of children entering elementary school are victims of fetal alcohol poisoning. On top of all this, the Karoo, like all of South Africa, is dealing with the aftermath of apartheid and the struggles of an emerging democracy.


  1. Partnering with local municipal governments and schools to further our projects
  2. Establishing partnerships with local churches to support our projects
  3. Partnering with nearby Rotary Clubs to support our programs and obtain funding
  4. Engaging local leaders to support HISA efforts
  5. Hiring local citizens for project work, HIV/AIDS prevention and GRS services
  6. Expanding our programs to adjacent communities
  7. Bringing community leaders within the region together to solve common problems
  8. Building a sense of community


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