Archive for the ‘Child Sponsorship’ Category

By Jolene Eicher,

Over the next few weeks, we want to share C.A.R.E. Africa’s core values with you. We hope it will resonate with similar values you use in your own life and that of your family/friends.

EMPOWER
Empower describes the process of change wherein an individual with a prior inability to choose has the access and freedom to make choices (Kabeer, 2005).

The solution to slowing poverty isn’t about how much money you can give or about inserting western interventions. It’s about providing people with the tools to build their own better future.

Here are some empowering tools C.A.R.E. Africa is providing:

EDUCATION
Over the past 7 years, we have provided orphaned and impoverished children with an education that gives them opportunities to become future leaders in their country and across the world. We equip them with biblical values and basic skillsets needed to become strong, independent young adults.

The SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
This allows some of C.A.R.E. Africa’s most promising students to continue their education through the post-secondary level. This higher education provides them with skills needed for life-altering employment so they can lift themselves and their family from the depths of poverty. Once selected, scholarship students receive full financial support including tuition, books, room and board, clothing, requirements, and health care.

VOCATIONAL TRAINING and MICRO-FINANCE
The empowerment of vocational training such as tailoring, barbering, and computer/information technology provides success in a challenging economy. It is ideal for those students who are looking for a way to become gainfully employed in a small business.

Bank loans are almost impossible to obtain. C.A.R.E. Africa provides micro-finance loans to young adults and the women of C.A.R.E. Africa. We become “the bank” and provide the loan to start and grow small businesses. Small businesses are the lifeblood of African economies and a significant way to empower those looking for a way out of poverty.

Hopefully, you can now understand why EMPOWER is the first of the four core values in the mission objectives of C.A.R.E. How we are empowering the children and women of C.A.R.E. is not much different than what we do with our own children, family and friends to help them secure a successful future.

View all empowerment programs at https://donate.icareafrica.org/projects

We are so excited to announce that we have the opportunity to send items to our kids, caregivers and staff at C.A.R.E. Africa again. We have several bags that can be filled with needed items. We do our best to buy everything in country to support the local economy and Nigerian business owners. The items on our list are either hard to find our the quality is very poor and we end up having to replace the items several times throughout the year.

If you would like to help fill the bags, visit our Amazon list here. https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/37CK4SE2YMS3Q/guest-view

Send a package to your sponsored child! Email diana@icareafrica.org for the address to send your package.

I remember sitting in church as a kid in the early 90s, listening to a missionary discuss their life in Africa while flipping through a slide reel of pictures. I don’t remember anything they said, just the feeling of fear and dread that God wanted to punish me enough that one day I would have to go to Africa. That night and for years to follow, I begged God to never make me go to Africa. I’d do anything else.

Then in the spring of 2014, I felt the wind blow in a different direction. The Miles had sold all their stuff and moved to Nigeria six months prior. I felt my curiosity suddenly outweighing my fear. It now seemed as if maybe God had a gift waiting for me rather than a punishment. I wanted to visit friends. But I also felt a new and unfamiliar tug. An exciting invitation. A “just you wait and see…”

Since that first trip with Stephen in 2014, I’ve traveled back to Nigeria 3 more times, with another trip scheduled for later this year. I am now eager for each next chance to go to Africa.

When C.A.R.E. Africa first began, Patrice asked if I would attempt to sell some jewelry participants had made. Having no experience in sales, marketing, promotion, or distribution, I said, “Sure!” We bought a tent and tables. Stephen’s sister used sharpies to draw a poster board sign, and we began vending at farmer’s markets in Louisville, KY.

C.A.R.E. grew into a full-blown ministry in Nigeria with many facets, including a seamstress training program that creates numerous products including clothing, handbags, jewelry, and aprons. Our garage transformed into an “Amazon Fulfillment Center,” stocked with shelves of sorted boxes of products, market display items (many built by Patrice’s stepdad), and shipping supplies.

Miraculously those early days of stumbling through the unknowns have grown into a vibrant display, a band of faithful volunteers, return-shoppers at markets, a requested presence in missions conferences, an Etsy store, and $20k in sales for 2021.

