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 Family2020-03-30T13:10:08-04:00

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 Institution2020-05-05T11:31:37-04:00

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 Development2020-05-05T11:27:32-04:00

Quietly Investing in the Zimbabwean Church

Where would you go if your family were on the verge of separation because you could no longer afford to feed your children? What if your support system—family, friends, community—were all in the midst of similar circumstances themselves and unable to help you? Whom would you trust? In Zimbabwe, Forgotten Voices highlights how the local church is in a unique position to support family preservation, and how this kind of work is pursued with tenacity and faithfulness. Otto Monroy, Vice President of Forgotten Voices, believes that strengthening the church is a critical approach to orphan care. Forgotten Voices partners [...]

Quietly Investing in the Zimbabwean Church2020-05-05T11:13:20-04:00

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families

For any child longing to be reunited with his or her family, the emotional and psychological hurdles can be enormous. This is particularly true for children being reintegrated with their families and communities after living on the streets—due to a range of issues, including family breakdown, death of a parent, and poverty. Street children, in some ways, live their lives in the shadows. They are often forced into unpaid labor positions or a lifestyle of begging. Yet despite the aspects of life that are largely unseen, the stigma attached to a child who has lived on the streets can [...]

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families2020-05-05T11:11:21-04:00

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 [...]

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention2020-05-05T11:08:22-04:00

The Long Road Back: Transitioning to Family Care in Rwanda

In Rwanda, an estimated 860,000 children and young people have lost one or both parents from the 1994 genocide, HIV and AIDS, or poverty. The strain that this has placed on families is overwhelming. In 2012 there were 3,300 children living in 33 institutions, commonly known as orphanages, across the country. Hope and Homes for Children (HHC), an organization working to place vulnerable children in family-based care and prevent institutional care for children, is partnering with the Rwandan government, UNICEF, and other partners to transition children out of all 33 institutions and into loving, stable, safe families. As of [...]

The Long Road Back: Transitioning to Family Care in Rwanda2020-05-05T11:02:53-04:00

The Jubilee Centre: Transforming Zambian Communities through the Local and Global Church

In 1999 Lawrence and Martha Temfwe founded the Jubilee Centre in Zambia. The center empowers and trains churches in under-resourced communities to give integral care to all people — especially orphans and vulnerable children — and bring change to their communities. Currently, they are serving over 94 churches and have a staff of 13 people. Zambia has a great need for community-based orphan care. “Zambia has a long road ahead,” says Lawrence Temfwe. In this country, over 1,700,000 are orphans and vulnerable children, which is 12 percent of the population, and nearly another two million are considered vulnerable. Orphans [...]

The Jubilee Centre: Transforming Zambian Communities through the Local and Global Church2020-05-05T11:43:55-04:00

World Relief: Savings for Life

Margret unexpectedly found herself as the sole breadwinner for her five children — three girls and two boys. She was overwhelmed and left with little hope. “It was as if all the gates and doors of hope in life for us were closed leaving us in a dark room,” she said. Her oldest daughter Mwende had just become a candidate to advance in Kenya’s primary school with the hope of continuing secondary education the following year. However, Margret struggled to make ends meet by going from house to house looking for cleaning jobs. The idea of Mwende actually going to [...]

World Relief: Savings for Life2020-05-05T13:47:27-04:00

God’s Word: The Heartbeat of Love for the Orphan

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 Where in the world today is the church responding to the orphan crisis? Ethiopia, home to one of the largest orphan populations in the world, has over five million orphaned and vulnerable children. Bethany Christian Services (BCS) is answering that call by using the power of God’s Word to support local Ethiopian Christians to provide loving homes for children in [...]

God’s Word: The Heartbeat of Love for the Orphan2020-05-05T13:46:48-04:00

Bopoma Villages: Strengthening Rural Zimbabwean Communities

Bopoma Villages is a faith-based organization providing clean water, food security, and orphan care in Zimbabwe. Strengthening a community strengthens families within it, and this organization is able to provide direct and indirect care for orphans and vulnerable children within their communities and families. Bopoma Villages works in 10 villages in or just outside of Zaka, a rural area of Zimbabwe. Unemployment in this area is estimated to be over 80%. Many children and families lack the most basic necessities and live in severe deprivation. Child-headed households and those headed by elderly grandmothers are common. Bopoma Villages works in [...]

Bopoma Villages: Strengthening Rural Zimbabwean Communities2020-05-05T13:38:39-04:00

Bethany’s Foster-to-Adopt Program

The family unit is at the core of African culture and society; decisions are family decisions and the emphasis is placed on the collective will rather than the individual. When a child becomes an orphan because of poverty, war, death, illness, or some other cause, relatives will often take in a child. However, the idea of taking in a child who is not from one’s own family or tribe is a newer concept. Ethiopia, home to 80 million people, has over 5 million orphans or vulnerable children. The government child welfare system in Ethiopia is still in its early stages [...]

Bethany’s Foster-to-Adopt Program2020-05-05T13:35:55-04:00

A Family of His Own

He has one of those personalities that you can’t forget. His nickname “Pastor” came from his love of standing up surrounded by a crowd of his peers preaching from the Bible. Captain America or Iron Man might even at times make an appearance on the Sea of Galilee. Nine-year-old Jason, brings a continual joy and laughter to those who know him. Although Jason’s joy is palpable, the road in his short life has had its share of challenges. Born to a mother with schizophrenia, Jason suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome, causing behavioral and learning disabilities. Because [...]

A Family of His Own2020-05-05T13:28:26-04:00

Responding to the Ebola Epidemic

With the largest Ebola epidemic in human history continuing to unfold before the world’s eyes, we have seen the toll it has taken on many aspects of several West African nations. Death is only part of this tragedy. With nearly 5,000 deaths and rising, the question demands an answer- what does this mean for children impacted by this epidemic? According to UNICEF, more than 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola since the outbreak’s start, with over half of these cases coming from Liberia alone. These numbers [...]

Responding to the Ebola Epidemic2020-05-05T13:21:58-04:00