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By Linda Hanson

This story started approximately 9 years ago.

I was asked to join some work gals and take a Mosaic class in Northeast Minneapolis, little did I know almost a decade later how that action would one day turn into something that would reach across the ocean to Africa.
Two years ago when I was asked to go to Tanzania to visit and help out at an orphanage I immediately said yes!! You see I had taken care of elderly parents and buried them and raised 4 boys and had just welcomed my 3rd granddaughter to our wonderful family.

Linda and Reading Buddy Bette from Tanzania


God had prepared me for such a time as this. He challenged me to do something bold again. Because you see even taking a pretty simple mosaic class was a stretch years ago.

In Tanzania my heart became one with these girls and all the adversities they had faced in their young lives. After leaving Tanzania and coming home to all we are blessed to have in this country, it took me a few months to process all I had seen. See this wasn’t a movie setting this was real life.
God protected us on this trip and put these girls forever embedded in my heart. My three granddaughters will likely never experience such poverty or have to endure the pain and suffering these girls have experienced. After processing I felt we needed to do something for these beautiful girls. A fundraising idea was on our radar but for what???

Jan and I talked many times and I agreed to connect my friends and family and again step out of my comfort zone and talk about my experience. We birthed the idea of A Gathering Place. I had a mission and a vision!! Ideas flowed and the fundraiser was held at my house.

In the planning stage we were trying to think of something that would make this outdoor are special and to let the girls know that a group of people mostly from Minnesota, Colorado and Washington would always be thinking and praying for them. A sign or plaque came to mind, but how and what would it look like?

Then Jan said remember that Mosaic you made years ago?? Wow, that would be cool!! On a whim I decided to e-mail Mercury Mosaics in Northeast Minneapolis, which by the way had moved and expanded twice, I had been following them ever since I took the class. I had met Mercedes, the owner before and was so impressed by her success and talent. Within hours I received an e-mail back from someone named Laura, she was asking questions and before you know it they were offering to make a sign f or us to send to Tanzania. Completely designed and created by them.

Busy at work, designing and creating the tiles for the mosaic.

How could I have known that that simple class would lead me to where we are now. We have raised the money for A Gathering Place and they are about to get started.

When I picked up the sign yesterday I was met with so much enthusiasm and love!!! Their operation is so impressive and they hand make all the tiles. So, literally everyone had a hand on this project!! As we presented Mercedes with a picture and thank you, it was hard to hold in the emotion of this moment. All these people that are invested in this project will get to see pictures of their work and the faces of these girls and those that come after them for years to come.

Someday, I pray, I hope to return to see the are we raised money for and placed an awesome reminder of the love for those less fortunate than us.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a trip to Africa to get involved!! Just a vision………

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I was only 14 years old the first time I traveled to a “third-world” country or more appropriately known as a “developing” country. I flew to Dominican Republic with a church youth group for a 2 week trip to help build the second level for a local orphanage. That trip changed my life forever. I had never worked so hard, been away from home for that long, or experienced a culture so different from my comfort zone – and I grew up in Miami! That experience ignited a fire within my heart for international service and I have been so fortunate to follow up that trip with other opportunities to Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti.

If you have traveled, you know that the money you invest into a trip pays off in the memories and experiences you treasure forever. Sometimes the trip ends up impacting your life so significantly, that you credit it for the reason you are the way you are. 

That’s me.

Because I went on that first trip when I was 14 years old; I became passionate about serving others.

Because I became passionate about serving others; I went to college knowing I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector.

Because I knew I wanted to study nonprofits; I received a Masters of Nonprofit Management and worked for 3 charity organizations in Jacksonville, FL. One of which is consistently ranked as a top nonprofit in the country.

And because of that education and professional experience; I am thrilled to be the new Project Manager for 200 Orphanages Worldwide. My job is to support the organization so even more orphans receive safety, shelter, and sustainability with approved construction projects funded by YOU.

I am excited to be part of the team and bring my heart, education, and experience to help expand our mission. I look forward to sharing more and learning about you, our supporters, who help fund these projects that change lives every day.

Thank you for your support and taking the time to learn more about me and my love for this work.

For the Children,

Angela McDermott
angela@200orphanagesworldwide.org

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Meet the Pequinias at NPH Mexico

 Jan Hanson, Exec. Director/Founder

In April 2018, I traveled from Phoenix to Mexico with Belinda Rhodes, Development Director with NPH International Southwest Office. Our partnership with NPH started shortly after 200 Orphanages started in 2008. I met the former director of NPH and immediately felt a kinship with their work raising funds to support NPH mission to orphans in Mexico, Central America, Haiti and South America. Our first project ever was to help rebuild NPH Haiti after the devastating earthquake destroyed buildings, killed thousands, including an American volunteer with NPH Haiti. We’ve also worked with NPH Guatemala on a variety of projects.