I found my passion and purpose in that vendor booth. I could not sell just anything. But I have the incredible luck to showcase vibrant products which tell a beautiful story that I believe in with my whole heart. And I love the human element of a market: crowds of unique characters with personalities as varied as the fabric prints. It helps open my heart to the patchwork of people required to build a solid community.

As if my life managing product sales wasn’t charmed enough, in 2021 I was offered employment with C.A.R.E. as the Sponsorship Coordinator. I am having so much fun getting to know the kids and sponsors more. It is an honor to facilitate communication and relationship internationally! Sponsors are partnering with C.A.R.E. to educate, disciple, and nurture more than 70 kids in Nigeria. I update sponsors on life in Egbe including new pictures, report cards, home life, plans for college, and achievements. I also relay communication from sponsors back to Egbe staff and students.

Other facets of this role include advocating for sponsorship and monitoring financial transactions. After an end-of-year audit, we verified that 99% of child sponsorship donor dollars go directly to care and supplies for the children and their families!! Around every turn, I continue to find the efficacy and integrity of this organization are top tier.

What a thrill ride I’m on. I’d like to go back to tell little Diana she doesn’t need to be afraid; there’s so much to look forward to.

ADVOCATE * INVEST * EMPOWER * SERVE

Millions of Nigerian students are disappointed every year because they cannot attend university.  Not because they didn’t study hard enough for entrance exams, but because there isn’t enough room for all of them and it’s not affordable for most. 

74% of Nigerians that apply for higher education will be denied. Only 1 out of 4 will have the opportunity to go. WHY?

The US has over 5,000 higher education institutions to service a population of roughly 319 million.  Compare that to Nigeria who has around 150 universities to service a population of 180 million people, 62% of them 24 or younger.  There is simply not enough universities  in Nigeria to accommodate the growing student population. 

If a student is accepted, the school fees can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per year, for federal, state, or private university.  For a country with an approximate minimum wage of $57 a month (about $2 a day) it is clearly impossible for most families to to send their children to university.  

We are fortunate to have six students in higher institutions in Nigeria and one in the United States.  These children are blessed to have sponsors who invest in their lives. We work very hard to obtain admittance for our children. For those who are able to gain admission we rely on our sponsors for tuition fees. A higher education gives them the opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty. God’s kingdom is growing, and generations will be transformed because when you educate a child, you educate a nation. 

Please consider giving to our scholarship fund to enable more children to continue their education at https://give.icareafrica.org/careafrica/scholarship

Today is the day! Educate a child, Educate a Nation! Help us educate a child by donating to Phase 1 of our school building project in Egbe, Nigeria on this day of generosity.

Click below to donate any amount so we can build our school for our kids at C.A.R.E. Africa.

10.5 million children in Nigeria are not in school per Unicef statistics. This is the highest population of out of school children in the world. Help us build a school in Egbe, Nigeria so our 78 vulnerable children can go to school in a safe and secure environment.

We currently rent a space and have outgrown it. 152 children attend our school and 78 of these children are on scholarships. We want each child to receive a quality education and in order to do that, we feel the child to teacher ratio needs to be low. We pride ourselves in the fact that our teacher to child ratio is 15 pupils per class. This means we cannot take as many children as we would like and so we have a waiting list of children begging to get an education. With the new school we will have more classrooms and can take more children.

We have the land we just need the buildings. The total building project cost is $250,000 of which Phase 1 is $25,000. This will allow us to start clearing the land, building the wall and digging the footers. Donate any amount to help us educate more children in Egbe, Nigeria! Click DONATE

From Canada to the U.S. to Egbe…..here a some beautiful pictures to illustrate what has been going on at C.A.R.E. Africa! Enjoy!

We are pleased to announce that Diana Beville has accepted a staff position at C.A.R.E. Africa.  She will be assuming the role of Child Sponsorship Coordinator.  

In 2014 Diana and her husband,Stephen, made their first visit to C.A.R.E. Africa in Egbe Nigeria. It was to be a turning point in Diana’s life. She left Egbe knowing it had captured her heart and she would be back. Immediately on returning from Nigeria, she wanted to know how she could help. 

