Spiritual and Emotional Support

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

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

Coptic Orphans: Strengthening the Church Family

Living as a religious minority anywhere in the world can present unique challenges. It can impact daily life, impeding access to education, livelihood opportunities, and economic stability. That is what led Egyptian-born Nermien Riad to found the organization Coptic Orphans. Since its establishment in 1988, Nermien has encountered thousands of orphans and vulnerable children from Egypt’s Coptic Christian community and has seen that for children without a father, life is especially challenging. When husbands and fathers are not present, children and mothers do not have a voice in Egyptian society. Further, despite the country’s rich Christian heritage, around only 13 [...]

Coptic Orphans: Strengthening the Church Family 2017-07-26T16:40:33+00:00

CAFO Webinar on Empowering Caregivers

This Wednesday, January 13th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the fourth in a  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 webinar is called “Empowering Caregivers: Practical Parenting Training (Adolescent Edition)" and will take place on Wednesday from 11am – 12pm 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 [...]

CAFO Webinar on Empowering Caregivers 2016-01-12T16:57:56+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

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

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

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

Considering Poverty in Orphan Care

For many orphans, poverty is a common denominator. Some children become orphans because the lack of adequate food, clean water, or health care resulted in the death of one or both of their parents. Other children have been placed in the care of orphanages by living parents who cannot supply for their children’s needs because of poverty. Because poverty is a factor in so many children becoming orphans, understanding orphan care requires an understanding of poverty. In fact, the Bible beseeches us not merely to fight poverty, but to understand poverty. Psalm 41:1 reads, “Blessed is he who considers the [...]

Considering Poverty in Orphan Care 2014-11-21T13:11:05+00:00
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