family-preservationFamily Based Care is all the rave at any adoption/orphan conference and in any article, blog or discussion regarding orphans and adoption. There are hundreds of studies that show most children in orphanages are there because of poverty, not orphanhood. Many children we call “orphans” have some form of family that would care for them if they had the means. Strengthening families is the best way to meet the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children.

When Emma and I started C.A.R.E. Africa we agreed to do everything we could to keep kids in families. We have struggled with Family Based Care many times over the past four years and thought an orphanage would be soooo much easier. There are many positives to Family Based Care but also many negatives. The biggest negative is the lack of control we have regarding the children and their learning environment.

careboysThey go to school for 8 hours a day in a Nigerian school system where cheating is overlooked and teachers send them on personal errands during school lessons. There is no accountability regarding attendance and shame based punishment is the norm. At the end of the school day they go home to a grandma who may not know how to read or speak English. The C.A.R.E. Africa children are kept busy running errands for water, firewood, cooking and childcare such that there is no time for homework or studying for an exam. C.A.R.E. Africa has a policy that no child should be out past 7pm but we do not have the manpower to monitor all the children in our program 24 hours a day.

Two times a week we meet with our children for discipleship. In those 4 hours each week we spend intentional time with our children teaching them about Christ and Christ-like behavior. However, the other 32 hours a week are spent in a less than ideal school system. Some of our children have been accused of stealing, lying, cheating, gambling and other bad behaviors. If we had an orphanage they could start each day with morning devotions, we could guarantee they attend school and make certain they have help with their homework all while showing them the love of Christ.

An orphanage sounds so much easier, right?

But could there be a middle ground?

Something that allows the children to stay within a family but allows us more time to sow into these children. Something that helps us build good character traits and show these children what a relationship with Christ looks like. For the last four years we have wanted to know what this missing piece to the puzzle of Family Based Care is and I thank God He has revealed it to us!

Last Import - 338 of 581OUR OWN SCHOOL – 36 hours a week to demonstrate Christ’s love to these kids.

1. We will hire and train great Christian teachers that walk with the Lord.
2. We will keep the classroom pupil to teacher ratio low so each teacher can have relationship with the children.
3. We will have special classes for children that need extra help in subjects so they can regain their confidence to try and learn.
4. We will teach discipline through correction that doesn’t exasperate the child through shame and fear.
5. We will hold teachers accountable to a different style of teaching that involves discussions, questions and answers so the children can learn to think outside the box.
6. We will know that our children are attending school.

This C.A.R.E. Africa school will be free of fear and shame based learning! This C.A.R.E. Africa school will encourage children to have relationship with each other and their teachers! This C.A.R.E. Africa school will teach children confidence and encourage them to dream of a better future.

1st tutored kidsPray for the five teachers that we have hired for our school. They will come to our city, Jos, for three weeks in August for training. Their eyes will be opened to a different way of teaching and how they can truly make a difference in each child’s life at our school. This 3-week training is critical for these teachers to learn new pathways for effective and compassionate teaching. We cannot do it without financial support. Please consider sponsoring this training which will include transportation to Jos, accommodations and feeding for all five C.A.R.E. Africa teachers. Click TEACHERS to donate to their training.

Transportation is $200
Accommodations is $600
Feeding is $500
TOTAL $1,300 needed for Teacher training.

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