Asia

Breaking Isolation, Empowering Families

Fifty-one percent of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 24. This is a trend found in numerous developing countries, and some see these disproportionate numbers as a potential problem. Craig Greenfield, however, saw it as a resource when he first began to look for ways to provide support for a large number of families with vulnerable children living in his Cambodian community. In typical Gospel-centered fashion where the unlikely is the likely, God is using those who are often seen as the recipients of development efforts to be the change makers. The opportunity for youth to come alongside vulnerable [...]

Breaking Isolation, Empowering Families 2017-05-09T14:22:31+00:00

Heaven’s Family: A Story of Donor Transformation

“I’d rather work in the fields of my village with my own family than live in an orphanage,” explained a Burmese girl to Philip Barker, Director of Heaven’s Family UK. She was the very first child Philip met in Myanmar (Burma) eight years ago when he visited orphanages as a child sponsor through the organization’s Orphan’s Tear Ministry. Her sentiment—along with the ever-expanding body of research on family-based care—is what compelled Heaven’s Family to radically change their approach to caring for vulnerable children. Heaven’s Family, a Christian missions organization with offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, [...]

Heaven’s Family: A Story of Donor Transformation 2017-09-29T15:00:08+00:00

Foster Care India: Redefining India’s Continuum of Care

It is perhaps human nature that we gravitate toward stories with inspiring plots and resolved endings. Those of us tirelessly advocating for vulnerable children love stories of children placed in families happily ever after. In reality, care for orphaned and vulnerable children is typically much more complex than a singular solution. As the Faith to Action Initiative explains in the document A Continuum of Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, “Preventing unnecessary separation, strengthening family care, and reducing placement in orphanages requires the existence of a ‘continuum’ of approaches and support services. Family-based alternatives range from reunification with the child’s [...]

Foster Care India: Redefining India’s Continuum of Care 2017-07-26T16:29:58+00:00

The Image of God and the Abilities of All

The United Nations declared today, December 3rd, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Around the world on this day, the abilities of all people are to be celebrated, even (and especially) those of vulnerable children. Followers of Christ believe that all human beings are created in the image of God (Imago Dei), and therefore have the capacity and the right to thrive in relationship with one another. Yet while God’s image is within all people, in many parts of the world children with disabilities continue to be relegated to the uttermost fringes of society. Particularly in impoverished communities, resources [...]

The Image of God and the Abilities of All 2017-07-26T16:31:02+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

Protecting Children in Post-Earthquake Nepal

It’s hard to visit Nepal and not be awe-struck by God’s handiwork: the soaring mountains, the fields of golden mustard, the laughter and artistry of Nepali people. Yet this same beauty has at times made Nepal particularly vulnerable to poverty and natural disaster. The mountainous topography makes infrastructure a constant challenge, and for decades scientists have been predicting a major earthquake. These vulnerabilities then breed exploitation and conflict. My first visit to Nepal in 2003 coincided with a lull in the midst of the nation’s decade-long civil war. I was immediately captivated. And I was unaware at the time of [...]

Protecting Children in Post-Earthquake Nepal 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

Children in Families: A Community Approach to Reintegration

Everyone in Kampong knows Sopheat* — his mischievous laugh, his lively personality, his story. Sopheat was among the very first children to be placed with a foster family in Kampong, a Cambodian village of sweeping rice paddies and swaying sugar palm trees. Sopheat’s street is now home to several other children living with foster families, and over the past few years their village has welcomed 35 children previously living in vulnerable situations. Children in Families (CIF) is a Christian organization in Cambodia working to reintegrate at-risk children into families. Many of these children live in orphanages after being abandoned or [...]

Children in Families: A Community Approach to Reintegration 2017-07-26T16:31:01+00:00

HelpKids Centre: Supporting the Love of Families in Sri Lanka

Family-based, alternative care for orphans and vulnerable children is on the rise in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Alison Atkinson and her husband Narel joined Australian Christian Churches International Relief (ACCI) 10 years ago, as field workers in Colombo. They established the HelpKids Centre, a local, community-based organization that strengthens local families living in slums and severe poverty. It functions as a community center, providing early childhood education, daycare support, counseling for parents, and medical assistance, supports women in accessing vocational training, and coordinates women’s and children’s clubs. The Atkinson’s approach to care for vulnerable children has changed over the years. After [...]

HelpKids Centre: Supporting the Love of Families in Sri Lanka 2017-07-26T16:40:31+00:00

Care for Children: Seeking to place one million institutionalized Chinese orphans into local family care

Lu Lu* is from Daxing, China (a suburb of Beijing) and was in institutional care from birth until he was four-years-old. When he was young, he was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and at the age of four, he was removed from institutional care and placed with a foster family. At first, the transition was difficult. He was withdrawn, had no interest in playing with toys, and would rarely speak. However, after living with his family for over three years, Lu Lu’s behavior transformed. Care for Children’s vision is for one million children in China to be moved from institutional [...]

Care for Children: Seeking to place one million institutionalized Chinese orphans into local family care 2017-02-24T18:33:25+00:00
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