Orphanages

New Podcast Available on Supporting Careleavers!

Careleavers are youth and young adults who transition from living in a residential care center to independent living. This transition period can be very difficult, especially when the transition occurs without appropriate planning and support often resulting in unemployment, homelessness, early pregnancies, trafficking and sexual exploitation. On this Faith to Action podcast, we interview Peter Kamau, Founding Partner of Child in Family Focus – Kenya, about his experience growing up in an orphanage. Listen and learn as Peter shares why many careleavers struggle after leaving care, the best services to offer careleavers, and resources to help those supporting careleavers. Listen Now! [...]

New Podcast Available on Supporting Careleavers!2018-12-05T13:58:58+00:00

Partnering to Find a Family for Every Orphan

A Family for Every Orphan (AFFEO) envisions a world where every child knows the love and stability of a family. To see this vision come to fruition, they partner with and provide support to Christ-centered local organizations around the globe that have developed foster care and adoption programs. Their international partners are strongly vetted to ensure organizational integrity and adherence to best practices. One of AFFEO’s international partners is a locally led faith-based organization (FBO)[i] in Southeast Asia composed of trained social workers, pastors, and a large network of churches. This partner has been operating for over 25 years, reaching [...]

Partnering to Find a Family for Every Orphan2018-03-21T17:37:44+00:00

Empowering Everyone: A Holistic Transition Process

In 2013, when Care4Kids Uganda first considered transitioning from a residential care facility to family-based care, CEO Colleen Kelley was unsure if it was the best decision. Many of the children had been living at Care4Kids since they first opened their doors in 2004. However, two key events took place that allowed Colleen to see that placing children in family care was in the best interest of the children. First, Colleen began conversations with Care4Kids’ now-parent organization, Kinnected, whose goal is to reduce the number of children in orphanages and uphold the right of children to grow up in [...]

Empowering Everyone: A Holistic Transition Process2018-03-12T18:26:50+00:00

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 Story2018-02-09T16:51:46+00:00

5 Essential Steps for Transitioning to Family-Based Care

It has been a few months since we gathered with more than 2,000 global child welfare advocates and faith-based leaders in Nashville, Tennessee at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit (CAFO2017). Attendees heard from renowned speakers, shared ideas, and asked themselves, as CAFO President Jedd Medefind put it, “what does the world need most from me?” For the Faith to Action Initiative, CAFO2017 was an opportunity to build relationships, share our resources, and host family care experts in our Effective Strategies for Transitioning to Family-Based Care workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Faith to Action’s Executive Director Sarah Gesiriech, and [...]

5 Essential Steps for Transitioning to Family-Based Care2018-12-05T14:10:11+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 Uganda2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

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 Families2018-02-09T17:16:11+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 Children2018-02-09T17:19:37+00:00

CAFO Webinar Recap: Strategies and Resources for Transition to Family-Based Care

In the last Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) webinar, Strategies and Resources for Transition to Family-Based Care, experts in advocacy, research, and hands-on experience spoke about helpful information for faith-based organizations to use as they transition from residential care to care within families. Joining the discussion were Sarah Gesiriech, Executive Director of the Faith to Action Initiative; Beth Bradford, International Child Protection Consultant with Maestral International; and Tara Garcia, Co-Founder and CEO of Identity Mission. This webinar provides practical tips and highlights free resources, including Faith to Action’s newly released Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual, to assist churches, [...]

CAFO Webinar Recap: Strategies and Resources for Transition to Family-Based Care2017-07-26T19:00:49+00:00

Identity Mission: Fostering a Continuum of Family Care Options for Honduran Children

Best practice in caring for orphaned and vulnerable children indicates the need for a continuum of care options for children currently living in—or at risk of being sent to—institutions. While a growing number of ministry leaders, practitioners, and researchers agree that children are best cared for within families, the question of what type of family placement setting looms large. One child may have living parents with whom they can reunite, while another may have no trace of a family. It is God’s inherent love for every child that compels so many to dedicate time and resources to orphans; and it [...]

Identity Mission: Fostering a Continuum of Family Care Options for Honduran Children2017-09-29T14:59:07+00:00

NEW RESOURCE: Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual

The Faith to Action Initiative is excited to announce the launch of the much-anticipated Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual. Just in time for Orphan Sunday on November 13, this manual provides practical guidance and tools for churches, faith-based organizations, donors, and others who are transitioning care for children away from residential care to care within families. This resource is aligned with biblical principles, a strong evidence base, and a growing movement within the Church that affirms the importance of family in every child’s life. The Guidance Manual provides an overview of the key concepts and steps [...]

