In French, it is "espoir". In Italian, "speranza", and in German, "hoffnung". And in the slums of Naguru, in our little group, we have the Arabic word "amal", the Luganda "suubi", Swahili's "matumaini", and in Rutooro, it is "kunihira". You and I pronounce it as "hope".
The Bible calls it an anchor for the soul. Samuel Johnson defines it as "the chief happiness which this world affords." Shakespeare refers to it as the only medicine for the miserable. The dictionary states that hope "is the feeling that what is wanted can be had."
We have seen each of these personified with our group of kids, and during the first year we spent with them, before the idea of creating an organization ever crossed our minds, it became a common theme in our conversations:
"I have so much hope for these children."
- spoken passionately as Claire introduced them to us for the first time
"I hope they know they're loved."
- with tears in our eyes as we learned their stories
"We just have to continue hoping for what's best."
- as we felt overwhelmed at the magnitude of it all
"This is what hope looks like."
- with glee as we watched them come out of their shells: laughing, singing, dancing
We have hope, immeasureable hope, that where they are now, the hurts they have suffered, the circumstances they were born into will not dictate their future. For "to live without hope is to cease to live."