We've been around the world, and we've visited a lot of orphanages. We've seen children outnumber their caretakers by the dozens, we've seen children live their lives in cribs, we've heard horror stories of the children we've gotten to know falling victim to abuse because of lack of supervision in orphanage style homes and many more awful things. In all of our travels, I can honestly say that we've visited one orphanage where the children are all loved and cared for sooooo well by the staff. They are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, they are not a "job". But unfortunately this place is a diamond in the rough, and most other orphanages are not so lucky.
That is why we have dedicated time and research (and travel $) to find homes for orphaned and vulnerable children that are healthy and do model a traditional family style home, called Orphanage Alternatives. Instead of one building for over 30 children with a few caretakers coming and going through out the day, Orphanage Alternatives are individual homes with a mom and 8-10 children. This is one of the healthiest models of orphan care we've found. It keeps children in their own culture with a parent from their own culture, feeling safe and loved!!!
To read more about Ophanage Alternatives that we visits, took a team of volunteer artists too, and organizations that YOU can get involved with, click on the links below!
Educational, medical, agricultural, and spiritual outreach in the mountains of Honduras
Journey with me (Kendyle!) to the mountains of Honduras – right on the boarder of Nicaragua. There lies an incredible organization, started by Allison and Jarod Brown, called Mission Lazarus. A few weeks ago, I was given the privilege of spending a week with the staff, children, and the community to learn more about their Children's Refuge. While there, I discovered the many other
programs Mission Lazarus has to care for vulnerable children and adults and completely fell in love. While their family-style Refuge for children is incredibly done, that is only a small part of what they do. I wanted to write this blog to share about both the Refuge and the many other programs throughout the community.
Our search for holistic orphan care in one of the oldest countries in Africa...
I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived in Ethiopia. All of my senses were off. It wasn’t the Africa I was used to...
Instead of sweat pouring down my face as we stepped off the plane, I reached for my zipper and secured my hoodie: it was much colder than I expected.
We were greeted at the airport by an attractive Ethiopian man, who must have been around 24. He cheerfully helped us with our bags and beamed with pride for the organization for whom he worked. What we found was beautiful...
Selamta Family Project.
We walked through the gates of Selamta (pronounced: Sa-lam-ta) to find a white poster board taped to the concrete wall reading, “Welcome #Archibald Project." We were welcomed by a peaceful staff of Ethiopians.
As everyone went around and shared their names (that I was convinced I wouldn’t remember in 5 minutes), I realized just how incredibly holistic and needed this place was.