Diana did a one table booth at a local farmer’s market selling jewelry the women in our ministry had handcrafted. Seven years later she has grown into a full, online Etsy store (http://www.CareAfricaStore.com in the US and Canada http://www.CareAfricaStore.ca ).  Diana has expanded from a one table booth into huge exhibitor events at GMHC (Global Missions Health Conference), CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans), M3/Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference, and Paristown Flea off Markets. Her dedication and love for this ministry is evident and she has already returned to Nigeria three more times since her initial visit. 

Diana is married and the mother of two beautiful girls,  Kaitlyn and Charlotte.  She graduated from University of Louisville.  Diana previously worked at Shultz Career Consulting as an employment specialist for people with disabilities.  In taking on the Child Sponsorship role, Diana’s goal is to deepen the relationships with our sponsors and their children in Egbe, while also finding new sponsors for more children. We are excited to see how Diana will take our sponsorship experience to a whole new level.

Diana’s first task is collecting letters and/or items for sponsored children to fill suitcases that are going to Nigeria in the month of October. If you sponsor a C.A.R.E. Africa child and would like to send a letter or an item, please email Diana at mailto:diana@icareafrica.org

If you do not currently sponsor a child please take a moment to visit our giving page at http://www.icareafrica.org to see the two beautiful children that are in need of sponsors. 

Also feel free to visit our Amazon Wish List for items needed to fill suitcases for October at https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/36KCX0BCJG62W/guest-view

We have the opportunity again to send needed items to our kids, staff and caregivers in Egbe, Nigeria.

In the month of May we sent out an Amazon list and everyone gave and gave and we filled 4 suitcases! It was so amazing to receive packages everyday for C.A.R.E. Africa! I had the honor of watching the body of Christ show up and show off for everyone in Egbe. They were so excited to receive all the needed items.

We need to do it again! With 78 children, 46 caregivers and 30+ staff now, our needs are never ending. Please consider checking out our Amazon list and purchasing an item or two to help us fill a suitcase. See the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/36KCX0BCJG62W/guest-view

Four years ago I met with the benefactors of Foundations Academy in Jos, Nigeria in order to create a sister school in Egbe. I also toured Foundations Academy’s prestigious school called Park Ridge. Park Ridge started in 2012 and runs much like an American School. They use mainly Nigerian curriculum to prepare students for Nigerian exams, but they infuse curriculum from around the world to help the students have a broader worldview. I knew one day we would have exceptionally bright children at our school in Egbe and wondered if this could be an option for them. Park Ridge’s reputation opens doors at Universities all across Nigeria and provides a better chance for study abroad.

 

Over the past two years we have had three of our middle school students with exceptional scores on their testing and marks in class. Gloria, Idowu and Segun. Recently they went to Jos for their JS2 excursion (similar to trips American students take to Washington DC). It was decided they should take the entrance exams and interview for the Park Ridge school in Jos. Two of them tested well and would be allowed to attend. This was a huge opportunity for these two students. After some prayer we decided that Idowu and Segun were ready for this opportunity and Gloria would wait another year.

We reached out to their sponsors praying that they would help but knowing we would need to raise a lot of funds to transport them to Jos and to cover the higher school fees, boarding and meals. Segun’s and Idowu’s sponsor immediately said yes. It was such an answer to prayer, but I was a little worried about Idowu’s sponsor when she said yes so quickly. The increase in fees was significant. I talked to her and offered to try to find someone to partner with her in sponsoring Idowu. Her response brought tears to my eyes. She said she had been saving money to have landscaping done on her home. She said the money targeted for landscaping plus increasing her monthly sponsorship from $35 to $50 a month and talking to family and friends, she would raise the money. Idowu’s education was more important to her than landscaping her home!

She has never personally met Idowu or spent time with him or his family, but she would take her savings and go to her family and friends and raise the money so this little boy could have this amazing opportunity. 

Stories like this encourage me and keep me going as Executive Director at C.A.R.E. Africa. When I see someone sacrifice for one of God’s children it gives me goose bumps and warms my heart. I can see how our children at C.A.R.E. Africa are changing lives just as much as our sponsors are. If we could all sacrifice our landscaping, agendas, finances, comfort and time for God’s people all over the world, the world would be such a better place!

We are so grateful for all our sponsors and know that everyone sacrifices every month to make it possible for these 78 kids to have an education, learn about Christ’s love and more. God bless you as you choose to be His hands and feet to the world.