My experiencing volunteering for Connected in Hope in Thailand 


Let me start by saying that if I have the chance to re-do my internship all over again, I will still choose Connected in Hope. However, I will be glad to go to any of their areas of focus, even outside Thailand.   

I came across Connected in Hope when they went to my university during career fair to talk about their volunteer program. From the very beginning that Rebecca Smith started talking, I was amazed – by the work that she does and the impact that she makes in the communities that she and her organization work with.  

After her talk, I immediately approached Rebecca to talk about an immersion program. I was so glad that I did. I am also very happy that I was assigned to Thailand where I worked in a very remote community and helped the women and children. I worked with the women in terms of teaching them how to operationalize their entrepreneurship proposals. I was so happy when a lot of them succeeded. For those who did not succeed in their first try, I helped them tweak their business proposals so that they were usually successful in their succeeding tries.  


I also helped the children, teaching the little ones how to read and the older ones with their Maths or English. I really felt that I was needed and that I was making a difference, an overwhelming feeling for a young man like me.  

Overall, their internship program was really great. I learned a lot, became exposed to the world and it opened my adult eyes to the realities that different people have to face on a daily basis. Because of this, I now know how to fully take advantage of the opportunities I have been given in order to help others.  

Helping Women and Children from the Developing World 

Hello there! We are Connected in Hope, a foundation and social enterprise based in Milwaukee which helps women and children in the developing world. Our goal is to empower women in developing countries by providing training, livelihood opportunities, and micro-financing. Meanwhile, we also work with them so that they can send their children to school.

Connected in Hope started as a small foundation established by Rebecca Smith out of her glass garage door built by Rebecca at that time went around Asia and saw first-hand how the poor people in the communities live. When she went back to the United States, she was so bothered by what she witnessed that she wanted to do what she could to help.

At first, Rebecca started with a donation drive in which she was able to get the help and support of a lot of people, tapping on her network and that of her friends and family. She brought all of the donations to Southeast Asia where she was able to work with the communities. It was then that Rebecca realized that in order for her work to be sustainable, she had to engage with the women and children.

That was when Connected in Hope began. With the help of some friends who also wanted to do good, Rebecca started working with creating programs and projects for the women and children in Southeast Asian communities. To-date, Rebecca and the entire Connected in Hope team is engaged in the following —

Empowering Women

We work with communities from the most depressed areas in Southeast Asia and provide them with the following services:

  • Micro-finance services: We provide women with available financing that they can use as capital for their entrepreneurship and micro-ventures. Women simply go to us and present their proposal. We evaluate the said proposal, tweak them for maximum opportunities and provide them with the capital necessary to run their ventures.
  •  Training: We provide all types of training available. Our training runs the gamut of gender and advocacy, capacity-building and skills enhancement. Our goal here is simply to make the women productive members of the community.
  • Livelihood opportunities: We provide women with regular access to livelihood opportunities in order to enable them to contribute to the family earnings and uplift their lives. We work with businesses, government entities, NGOs and the private sector in providing all of these opportunities.
  • Access to basic social services: We make sure that the women we work with in various communities have access to basic social services, especially health services such as access to reproductive health.

Enhancing Children’s Access to Education

We work with various stakeholders in the areas we have a presence in to ensure children’s access to education. This includes helping raise funds to build classrooms, purchase books, and computers, install laboratories and libraries and so on. We also have a donate to a library program that aims to get books from the Western world to schools in Southeast Asia.