Orphanages/Residential Care

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 Care 2017-10-23T15:00:27+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

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

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 Care 2017-07-26T19:00:49+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 Consider 2017-07-26T16:29:58+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

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

An Introduction to Better Volunteering on Behalf of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

In recent years, a trend has been on the rise where travelers and short-term mission groups volunteer in residential care facilities with children. When traveling to economically poor countries, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the difficulties that orphans and vulnerable children face, and it is natural to want to take action, but how we engage can make a world of difference. Motivations for volunteering are diverse, and most visitors have good intentions. Many Christian groups have made these types of visits to orphanages during short-term missions trips to provide care for orphans. Other volunteers make this part of [...]

An Introduction to Better Volunteering on Behalf of Orphans and Vulnerable Children 2017-07-26T16:40:32+00:00

Out of Isolation and Into Families

In Armenia there are around 4,500 children living in residential institutions, a situation caused by the weak social protection system, an insufficient number of community-based services and lack of gate-keeping mechanisms due to overall weakness and inefficiency of the system, leftover from the Soviet Union. In the last decade, the Government of Armenia (GoA) initiated the process of reorganization of residential institutions for children and began making significant investments in the development of social services and program alternatives to residential care. However, Armenia faces multiple difficulties in sustaining various initiatives and programs, and the NGO sector and UN agencies [...]

Out of Isolation and Into Families 2017-09-12T14:38:31+00:00

Promoting Family Life, Not Orphanages

Today marks 5 years since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The earthquake left much of the capital and surrounding area in ruins in one of the worst natural disasters of modern times. Although the government said more than 300,000 people were killed, the exact toll is unknown because there was no systematic effort to count bodies amid the chaos and destruction. In the midst of the chaos, families were separated and children orphaned. Following the earthquake, teams poured in from around the world to try to help respond, making it one of the most complicated emergency responses to date, according [...]

Promoting Family Life, Not Orphanages 2017-07-26T16:40:31+00:00
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