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The HOPE Initiative

Beyond rehabilitation

From Dream to Reality

With a dream that rescued child soldiers and children orphaned by war could do more than simply survive, we envisioned their pain transformed into purpose by becoming their country’s next generation of peace leaders. Who better to lead war-torn nations toward peace than children who have survived? From this dream, The HOPE Initiative (Healing and Ongoing Peace through Expression) was created by Exile’s Founder, Bethany Haley Williams, Ph.D., LCSW.

Utilizing a three-tier, curricula-based model of (1) art-focused trauma care and counseling, (2) peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and (3) leadership development, Exile Int’l empowers child survivors of war to become leaders who will transform communities for Christ.

Christ-centered rehabilitation 

Faith is foundational to everything we do — fostering healing and hope through rehabilitative care programs addressing the needs of the spirit, mind, and body — child survivors of war are finding new life in Christ! We ensure consistent encouragement through the Gospel by hosting weekly meetings using the Practice Ministries Bible lessons.

Proven, research-based impact

Built upon research, this proven model has resulted in a 78% decrease in trauma symptoms over the course of two years. Additionally, focusing efforts on replication through graduate-led programs has proven effective with 35 of Exile’s 44 rehabilitative care programs being led by program graduates — graduates each year have the capacity and drive to replicate the care that transformed their lives. At this current rate, Exile is on target to reach the 2040 goal of providing rehabilitative trauma care to 100,000 child survivors of war.

Curricula-based model

art-focused trauma care & Counseling

Healing the Wounds of Trauma

Healing Children’s Wounds of Trauma The story and scripture-based child and teen interactive curriculum includes ten lessons addressing emotional trauma, loneliness, grief, sexual violation, questioning “why bad things happen,” forgiveness, and rebuilding life.

The Empower Program

The EMPOWER Trauma Rehabilitation Program is a highly acclaimed model designed to help people effectively recover from the stressful and traumatic effects of war, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and natural disaster. EMPOWER is based on years of professional clinical intervention and research trials worldwide (conducted by the Family Challenge Charitable Trust).


The Young Peacemaker

This curriculum teaches peace-building skills and empowers youth to understand and respond to conflict in a Biblical manner. Divided into three sections: Understanding, Responding, and Preventing Conflict, each lesson has a goal and objectives. Each lesson ends with scripture memorization and the use of drama and dance as a teaching method. Reproducible student activity sheets for all twelve lessons are included.

Exile International was the first organization to contextualize and translate this curriculum for use in Congo and Uganda.


Spiritual Leadership

Built upon the work of John Oswald Sanders, this model was specifically developed by our local Exile teams for youth who have survived war in Africa. Through mentoring and lessons on key principles of (1) Spiritual Formation (2) Character Building and (3) Leadership Skills Training, youth are empowered to become the top Christian leaders in their community. Alongside practical opportunities to grow, youth are inspired by examples of great leaders, like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., who overcame adversity to lead and inspire generations.

Ready to work

Designed and contextualized by one of Exile’s team members in Congo, the Ready for Work program teaches basic business, finance, and life skills that will help position these child survivors of war to succeed in life and relationships. It starts with basic business skills such as interviewing and keeping a job, creating a budget, life skills, and being a good steward of personal finances. This faith-based program also teaches vocational skills – equipping program graduates to implement sustainable business practices to reinvest in their communities!



If you work with war-affected youth in group settings and would like to be trained in this model, contact us at


2020 Impact Report  
Exile’s Programs












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