Brief History & Our Founders Story
From humble beginnings…
Made With Hope (MWH) started through the vision of Eleanor Riley in early 2013. After her undergraduate studies at Leeds Metropolitan University and whilst working full time, Eleanor would use her evenings to spend time utilising her craft skills and love for recycling to upcycle bits and bobs to create products including lamps, footstools, clothing, photo frames to sell or donate. Eleanor would ask people for small donations to help her buy the material and believed that 100% of the profits should be given to small charities where she felt she the money would make a difference. She used the brand Made With Hope, which played on the term ‘Made With Love’ which is often associated with handmade products but incorporated Eleanor’s middle name, “Hope”. Eleanor soon realised that her customers loved her message of 100% donation and this was when Eleanor became interested in public’s crave for donation transparency.
From her own research, and her exposure to poverty during her travels in South America, Eleanor became more interested in helping the poorest people in the world as she felt so lucky for the life she had just because she was born into a certain country that could give her immediate access to amazing opportunities like free education, healthcare and support from government services or charities.
Researching more into poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, she visited Tanzania on a 2 month volunteer programme teaching in a school in Arusha with the intention of coming back with her own project that she could really get her teeth stuck into, challenge herself and make a difference to the poverty-stricken lives of those she was learning about. Eleanor interviewed several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in Tanzania who she saw as possible partners to support her project and she was determined to not become too involved in the frontline work as she felt that locals should be at the forefront of developing their own communities.
During this trip, Eleanor visited Nadasoito, a very rural community located 11km outside of Arusha City with a population of about 1000 people, the vast majority living in poverty. There was no electricity or public transport, barely any shops, poor job opportunities and limited access to water. At this time she visited a local NGO in the name of CHETI and had recently built 5 primary schools, a residential home for vulnerable children and just helping as many children as families as they could in the community. She saw the difference this was making to children’s lives, the trust they had within the community and wanted to support CHETI in helping more poor children.
A partnership was set up for Made With Hope to listen what the community wanted through CHETI NGO and it was from November 2013 that this collaboration existed in the attempt to create projects together that would improve the lives of children living in rural Tanzania.
Fundraising as a new charity with limited resources and a network of mainly students in debt meant that Made With Hope’s first target of £20,000 was a huge amount for them to reach. But, Eleanor and friends and family chipped away at this target to build another residential unit for vulnerable children. After 18 months, Made With Hope raised their first £5,000, which allowed them to register as a charity in February 2015. Now legally operating as a Charitable Company, more opportunities started to be created for Made With Hope as it gave the public assurance that Made With Hope was serious about the goals they were trying to reach.
An interview with Eleanor
Why did you feel like you needed to make a change and help children living in poverty?
I’ve had a pretty good childhood – few ups and downs along the way like everyone. I’ve always had access to a tap where clean water comes from, I went to school for free and I always knew where my next meal was coming from. I’ve always felt that the one thing I’m really good at, is helping people, so I guess I’ve always been on the lookout for opportunities to get involved in great causes.
I first became interested in poverty in developing countries by seeing those sad TV adverts that show poor children with “no hope”. I didn’t feel comfortable watching them and I wanted to research more into poverty in these countries and find out what it was really like, away from multi-million-pound marketing schemes. At 18 years old I went to University and this is where I could let my thoughts wander more freely and allow myself to explore why there were still some people living without basic necessities when I had access to them so easily, just because I was born in a certain country. And this is when I started to realise I really needed to do something about this global unfairness. I began Made With Hope because I just didn’t feel okay with knowing that there were children out there that didn’t have the things I see as basic necessities – food, water, education and shelter. I couldn’t believe there was still a third of our whole world living in poverty in 2013. This imbalance made me upset and angry at first. I sometimes struggled to be around materialism and possibly caused a few awkward moments with friends about being grateful for what they had. But, after pondering over it for a couple of years, I decided to channel this energy into creating projects that help children get out of poverty and make a life for themselves. My mission was to try to rectify some of this global imbalance.
Why did you set up Made With Hope as a charity?
When researching into the charity sector I found the public were tired of not knowing where their donation was going. I believe that we can actually end poverty in our life time. To do this, to get everybody to help, they need to feel they can trust the charity they’re donating to. Hence we created our 100% Donation Prophecy, which guarantees 100% of your donation will go to our projects in country.
What makes Made With Hope different?