Belinda invited me to visit the NPH Mexico to see the repairs and other damage from the earthquake in Mexico in September 2016. One of our Board members, Keith Hanson, visited as well. He’s has years of experience as a Pastor and youth pastor leading mission trips, so as our Group Project Coordinator, he brings a fresh and unique perspective to the site.

For me, visiting partner sites allows me to meet the children and staff, observe how the children are cared for and in this case to see the earthquake damage on the buildings and infrastructure. I also see first-hand the progress on the projects our donors helped complete.

In this case, the earthquake damage was extensive on the main site, and the high school dormitory and school. NPH Donors generously answered the call for help, and repairs are well underway. 200 Orphanage donor Fred Cornforth and his company CDI from Boise, provided funding for repairs of the stone wall outside the kindergarten.

When we arrived, Belinda and her staff proudly gave us a tour showing us the completion of the repairs to damage and to the stone wall our donors funded. NPH cares for the whole child to adulthood. The care includes excellence in education, they look after their physical and mental health, and provide medical care, and therapy when required.  We were also given a tour of the farm that provides sustainability. We walked alongside the fields where the sugar cane and corn is grown and used in making corn tortillas, a diet staple. We watched the kids do chores, such as cleaning the grounds and doing their laundry. We even saw as the staff and kids harvest and clean the fish raised in the onsite aquaponics operations. The kids’ diets are managed well and they are served various nutritional meals three times a day.

There is much more to be done to repair the homes, and Volunteer Coordinator Keith Hanson is bringing a team from CDI to assist NPH in completing two bathrooms in the boys dormitory at the high school in downtown Cuernavaca Mexico. There are discussions around improvements to the kindergarten playground as well. Such a blessing for these Pequinas!

An additional highlight was meeting many of the beautiful children being cared for by NPH. The young ones are lively and full of energy, reminding me of my grandchildren back home. They like M&Ms, that’s for sure and they’re picky returning the yellow ones and asked for the blue ones!

My heart was also touched watching Belinda enjoy one of her Goddaughters she sponsors. One of her jobs while visiting the sites is to take photos of the children for their sponsors back in the states. Belinda delivered letters and gifts to the children. We were honored to meet adults who grew up at NPH and are now well into building lives of their own.

There is a lot of love surrounding the four hundred children on the main site, as well as the 160 teens at the high school dorm and school. The love and care NPH gives the kids in need is impressive and heartwarming.

NPH’s motto is ‘Raising children, Building Lives’… I am so glad I was able to see first-hand their successes over and again.

Thank you for all you do For The Children! jh

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My sister in law, Linda Hanson and I ventured out to Tanzania to do a site visit at Mainsprings, JBFC  in Mwanza just off Lake Victoria in early November. I like to go to the projects our donors support and give a first-hand report. Here it is!

Mainsprings-JBFC- works to give vulnerable girls holistic care, including safety, shelter, medical care and excellence in education…all the things necessary for a bright future. They also help alleviate extreme rural poverty in Tanzania. 200 Orphanages has been partnering with JBFC for almost nine years. We recently had donors fund a tractor and greenhouse, and since I haven’t ever visited the site, this year was the year.

I was surprised when Linda agreed to go. She’s not the travel-to-the-hinterlands kind of gal… but it was placed on her heart and she replied with an almost immediate “YES”. She amazed me at every turn on long uncomfortable flights, unfamiliar foods and unrelenting lizards.

We prepared for months and Linda organized a craft project we could do with the school kids all around gratitude. How perfect, being Thanksgiving would soon be upon us back home. She had the kids write what they are thankful for and it seems there is a lot of gratitude with these little ones for rice, sun and rain. Mainly because the words are easy to spell and happen to be written on the chalkboard. The greater challenge for us was translating the question “What are you thankful for?” It loses something in the Swahili translation, but we persevered and the kids came away with some really nice gratitude pumpkins. Even the teachers and staff kept them front and center in their rooms.

Each day of our trip was meaningful. We especially loved our reading buddies. We enjoyed daily prayer organized and implemented by the girls. We were inspired seeing the Girls Government in action. Seth, the COO onsite manager, instigated the Girls Government about four years ago. Now, the girls manage all of their own affairs, including discipline encouraging respect and cooperation. We were told that even when a new sister is introduced to the home, the girls rally to her aid. They make sure her first days and weeks are bearable. They provide the love and care a family would until the new one settles in. The maturity, confidence and leadership skills the girls get to practice in this system is evident in their interactions and will no doubt serve them in years to come.

