Strategies to Strengthen Families

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

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

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 Children 2017-09-29T14:59:07+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 Mentoring 2017-07-26T16:29:57+00:00

New Report on the Links Between Education and Children’s Care

Family For Every Child recently announced the launch of their report Schools that Care, which presents the key findings of a scoping study on the links between education and children’s care. The report argues that children’s rights to education and care are inextricably linked, with a loss of adequate care commonly pushing children out of school, and education systems having the potential to help prevent unnecessary family separation, abuse and neglect. It is further argued that education systems need to adapt to better support children in different forms of alternative care. The research presented in this report was led by [...]

New Report on the Links Between Education and Children’s 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

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

Launch of New Report on Cash Transfers Promoting Social Protection Work for Children’s Care

Last week Family for Every Child, in partnership with the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute for Development Studies, launched a new report on the relationship between cash transfers and protection of children by families. The research, jointly produced by Family for Every Child’s member organizations Uyisenga Ni Imanzi (Rwanda), Challenging Heights (Ghana) and Children in Distress Network (South Africa), shows that effective high-quality governmental cash transfer programs can improve children’s well-being, protection and care by their families. It also shows that poorly designed cash transfer schemes can do more harm than good. In order for cash transfers to [...]

Launch of New Report on Cash Transfers Promoting Social Protection Work for Children’s Care 2017-07-26T16:40:33+00:00

CAFO Webinar on Caring for Caregivers

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will continue their monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. This seventh webinar in the series is called “Caring for Caregivers: A Critical Component of Improving Child Wellbeing” from 2-3pm Eastern.  Research and common knowledge both suggest that the most influential relationship in a child's life is with his or her caregiver.  A strong caregiver relationship can limit the effects of trauma, increase a child's confidence and independence, and [...]

CAFO Webinar on Caring for Caregivers 2016-07-22T03:57:38+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

Potter’s House: Transformation Through Livelihood Strengthening

In the garbage dumps of Guatemala, children are born and raised in an environment that can impede human flourishing. They grow up in the middle of society’s waste, which makes it difficult to see a future beyond the desolation. In this community, family culture encourages partnering and starting a family of their own when they reach adolescence, with many children leaving formal education behind by age 12. It is not uncommon for 14-year-olds to begin living with a girlfriend or boyfriend; marriage rituals are rarely celebrated and it is the general custom not to marry. There is widespread lack [...]

Potter’s House: Transformation Through Livelihood Strengthening 2017-09-29T15:00:50+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 Ethiopia 2017-09-29T15:02:23+00:00

Supporting the Church Body to Keep Families Together

Working in partnership with local initiatives is an effective response to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Preventing family separation, and children being welcomed into new loving, safe, and stable families is what success looks like in this type of work. In communities all around the world, church partnerships play a vital role in upholding the importance of family and supporting care of orphans and vulnerable children. An organization doing such critical work is World Orphans. The US-based nonprofit works to empower the church to care for orphans by partnering with churches and facilitating direct church-to-church partnerships to support [...]

Supporting the Church Body to Keep Families Together 2017-07-26T17:59:46+00:00

Short-Term Missions Guidance Manual and Toolkit from ACCI

Our partner ACCI International Missions & Relief recently released the publication of their Protecting Children in Short-Term Missions: A Guidance Manual and Toolkit for Churches and Christian Organizations, designed for those who are passionate about missions and engaging people through short-term mission (STM) teams, and who committed to pursuing God’s heart for children and vulnerable members of society in the context of global missions. Developed in collaboration with Better Volunteering Better Care, an initiative co-chaired by the Better Care Network and Save the Children UK, the principles explored in the manual are drawn from the Bible, best practice concepts, as [...]

Short-Term Missions Guidance Manual and Toolkit from ACCI 2017-07-27T12:34:22+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 [...]

Challenging Heights: Platforms for Children’s Voices to Be Heard 2017-09-29T15:03:45+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 Care 2017-10-06T11:12:11+00:00

Bright Hope: Providing Family Support through Church Partnership

Children grow best in families. This is true whether a child is born into great wealth or extreme poverty. However, in far too many communities around the world, it is poverty that is preventing children from growing up in the care of a family. Poverty is a driving force that pushes children into orphanages or thrusts them out into a life on the streets, creating social orphans and vulnerable children. Fortunately, local churches and faith-based NGOs around the world are partnering together and responding to the needs of these children in the best possible way: supporting families to provide for [...]

Bright Hope: Providing Family Support through Church Partnership 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

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church

Roblealto Child Care Association puts families at the forefront of its work with vulnerable children in San Jose, Costa Rica. Roblealto supports a holistic approach to restore at-risk children to loving and supportive relationships with their parents and provides resources for parents to achieve self-sufficiency for their families. Roblealto’s programs include four child care centers throughout San Jose, group homes, and a youth alumni group to support and empower youth leaving their programs. Child care centers seek to prevent separation of children from their families and strengthen family support systems. They provide a quality education for children and a [...]

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church 2017-10-06T11:14:33+00:00
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