Africa

A Father to Tie Her Shoes: A Ugandan Pastor’s Adoption Story

In 2014, then just a baby, Andaiye* was found abandoned in a drainage ditch in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. After she received medical treatment, it was determined she was HIV positive. She was referred to Child’s i Foundation’s Malaika Family Centre, a short-term transitional shelter for children, while social workers began searching for Andaiye’s family. Through local radio and newspaper ads, social workers with Child’s i Foundation are often successful in finding a child’s birth family, as reunification, when safe and appropriate, is the preferred option along the continuum of family care. Andaiye’s family, however, could not be located. [...]

A Father to Tie Her Shoes: A Ugandan Pastor’s Adoption Story 2017-09-21T17:23:51+00:00

Better Together for Children and Families in Uganda

The crested crane is a symbol of pride in Uganda. It is both the national bird and the name of Uganda’s most popular sports team—the Uganda Cranes. There is, however, another organization with a national reach utilizing this symbol. CRANE, also known as the Children at Risk Action Network, is an organization based in Kampala, Uganda that utilizes the strength of networks to catalyze best practices in working with vulnerable children and families. CRANE consists of 134 churches, schools, and faith-based organizations (FBOs) that span the entire country. Members of CRANE benefit from a shared vision and support from the [...]

Better Together for Children and Families in Uganda 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

The Pathway Home

Each child living on the street in Jinja, Uganda has a unique story, but many of their stories have similar themes. Broken homes, poverty, abuse, neglect, and addiction are common threads. And many of these children have something else in common—a family who loves them—and if provided with the appropriate supports, these families could welcome their children home. The passionate and well-trained staff at Jinja Connection run a day program open to children and youth who live on the street. Their goal is to walk with each child, at his or her own pace, never forcing or demanding, but encouraging [...]

The Pathway Home 2017-07-26T16:19:57+00:00

Five Lessons Learned Through Global Church Partnership

Global church partnerships are an exciting idea, but pursuing a genuinely reciprocal relationship across the world can be challenging. Pulpit Rock Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been partnering with World Orphans for three years to support a local church in Leku Keta, Ethiopia in caring for the vulnerable children there—single or double orphans living with one parent or without a birth parent in an informal foster family. Local volunteers in the Leku Keta Kale Heywet Church visit these families regularly to check on the children and their family’s overall wellbeing, provide support, and recommend services. They receive “home-based” care, [...]

Five Lessons Learned Through Global Church Partnership 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

Expanding a Vision of Care for Kenyan Children

After years of caring for vulnerable children within a residential setting, Vision Africa, a faith-based organization in Kenya, expanded their vision by adjusting their strategies to support the healthy development of children in families. Vision Africa was founded in 2001 by John and Vera Packard in response to the overwhelming needs of the children they encountered in the community as they administered a children’s home in Nairobi. Initially, they took on the management of two children’s homes from an organization that was unable to continue their administration. John and Vera’s granddaughter, Deborah Kimathi, eventually took over leadership of the organization [...]

Expanding a Vision of Care for Kenyan Children 2017-09-12T14:32:08+00:00

Noonday Collection: Strengthening Families through Fair-Trade Business

If you were to journey across the ocean to Uganda and enter a lively artisan workplace filled with the sounds of chatter and fluttering fingers rolling colorful paper beads, you would meet Olivia. Olivia’s story is not unlike those of other women in the room. Just two years ago, Olivia was a single mother unable to find consistent employment. Out of sheer desperation, she was on the brink of sending her beloved daughter Rachel to an orphanage. Herself an orphan and survivor of exploitation, Olivia felt that she had no other options that would provide Rachel with the care and [...]

Noonday Collection: Strengthening Families through Fair-Trade Business 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

HOPE International: Making a Way to Respond to God’s Call to Care for the Fatherless

In southern Rwanda, Jean Marie and his wife own and operate the only restaurant in their small town. They also have a successful farm producing an abundance of crops. Their newfound financial stability has allowed the couple to support 11 orphans in addition to their own 5 children. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a young widow named Mama Atiya has a thriving fish business that has granted her financial security, allowing her to adopt 4 orphans from her community into her family and making her the mother of 10 children. Yet just a few years ago, Jean Marie and [...]

