PROJECT HOPE: Former Miss Oklahoma tells Rotarians about helping children
Tom Fink Staff Reporter
Co-founders of Project Hope Worldwide, Kelley Compton and Derk Madden, were guest speakers Tuesdays Rotary Club luncheon, telling members about their organization and how it serves to provide hope and opportunities for defenseless youths in Uganda.
“It’s an honor to be here today to be able to share with you a little bit about what Project Hope is, what we’re doing, how it got started and maybe ultimately, how you can get involved as well,” said Compton.
“I have to thank you for being a community that invests back in its people, back in its youth.
“I have experienced first-hand what it’s like for a community to invest in their generation of children — I’ve had endless opportunities, college opportunities, to be who I am and to pursue the things I want to pursue,” she said.
“I mention this as I’ve seen communities which haven’t invested in their young people, communities where the younger generation is neglected and how it affects both the community and even the nation.
“Four years ago, I experienced it for the first time when I visited Uganda — “I experienced it through two little girls I met when I was doing mission work — my heart completely went out to them,” she said. “Being a girl and seeing these girls and how they really had no opportunities to do what they might want to do, truly affected me. The only opportunities before them were for them to see how many children they could one day have for a man.
“There are so many children in the world — girls and boys ‚ who are living lives of desperation, without hope. That’s why (pastor) Derk (Madden) and I founded Project Hope Worldwide, that’s why we exist,” she said. “We exist to redeem the most vulnerable in the world, to give them the opportunities in life that we in America experience every day.”
Compton then showed Rotarians a brief video clip about Project Hope Worldwide, after which, she took questions from the audience.
“We’re about transformation — transforming lives,” she said.
“We’re not just about giving these children food and shelter, we’re about giving them the best of the best, equipping them with the education and the resources to be able to pursue their own dreams. That’s what we’re about.”