Gardens of Hope

Our Provident Programs

Our Programs


Providence International has matching fund agreements with five revolving loan agency affiliates around the world. All Providence microfinance donations are matched at least once by Providence’s partner affiliates, and often by foundations, trusts, and business partnerships as well. Recently, Providence received a $10,000 challenge grant from a Trust Fund that has given thousands of individuals and families the dignity of lifetime livelihoods through microfinance loans. Challenge grants like this with your gifts are now matched twice: once by the Trust, and once by our partner agencies’ constituencies.

The Human Value


For Bertha, a single-mother living in Sub-Saharan Africa, a microfinance livelihood loan meant independence and freedom. In a community where loan sharks own the majority of food carts and produce, street vendors such as Bertha are often indentured servants for life. Yet, thanks to Providence International, Bertha now owns her own cart, and is able to buy her own produce from wholesalers, allowing her to feed her family, improve their diet, and educate her young, illustrating the human value of a microfinance loan.

Creating an Opportunity


For Moldova’s Vasan Group a single $15,000 livelihood loan created an opportunity to operate a sausage factory with 28 employees earning nearly $536 apiece. In addition, a portion of the loan’s interest supports a local orphanage. 

Donor Contribution………………………………$3,750
Providence Matching Grant…………………$3,750
Livelihood Loan + Bus Network…………..$3,750

Total Revolving Capitalization…………..$15,000

Multiplying Contributions


Your $100 contribution is multiplied at least twice by foundations and partner agencies. Deposited in a revolving loan fund, managed by one of Providence’s partner agencies, your $100 does the work of $400 each year: $100 x 2 = $200/six months or $400/year. Discounting 3% for unrepaid loans (bad debt), your $100 feeds approximately 39 five-person families or 200 family members. Over 10 years, your $100 contribution amounts to $4,000 at a rate of $0.52 per person or $2.56 per five-person family. 

Cost Benefit


Conservative Cost to benefit Calculation: Your $100 feeds five to six persons per family or 40 families (240 people) over 10 years. Your cost per beneficiary is $0.42 cents per person or $2.52 per family. We call it optimal stewardship in an investment that will yield a generational life and game changing legacy. Livelihood micro-loans and savings programs give people the dignity of solving their own problems and having a future with hope.

Compelling Reasons


One of the most compelling reasons for being a Providence EndPovertyZone Champion is that your contribution is 100% reserved for the revolving loan funds that go on in perpetuity. Administrative and fundraising costs are covered by designated pledges and gifts of Providence Board of Directors and Advisory and our affiliate partners.


Worldwide Partnerships

Providence International works closely with partner agencies around the world to deliver microfinance livelihood loans to individuals and families living in poverty. Our partners include the following organizations:

End Poverty Zone


Endorsed by US Ambassador (Ret.), Tony P. Hall, and College Football Hall of Fame Coach (Ret.), Tom Osborne, Providence International has developed a successful sports-themed campaign, End Poverty Zone. With a single $100 ticket, you can change myriad lives around the world, and join the Providence Hall of Fame.  

US AMB, C, Tony P. Hall

HOF Coach, Tom Osborne

Providence Hall of Fame

Garden of Hope

Providence International’s Garden of Hope is a new beginning for at-risk individuals, helping them to become productive citizens in partnership with local employers, substance abuse recovery organizations, juvenile facilities, probationers, and parolees. 

Providence equips ex-offenders and recovery graduates for jobs in Landscaping, Horticulture, Food Production Services, and Construction with hands-on job skills training combined with mentoring, and life skills coaching. To learn more, please contact us


Riverland Park

California’s Riverland Park is a distinctive natural resource; a model park and farm of the future, it will utilize water, wind, and solar for net zero energy production. Among its distinctive features will be aquaponics, permaculture, and greenhouse technologies for healthy organic food production.

The riverfront site includes a riparian corridor of trails with native plantings, and a model state of the art organic farm. The vision for the signature park includes a riverwalk and agritourism, e.g., tour a model of healthy food production for California fruits, nuts, and vegetable crops, as well as an interpretive center offering guided educational tours.


Smart Farms

Providence International’s primary goal is employing the unemployed and providing an onramp to a future with hope, both internationally and domestically. In Northern California, Providence Smart Farms achieves this goal by clustering land and human resources, creating fair-wage, entry-level opportunities.

By creating opportunities for individuals in new and existing markets, Providence offers a replicable, scalable, and sustainable business model. By planting seeds, so to speak, both globally and locally, the organization is providing full-service support systems and technologies. Please click here to view and download a PDF outline of the smart farm program. 


