|Orphan's Dream Project Proposal|
Acorn to Oak International
Orphans, Street children and Widows
Orphans, Street Children and Widows... These three societal groups have one thing in common: without intervention, they are at imminent risk of harm or even death, because they often have no caregiver to provide food, clothing, shelter or protection from those who would victimize them. Orphans, children whose parents are no longer living, and street children, those whose parents have cast them into the street to care for themselves, are becoming a lost generation without a glimmer of hope or a future. Tens of millions of children, mostly orphans, live on the street. Although they are physically in plain sight for everyone to see, the plight is ignored. When we fail to see these children, we forget them. When we forget them, we fail to protect them. When we fail to protect them, they are must grow up quickly to make adult decisions that can mean the difference between their life and death.
Deuteronomy 27:19 (NLT) speaks strongly to our obligation here when it says: "Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows."
Widows, without extended families who can care for them, beg in the streets to buy a piece of bread or a bowl of rice. At a time in their life when they should be passing on wisdom to the next generation, they find themselves wondering where they will sleep and what they will eat.
"I know the thoughts that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
According to UNICEF, there are over 143 million orphans in the world. In countries where birth rates are not counted or parents die daily of AIDS or natural disasters wipe out entire communities in a matter of hours, it is easy to see that this is a conservative estimate. How can an orphan dream of a family where they will be loved and protected? How can a child forced to live on the streets trust that their Heavenly Father will not abandon them when the going gets tough? How can a widow have hope that she will have a safe place to lay her head without a blanket to keep her warm?
The lost and forgotten need to know that they have a hope and a future. The Lord has not forgotten them. James 1:27 clearly states that "Religion that our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress" The Lord uses projects like Orphans Dream to "raise the awareness of the plight of orphans, street children and widows and to implement effective programs that will protect and provide for them in a safe and nurturing environment, while also demonstrating the love of Christ in a real and practical way"
Acorn to Oak International:
Who we are and how we began:
From the prodding of their God and a responsibility toward their faith a group of friends made a decision to take their hands and their hearts and make a difference in the world. They talked about how helping the underpriveledged, training leaders and partners, and taking the necessary steps of faith, they could meet the challenge of the call that faced them. They identified with the verse from Isaiah 61:3, which says "So they will be called Oaks of Righteousness, the Planting of the Lord, that He may be Glorified." From those early conversations, Acorn to Oak, International was born. Today these friends are all actively engaged in working toward this cause.
Acorn to Oak, International exists, by nature of its name, to take small beginnings and grow them toward sustainable life, success and productivity. Every oak tree began as a single acorn. If placed in the right kind of soil, given the light and water that it needs, an acorn has what it needs to grow into what it was made for. It is amazing the potential an acorn has when it is placed in the right environment. It is our desire to create environments and programs that prepare people toward a productive and rewarding future. We believe in cultivating good soil for ultimate seed potential.
Acorn to Oak, International is a non-profit organization working with individuals, corporations and churches to bring love and hope to hurting children and families all around the world. We believe that whole societies can be transformed by creating healthy, safe and enriching environments that benefit and sustain the families living in these societies.
The Orphan's Dream Missions Statement
"The Orphans Dream Project seeks to raise the awareness of the plight of orphans, street children and widows and to implement effective programs that will protect and provide for them in a safe and nurturing environment, while also demonstrating the love of Christ in a real and practical way"
- Provide resources to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of orphans, street children and widows.
- Stabilize the family so children and widows can continue to live with their biological families through providing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources.
- Train orphans, street children and widows in the Bible so they may find hope through a saving knowledge of Christ.
The Orphans Dream Project is partnering with individuals, corporations and churches to provide for the needs of these children through providing foster homes and orphanages for orphans and street children throughout the world. The long range goal of the Orphans Dream project is to provide foster home or orphanage care for children in over 1000 locations around the world. The initial phase of the Orphans Dream project will begin in Southern Leyte, Philippines. The reason this location was chosen is that the Governor of Southern Leyte, has offered land to build an orphanage in every city on the island. In addition, Warm Blankets, another project partner, has offered the funds to build the first five orphanages in Southern Leyte.
One of the first orphanages to be built will be in Maasin City. Southern Leyte has a growing population of 321,940 and Maasin City, one of the oldest towns has a population of 79,737, according to a 2007 census. Maasin City has approximately 70 barangays. A barangay is a village or small community comprising of 50 to 100 families. The orphanage in Maasin City will house thirty children. In addition, a staff member with the Orphan’s Dream project will work with families within the community to establish foster homes that can assist in providing care for orphans and street children. Food and clothing will be offered to each foster home to ensure the continued safety and well-being of each child. This staff member will also be responsible for meeting with family members and community leaders to determine if extended family members are available and able to care for children who are legal orphans, those whose parents are deceased.
The orphanage in Maasin City will also have a church that will also be used as a school. Widows will be hired as caregivers and as schoolteachers, when appropriate. When not, individuals from the community will be hired to fill these positions. The farmland surrounding the land will be used to plant food that will be used to feed the children directly and sold to individuals in the community as a source of income. A farmer will be hired to plant and care for the garden. This farmer will also be used to teach the young men how to grow food.
Currently there are seven feeding stations located in Southern Leyte feeding many children and even some adults.
Anticipated outcomes of proposed program
Direct impact on those served:
1. Children and young adults will learn
social and vocational skills that will help them to become more
productive members of their society.
2. Children will be fed nutritional foods that will encourage positive physical and mental growth.
3. Children and young adults will be nurtured by caregivers who will love and care for them in an environment that will promote positive behavior.
4. Widows will be empowered to share wisdom with the younger generation.
5. Widows will receive financial compensation, in addition to food, clothing and shelter that will sustain them in their senior years.
6. Children and widows will receive encouragement and support over the grief over lost loved ones.
7. Children and widows will receive and understand the value of family based connections.
8. Children and widows will be taught Biblical principles, including salvation that is offered through Christ.
1. The local economy will increase for several reasons:
a. The reduction in street children and widows begging will promote increase sales by tourists to the area as well as possible theft committed by those living on the streets.
b. The purchase of goods needed to supply the orphanage will be reflected in the growth of the economy.
c. Their will be a reduction in the unemployment rate in each location due to the number of staff members hired to operate orphanage.
2. The Christian church will grow as a result of the Gospel being taught:
As young people and widows become Christians, they have the opportunity to reach others within their community. This has the potential to reach the entire island with the saving knowledge of Christ. This will have an eternal impact!
Evaluation of Program Effectiveness
A three year balanced scorecard assessment will be implemented to assess the project goals. These goals will be specific and will determine how effective the Orphan’s Dream project is toward meeting the physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs of orphans, street children and widows. Although the over all assessment will take place over a three year period, internal evaluations will be performed every six months. The beginning date of the assessment will be the date of the first placement of an orphan, street child or widow. These assessments will be submitted to board members and will be made available to any donor or potential donor, at their written request to Acorn to Oak International.