NEW RESOURCE: Transitioning to Family Care for Children: A Guidance Manual2017-07-26T16:29:58+00:00

Reaching Vulnerable Teens Through Life Skills and Mentoring

When someone envisions orphan care and adoption, it is likely that images of babies and toddlers come to mind. However, across the globe, the group that most often remains overlooked and largely at risk are the adolescents who are on the verge of aging out of orphanages or foster care. These youth are at risk of never having the opportunity to experience the importance of being part of a family. For nearly 12 years my context has been the government-run orphanages of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. Upon moving to Ukraine in 2004, I visited several large government orphanages [...]

Reaching Vulnerable Teens Through Life Skills and Mentoring2017-07-26T16:29:57+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 Care2017-07-26T16:40:34+00:00

Building a Children’s Home? Ten Thoughts to Consider

In our work with Casa Viva, we have the privilege of interacting with a variety of people around the issues of children separated from their first families. We are deeply aware of our shared calling and common motivation to care for children in need. As people have come to us seeking insight on the particulars of 24/7 care, a list of reflective questions to consider has been slowly taking shape. We share them with you as a way to begin the dialogue on what is best for children when they need a safe place to sleep. These are not necessarily [...]

Building a Children’s Home? Ten Thoughts to Consider2017-07-26T16:29:58+00:00

Launch of New Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration

Today Family for Every Child launched the Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration, which have been endorsed by 31 organizations, including many of the largest child protection agencies in the world.  The Guidelines call for greater investment in reintegration, and advocate for it to be pursued as the primary response before other care options are considered. The Guidelines were spearheaded by an interagency group led by Family for Every Child, that was set up in 2011 and has conducted an extensive literature review and consulted with 158 children, 127 service providers and policy makers from 66 organizations across over 20 countries. Promoting [...]

Launch of New Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration2017-07-26T16:40:34+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 Transformation2018-02-09T17:18:31+00:00

Foster Care in Panama: Our Journey

Growing up in the U.S. I dreamed of moving to Africa to start an orphanage. But I met and married my husband at a young age, and in 2008 we moved to Panama City, Panama, with our then three-year-old daughter. Our new Panamanian church had a volunteer program that involved holding babies and playing with children in local orphanages. When I signed up I didn’t know anything about institutionalization (what a mouthful), attachment disorder, or alternative care. It didn’t take more than a few visits to see the children were not thriving. They didn’t respond like their peers living outside [...]

Foster Care in Panama: Our Journey2017-07-26T16:40:33+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 [...]

No Ordinary Love Ministries: Reuniting Children and Families in Ethiopia2017-09-29T15:02:23+00:00

Two Stories of Transforming Good Intentions into Best Practices

“Be brave, be fierce, be visionary. Mend the parts of the world that are within your reach. To live this way is the most dramatic gift you can ever give to the world. Consider yourselves assigned.”  ~Your Assignment by Clarissa Pinkola Estes Even without reading her words, many impassioned young people have taken the poet’s assignment to heart. When these individuals are confronted with the brokenness of the world, seldom are they content to ignore it. There comes a deep desire to restore what is broken. For many, Christians in particular, this desire is manifested in a calling to care for [...]

Two Stories of Transforming Good Intentions into Best Practices2017-07-26T20:17:44+00:00

Pivoting Methods to Create Sustainable Impact: One Woman’s Story of Transition to Family-Based Care

In the local Ugandan dialect, Akola means simply “she works.” Yet, for many Ugandan women and their families, it represents much more. Akola Project began in 2007 with the mission to empower women in poverty to transform the well-being of their families and communities through economic development. Since its start, Akola has helped create economic stability for 400 women and over 3,000 dependents in their care. This impact is possible because of a young woman’s willingness to pivot her method of achieving her calling. In 2004, Brittany Merrill Underwood, Akola’s founder, was moved to compassion after meeting Sarah, a [...]

Pivoting Methods to Create Sustainable Impact: One Woman’s Story of Transition to Family-Based Care2018-03-12T18:29:06+00:00
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