Solar Donations

California is one of the top locations for solar energy production and Providence International plans to use 100% renewable energy to power its developing Riverland Park and Farm of the Future. If you work in the solar industry, or know someone who does, we’d love to work with you as we’re seeking solar donations. 

Your donation of cash, time, or materials will be put to good use as Riverland Park and its Garden of Hope will be a beacon to those in need, helping to transform lives through job skills training and appreciation for the natural world. As a sponsor, you will be recognized on this site, and free to promote the affiliation. 

Smart Farms


California Agricultural Facts

“Agriculture was responsible for creating 57,005 jobs in Northeastern CA in 2012 (16% of all jobs and 20% of all private sector jobs).  This includes 38,013 jobs directly in agriculture and an additional 18,991 jobs created through multiplier (indirect and induced) effects. Net farm income has increased by over 550% from 2000 to 2011 while total government payments have decreased by over 50%.”

– The Contribution of Agriculture to Northeastern California’s Economy in 2012, A Report by The Agribusiness Institute, College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico, Dr. Erick Houk, May 2014.

In the United States, the California’s Northern Region ranks:

  • 1st in aquaculture, forage and pheasants
  • 2nd in English walnuts, rice, Christmas trees, grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas
  • Top 10 in US regions for production of nearly all other major food and livestock groups

– Reports From the 2012 Census of Agriculture (USDA): California Congressional District 1 (Counties of Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Butte, Del Norte, Humboldt)

Agricultural Cluster Enterprises (ACE)

Cluster Development: The creation of strong local agricultural networks, including producers, processors, and distributors, depends on reliable connections. The limiting factor for farmers wishing to sell their products to local markets is whether purchasers will choose them over low-cost providers from afar. Ideally, food purchasing incorporates resilient local networks that, operating profitably, effectively respond to changing market conditions.

“If Shasta-Lassen County residents purchased $5.00 of food for home use directly from local farmers each week it would generate $89,000,000 of new farm income for the Northern California Region.

— Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center

Four Problems

  1. Ag of the Middle: Local food production has a sub-optimal impact on the regional economy: our people, our heritage, our resources, and our productivity. 
  2. Cluster Enterprises: New agricultural production is stymied, and market access restricted, without the efficiency of local economic clusters.
  3. Agricultural Food Distribution: Logistical food system inefficiencies pose multifaceted problems within our sparsely populated Northern California Region.
  4. Effective Altruism: Regional wealth and philanthropy are disconnected from local food production, the farming economy, and charitable food distribution.

Three Solutions

While not simple, the solutions integrate the local community, private assets, and public assets into a system of localized prosperity focused on farming and food heritage.

  1. Clusters:Enabling agriculture and enterprise clusters with a value chain coordinator
  2. Capital: Using a social enterprise model, bolster the food and farming economies via public and private resources
  3. Metrics:Evaluate novel distribution, production, and marketing models, measuring and reporting on their collective impact

Seven Opportunities

  1. Expanding Markets: As food production increases, markets expand.
  2. New Jobs Created: Expanding markets create new opportunities.
  3. Healthy Food Produced: Fresh, local, and sustainably harvested food.
  4. Value Added to Relationships: As people trade, relationships expand.
  5. New Dollars for Shasta County: With commerce, comes new resources.
  6. Productive Land and Human Resources: Utilizing nature and people.
  7. Increased Participation from Area Donors: More activity, more donations.

““Institutional food purchasing should be framed around the formation and maintenance of resilient locally-based, socially-affirming, professional business networks.”

— Ken Meter & Megan Goldenberg, Crossroads Resource Center


Fred A. Schluep, Director of Development, Providence Smart Farms | | phone 530-736-4964 | fax 530-690-6028

Robert L. Hancock, Founder & President, Providence International | | phone 530-243-3373 | cell 530-949-4199

Providence Smart Farms.png


Ken Meter: Mount Shasta/Mount Lassen Region Local Farm and Food Economy, July 12, 2012. Crossroads Resource Center.
Download Article

Dr. Erick Houk: The Contribution of Agriculture to Northeastern California’s Economy in 2014, A Report by The Agribusiness Institute, College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico, June 2016.
Download Article

Reports From the 2012 Census of Agriculture (USDA), California: Congressional District 1; Counties: LassenModocShastaSiskiyouTehamaTrinity; Counties: ButteDel NorteHumboldt