HOPE International: Making a Way to Respond to God’s Call to Care for the Fatherless 2017-07-26T19:00:49+00:00

Following God’s Lead: My Journey into Family-Based Care

Journeys in life rarely take a straight path, and my journey into orphan care is no exception. Yet, God promises that if we trust in Him, he will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5–6). In my case, God’s directing was a U-turn. In 2010, I signed up to go on a short-term mission trip to serve at an orphanage in Zambia. Five years later, I found myself in Uganda empowering local churches to support vulnerable children and their families, advocating for family-based care rather than the use of orphanages. When I signed up to serve at the orphanage in Zambia, I [...]

Following God’s Lead: My Journey into Family-Based Care 2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

When a Mother Embraces Hope

Every day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, there are mothers who rise in the Kore’ slum not knowing what they will feed their children, how they will provide for their basic needs, and if they will find work for the day. This reality is especially true for the multitude of single mothers with little or no help from family members. Without support, work is a daunting task, as access to childcare is out of reach for most. However, for some women in Kore’, this is changing through the work of Embracing Hope Ethiopia (EHE). In 2011, Jerry and [...]

When a Mother Embraces Hope 2017-09-12T15:09:36+00:00

Gatekeeping in Thailand: Reinforcing God’s Design for Family and Protecting Children

Along the Thai-Burma border are communities fraught with poverty and filled with families struggling to survive. The communities mostly comprise people who fled Burma due to decades of violence and oppression. Their children, stateless and without citizenship or official identity, are at high risk of exploitation, chronic poverty, abuse, and human trafficking. Yet, in the midst of this brokenness is a group of people who, choosing to follow Christ’s example, enter into their neighbors’ suffering and work to bring about restoration and hope. This group is the community outreach team of Compasio, a Christian relief and development organization focused on [...]

Gatekeeping in Thailand: Reinforcing God’s Design for Family and Protecting Children 2017-07-26T17:58:54+00:00

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia

In 2015, 158 children were reunited with their families through the work of No Ordinary Love Ministries (NOLM). The mission of NOLM is “to bless and serve people living in extreme poverty in Ethiopia, and beyond,” and one of the ways they live this out is through reuniting separated children with their families. One such family is that of a young girl named Tesfanesh. Wanting to help support her parents, she agreed to travel from her village to the capital to find employment. After only a week in Addis Ababa, Tesfanesh ran away, unable to endure the demands of her [...]

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia 2017-07-26T17:59:27+00:00

Challenging Heights: Platforms for Children’s Voices to Be Heard

Jesus was quick to say, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them” (Matthew 19:14). His words were countercultural in a time and place when children’s voices were rarely heard; His words continue to provoke our thoughts and actions as we engage with children, especially those most marginalized. The Faith to Action Initiative recognizes the need to create platforms for children’s voices to be heard as one of its core guiding principles: “It is important to listen to the voices of children and families, respond to their concerns, and involve them in meaningful decisions that affect [...]

Challenging Heights: Platforms for Children’s Voices to Be Heard 2017-07-26T18:00:03+00:00

Better Care Network Launches a New Online Community of Practice for Eastern and Southern Africa

Better Care Network (BCN) recently launched its new online community of practice, Care To Practice: supporting children's care practitioners in Eastern and Southern Africa. This online collaborative is designed to support practitioners who are working on family-strengthening and children's alternative care in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. Since 2013, BCN has been collaborating with a number of regional and national organizations and bodies to support family-strengthening and improved alternative care for children in Eastern and Southern Africa through its Regional Initiative on Children without Appropriate Family Care. This online community of practice was developed in response to calls from [...]

