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Project HOPE Awarded $25,000 Grant from FedEx to Support Initiatives to Improve Health of Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa

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MILLWOOD, Va., July 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE, an international health and humanitarian assistance organization, has received a $25,000 grant from FedEx, the global shipping and logistics firm, to strengthen global health programs designed to improve the health and quality of life of communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The funding will be used in Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, where Project HOPE has been implementing innovative economic and health initiatives that address the link between poverty and health.

"The HOPE initiative aims to strengthen community-based, comprehensive care by providing health education and innovative strategies for addressing the economic vulnerability of individuals, families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS," said Steve Neri, Regional Director for Africa at Project HOPE.

A portion of the funding will be devoted to program activities in Mozambique, including the development of Village Savings & Loans groups, which offer group savings opportunities, providing loans and micro-credit mechanisms to support vulnerable households and offering financial literacy services to families to improve their ability to take care of themselves.

In Namibia, Project HOPE is strengthening the quality of health services available to orphans and vulnerable children and also building the financial capacity of households and communities caring for these children. The grant will support a program which includes targeted education, health care, and economic strengthening activities such as business skills training, and connects vulnerable youth to vocational training. It is expected that 19,000 orphans and vulnerable children will be reached over the course of the project.

The FedEx grant will also enhance the work of the HOPE Center in South Africa, which was established by Project HOPE to address the growing burden of chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. In Sub-Saharan Africa diabetes was once rare, but today it is estimated that more than 12 million people are afflicted with the disease in this region. On the outskirts of Johannesburg, the HOPE Centre is currently addressing the needs of more than 1,040 patients at risk of developing or living with diabetes and hypertension and working to increase access to diagnostic and treatment services, as well as diabetes prevention and disease management through support groups. By expanding its services to include Village Savings and Loans groups and saving mechanisms, HOPE is playing a crucial role in the fight against this pandemic by teaching prevention and disease management to save lives and potentially spare young generations from adopting poor eating and lifestyle habits.

"FedEx is proud to support Project HOPE's efforts to help build stronger communities by giving them access to innovative health education and economic solutions that address some of the world's most critical health challenges," said Tabatha Stephens, FedEx Manager of Corporate Contributions & Volunteers.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries. www.projecthope.org

CONTACT: Geraldine Carroll Tel. +1-54-257-3746 Email: gcarroll@projecthope.org

Source: Project HOPE