Seeds of HOPE

University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Two women cooking together in a kitchen

A Prevention Research Center Tool Showing Evidence of Effectiveness


Seeds of HOPE (Health, Opportunity, Partnerships, Empowerment) is a community-based intervention that helps low income, rural, southern women improve their health through setting goals, planning ahead, and focusing on solutions. The program addresses not only lifestyle, but also social and economic factors that lead to obesity and poor health. Using an American Indian framework, peer leaders gather women from existing social networks into Hope Circles. The groups discuss healthy eating, physical activity, weight control, and stress, as well as money management, education, and job skills. A HOPE Circle Leader Manual includes lessons for 24 two-hour sessions, held twice a month. The Seeds of HOPE Journal provides key information and space for participants to take notes.


According to one study, women completing 12 HOPE Circle sessions exercised 25 minutes more per week and saw an average weight loss of 4.5 pounds. In contrast, the comparison group exercised 32 minutes less per week and lost only .4 pounds. For 80% of the participants, Seeds of HOPE led to improved health behaviors, and 74% said it helped them reach life goals.1


Download the printable Seeds of HOPE [PDF – 861 KB] web page.

  1. Campbell MK, Benedict S, Gizlice Z, Kelsey K, t al. HOPE works: A community-based obesity intervention addressing social determinants as underlying factors. Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education. 2012; 2:154. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000154.