Better Care Network Launches a New Online Community of Practice for Eastern and Southern Africa 2017-07-26T16:40:33+00:00

A Place to Call Home, A Person(s) to Call Family

Millions of children in Africa are growing up in orphanages, residential care centers, and children’s homes. Most of these institutions identify themselves as “homes” and “family” to these children. But are these residential care institutions really “home” or “family”? I grew up in an institution, and it didn’t feel like a family and I didn’t have the feeling that I was home. On the contrary, the place gave me a feeling of emptiness, uncertainty, and confusion. My two siblings (younger sister and older brother) were taken to a hospital, then to an institution after our mother was killed. On her [...]

A Place to Call Home, A Person(s) to Call Family 2017-01-20T13:07:37+00:00

Finding Life After Institution

In Kenya, a movement of remarkable new leaders is working to assist young adults who have aged out of institutions and are trying to find their way in life. This network of people is the Kenya Society of Careleavers (KESCA) organization, “by and for adults (18+ years), who spent all or part of their childhood in children homes, orphanages, and/or rehabilitation centers.” The systems that “raised” them often provide no mechanisms for navigating life after they leave the institution, and with no familial support network, life can be devastatingly bleak. Magnifying this is a culture in which family and community [...]

Finding Life After Institution 2017-07-26T16:31:01+00:00

Strengthening Children and Families Through Agricultural Development

Roots. They dig deep into the soil, drawing up water and nutrients so the rest of the plant can flourish and bear fruit. If roots are infected, or too shallow, or lacking essential nutrients for survival, the entire plant will become susceptible to disease and fail to thrive. Similarly, children rooted in chronic poverty are far more susceptible to exploitation and abuse. When we talk about the root causes that create vulnerable conditions for children and orphans, we often have to dig deep into the brokenness lying beneath the soil’s surface. While digging into the soil of my neighborhood in [...]

Strengthening Children and Families Through Agricultural Development 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

Quietly Investing in the Zimbabwean Church

Where would you go if your family were on the verge of separation because you could no longer afford to feed your children? What if your support system—family, friends, community—were all in the midst of similar circumstances themselves and unable to help you? Whom would you trust? In Zimbabwe, Forgotten Voices highlights how the local church is in a unique position to support family preservation, and how this kind of work is pursued with tenacity and faithfulness. Otto Monroy, Vice President of Forgotten Voices, believes that strengthening the church is a critical approach to orphan care. Forgotten Voices partners with [...]

Quietly Investing in the Zimbabwean Church 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families

For any child longing to be reunited with his or her family, the emotional and psychological hurdles can be enormous. This is particularly true for children being reintegrated with their families and communities after living on the streets—due to a range of issues, including family breakdown, death of a parent, and poverty. Street children, in some ways, live their lives in the shadows. They are often forced into unpaid labor positions or a lifestyle of begging. Yet despite the aspects of life that are largely unseen, the stigma attached to a child who has lived on the streets can be [...]

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention

My name is Deborah. I am 23 years old. Less than a year ago, I was standing at the gates of an orphanage about 15 minutes away from Abide. I had my two daughters with me, Lydia and Martha. My husband died in a traffic accident when Martha was only 18 months old. After he died, I looked everywhere for a job. My landlord had finally kicked us out because I was six months behind on rent. He was generous to let us stay that long. That day, I decided to take my girls to an orphanage. I stood with [...]

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

The Long Road Back: Transitioning to Family Care in Rwanda

In Rwanda, an estimated 860,000 children and young people have lost one or both parents from the 1994 genocide, HIV and AIDS, or poverty. The strain that this has placed on families is overwhelming. In 2012 there were 3,300 children living in 33 institutions, commonly known as orphanages, across the country. Hope and Homes for Children (HHC), an organization working to place vulnerable children in family-based care and prevent institutional care for children, is partnering with the Rwandan government, UNICEF, and other partners to transition children out of all 33 institutions and into loving, stable, safe families. As of December [...]

The Long Road Back: Transitioning to Family Care in Rwanda 2017-02-24T19:03:25+00:00
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