As a global health and humanitarian relief organization, we place power in the hands of health care workers to save lives across the globe. We empower health care workers to expertly implement and teach innovative lifesaving solutions in times of need and into the future.
Project HOPE began as the S.S. HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, in 1958. Over the next 14 years, the S.S. HOPE made 11 voyages to provide care to vulnerable communities around the world. Today, the spirit of the S.S. HOPE lives on in our land-based programs and in the dedication of our team members and volunteers, who work every day to empower local health care workers in communities that need it most.
For more than 60 years, Project HOPE has transformed the health and well-being of people and communities around the world. We work on the front lines of the world’s health challenges, partnering hand-in-hand with communities, health care workers and public health systems to ensure sustainable change.
Healing people. Transforming lives.
As the world’s population rises, a growing shortage of health care workers threatens to undermine incredible gains in global health. We’re building a different world: a strong and resilient global community of health care workers who practice innovative solutions in their communities — and then pass them on to others.
Project HOPE places power in the hands of local health care workers to save lives around the world. Whether training midwives in Sierra Leone, outfitting hospitals in Indonesia, or resupplying clinics devastated by disaster, we are committed to empowering health care workers with the support they need to heal people who need it most.
We also believe in long-term solutions that transform lives and communities. Ending preventable deaths of mothers and newborns. Putting an end to AIDS and Tuberculosis. Strengthening health care systems to withstand disaster. Advancing health policy that can change lives.
Project HOPE works in: disasters and health crises; infectious diseases; noncommunicable diseases; maternal, neonatal and child health; and health policy.
– In disaster, crisis and beyond, HOPE is there: providing direct health care services, equipping clinics and hospitals, training local health care workers, and delivering solutions that help people access the health care services they need.
– When disaster strikes in places like the Bahamas and Mozambique, our emergency response teams are on the ground — providing care for evacuees and supporting local health care systems through recovery.
– When mothers and babies are at risk in places like Sierra Leone and Indonesia, HOPE trains nurses and midwives with the skills they need to save lives.
– When refugees and migrants cross the border looking for a better life, HOPE supports the health systems that will take them on.
This article is about the international health care organization that formerly provided the hospital ship, SS HOPE. For the former Jewish Consumptive Relief Association and currently a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, see City of Hope National Medical Center. For other pages with a similar name, see Project Hope (disambiguation).
The Hospital ship SS Hope
Project HOPE member gives a Salvadoran boy a fluoride treatment at the Canton la Sunza school, 2008
A volunteer nurse from Project Hope checks a patient's vitals in Ghana, 2012
Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is an international health care organization founded in the United States in 1958; a humanitarian NGO, its founding and early years received strong support from private sector businesses and the U.S. government.
Industries, such as the Ex-Cell-O Corporation, used highly-publicized giving to Hope to promote their image and win business in America and also overseas. American government actors and agencies, from Eisenhower to Kennedy to USAID, saw Hope as an ideological Cold War weapon to fight communism, place America on the international stage, and garner public approval.
Its most visible project was the SS HOPE, the first peacetime hospital ship (converted from the USS Consolation (AH-15)). The SS HOPE was retired in 1974, after sailing to Indonesia, South Vietnam, Peru, Ecuador, Guinea, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Tunisia, Jamaica, and Brazil. On these voyages doctors, nurses, and technical staff provided medical care and training to people in each country visited. In its early years, there was muddling of humanitarianism with other agendas, e.g. business interests and fighting the Cold War. Although not necessarily directed by the CIA, multiple sources report that Project HOPE had been used as a CIA front organization. Charges of "shocking" American commercialism being exploited abroad by Project HOPE's administration were also levied. Project HOPE has been criticized for these conflicts of interest and noted to be "a cautionary tale for development organizations seeking mass appeal now."
The SS HOPE was not replaced, and emphasis switched entirely to land-based operations. Today there are organizations in Germany and the United Kingdom, in addition to the original organization in the United States.
Project HOPE helps different developing countries in efforts to eradicate infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. They also help educate parents on how to prevent and treat diseases for their children and themselves, and also train health professionals.
Project HOPE also sets up village health banks, which give small loans to women so they can improve their health and family's health. The village health banks also educate women on health.
Project Hope volunteer examines the hand of a Nicaraguan woman at a medical clinic at Juan Comenius High School
Project HOPE works to achieve sustainable advances in health care around the world by implementing health education programs and providing humanitarian assistance in areas of need. Project HOPE is unique among international organizations in that we have always worked across the health spectrum in a wide variety of settings, from the family and community levels to the tertiary care level, training traditional birth attendants and community health volunteers where resources are limited and cardiac surgeons and biomedical engineers where technology is appropriate. Project HOPE addresses infectious diseases, health professional education, women's and children's health, humanitarian assistance, and the need for health systems and facilities.
Project HOPE has programs in the following countries:
2005 — When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, HOPE sent volunteer medical response teams to the area, where they provided nursing care to people in need.
2006 — HOPE continues to provide aid to the people on the Gulf Coast who were hit by Hurricane Katrina. In the spring of 2006, they helped staff the U.S. Navy hospital ship, known as the Mercy, with volunteer physicians and nurses to South Asia.
2008 — Project HOPE's Chief Operations Officer, C. William Fox Jr., BG, USA (Ret.), was injured by an IED in Basra where the organization was assisting in building a new Children's Hospital.
In October 2020, the digital collectible cards company created a card with American photographer Elliott Erwitt to raise awareness for Project HOPE’s COVID-19 response. The picture on the card shows a pair of medical rubber gloves as a reminder of how exposed health care workers are and as an allusion to Project HOPE's logo. The proceeds from the sales of the card are redistributed to the organization.
PROJECT HOPE THE PEOPLE TO PEOPLE HEALTH FOUNDATION INC
BETHESDA, MD 20814-0000 | Tax-exempt since Jan. 1999
Classification (NTEE) International Development, Relief Services (International, Foreign Affairs and National Security)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.