family-strengthening

How churches can learn from past viral crisis in responding to vulnerable children

This article originally appeared in The Christian Post.  As coronavirus spreads across the world, many are warning of the potential catastrophic consequences in poor countries with little infrastructure and few resources. Recent media reports from India have highlighted the challenges for the nearly 1 billion adults and children living in overcrowded slums and more attention on developing countries are expected to increase in coming weeks. World Vision recently released a report showing, “Secondary impacts will threaten many more children’s lives than COVID-19 itself.” Major funders, such as the World Bank and U.S. government, are now providing billions to help developing countries. Children in [...]

How churches can learn from past viral crisis in responding to vulnerable children2020-05-07T16:30:50-04:00

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 [...]

HOPE International: Making a Way to Respond to God’s Call to Care for the Fatherless2020-03-31T13:56:32-04:00

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 affect [...]

Challenging Heights: Platforms for Children’s Voices to Be Heard2020-05-04T13:01:31-04:00

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 Ugandan [...]

Pivoting Methods to Create Sustainable Impact: One Woman’s Story of Transition to Family-Based Care2020-03-30T13:26:12-04:00

The Role of Parent Education and Support in Strengthening Families and Improving Child Well-Being

We all know that parents and other individuals responsible for the daily care of children (usually referred to as “caregivers”) need good parenting and caregiving skills to support their children’s healthy development and well-being. Most parents and caregivers do fairly well raising their children without receiving any parenting education or external support. However, some do need it. This is particularly important for parents and caregivers with little education, who don’t have access to health and social services, and who are dealing with different stressful situations in their family, such as poverty, disability, substance abuse, domestic violence, illness and death, and [...]

The Role of Parent Education and Support in Strengthening Families and Improving Child Well-Being2020-03-30T13:02:11-04:00

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 All2020-05-05T10:43:44-04:00

New Resources Available on Strategies for Strengthening Family Care!

The Faith to Action Initiative is excited to announce the release of new resources on strategies for strengthening family care. A Continuum of Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children explains that the best way to serve vulnerable children is to strengthen the capacity of families to care for them. Family-strengthening strategies and services help address many of the root causes of separation from family care. To better understand and engage this topic, the following resources are now available for your use: Webinar 3: Strategies for Strengthening Family Care is the third in a three-part series providing an introduction to and [...]

New Resources Available on Strategies for Strengthening Family Care!2020-05-05T11:29:41-04:00

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

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 GO Exchange: Creating Jobs, Giving Hope, Strengthening Families

Makilene was an unemployed mother of six and living in extreme poverty in Haiti. She realized over time that she could no longer care for all her children, so she faced the heartbreaking decision to give up her youngest child and took her child and traveled to Port-Au-Prince. She had heard about a woman named Shelley Clay who helps children. Makilene thought she was knocking on the door of an orphanage for her infant daughter when she arrived in Port-Au-Prince, but a very different opportunity awaited her — one with hope and a future for herself and her family. [...]

The GO Exchange: Creating Jobs, Giving Hope, Strengthening Families2020-05-05T11:46:13-04:00

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