The trip warmed our hearts. Each day was filled with hugs from our new friends. We felt so welcome and loved. Linda and I spent time reading with our reading buddies, learning Swahili from our student teachers, touring the village with student leader Imma.  We were treated to dinner in the village at the home of staff member Miriam. (Thank you Miriam and family)  We can understand just a bit what it took to serve that lovely meal. To serve us, you had to butcher one of your chickens, use gathered wood to start a fire to cook the sauce, the rice and the chicken. And Miriam served us home made raised donuts… a wonderful treat common to Tanzania. To serve us, you had to use the water you or your family carried from the community well to make the dough for the donuts. We know you had to clean the dining room and make sure the solar lamp is charged to light up the room after dark. It’s no small task to serve a group dinner in a village in Tanzania, which made us savor the meal and the memory so much more.

At the resort next to the compound, we learned from Jackson, about growing up Maasai. Jackson is Papa’s Cafe’s manager and he works hard. He also cleans the Bungalows and ensures the guests are taken care of. Jackson even rescues lizards hiding under couch pillows for surprised guests. Linda and I even went on a safari and enjoyed God’s natural beauty all around us for a day. We had the farm tour with Edward, the onsite agronomist. He shared his expertise with such pride as he walked us around the garden and showed off his cucumbers and tomatoes in the greenhouse. The tractor we funded was used to spread manure and will soon be active again plowing ground for new crops. We were amazed that seemingly acres and acres of kale will be eaten by the kids at the school and the home. Some will be given to the village, but it is just enough! Edward is passionate about his farm and is up for the task if they need to grow more!

The only thing we both have to say about the trip is that God met us at every turn. He is bigger than our fears. Our faith was activated a few times and gratefully we didn’t die. (smile) Fortunately the Maasai who guard the complex kept us safe from the pirates we imagined were invading the shoreline one dark and stormy night. That didn’t happen, but our imaginations sure had us going! We do however acknowledge the angels keeping busy maneuvering the wayward wheel that became unhinged from our Safari vehicle, spinning off out of control into the darkness after a day on washboard roads from our Safari. Yikes. This did happen and we are grateful no one was hurt.

So, we continue to process our time with the girls, staff and managers. We have been stretched beyond ourselves and we have grown. We miss the girls after even the short time together, their lovely smiles, their sweet spirits penetrated our souls. We’ll be with them in prayer and do what we can from far away to help make their lives just a little bit brighter.

I am pleased that the partner we’ve worked with all these years is doing such a mighty work, keeping the girls safe, but preparing them so well for the brightest of futures. You are a part of this fine work and I am grateful to all our supporters and donors.

A Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!

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By Fred Cornforth,
CO Founder 200 Orphanages Worldwide

It was painful to hear and watch.

We were attending a conference where the meals averaged $25 for breakfast, $35 for lunch and $55 for dinner. “I could feed 40 girls for almost 5 days with what I just paid for lunch.”  My fellow attendee friend has been traveling to India for over 20 years. Each year, she spends 6 weeks there, working among three orphanages she supports there. Back in the USA, she lives the other 46 weeks like a pauper, saving everything she can to feed those children she looks to as her own. She was attending the conference with me because she was receiving a grant for her work there. But the values conflict was evident. In a way,  our event’s costs were incongruous with the very groups we were claiming to support.

Last year, a friend told  me of an annual event where outrageous sums of money are paid for fancy cakes and pies, over bid vacation packages and win themed gift baskets that’ll eventually end up on the “nice basket shelf” in people’s garages. All money raised goes to a good cause, but like the cost of meals at the grant recipient’s conference, he’s wondering to me if they are sending the wrong message?

Years ago, I heard of a much different event. The menu of rice and beans rested on paper plates, with spoons and forks placed on inexpensive napkins. The event was packed. People wore street clothes, brought their families while media presentations were made showing where raised funds would go—one could see the very people one was helping without the distraction of whether you were having the Beef Wellington or Chicken Kiev. It also sent a congruous message-money mattered. Whether $1 or $100, every dollar counted. Like my friend’s life, the event conveyed a consistent, harmonious message.  

Next time you do a fund raising event for 200 Orphanages World Wide, consider a fundraiser that intentionally conveys the very message you mean to send—get creative, build on this one example above.

We can’t wait to hear your report!

C Fred Cornforth

Chief Executive Officer

CDI Group of Companies

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Before 200 Orphanages was just a thought bubble above my head, I unloaded heavy adobe blocks in sweltering heat from a van to build a security wall around a grade school in Ayacucho Peru. I joined a group of volunteers intent on finishing the security wall to ensure the children could safely enjoy playground equipment in their school yard.

It was this moment tears welled up in my eyes as I imagined children I would never meet laughing and enjoying a carefree moment on the playground. This is the moment I knew my life would ever be changed. The sweat mixed with tears of joy moved me and I knew my life’s trajectory had to change. I needed to spend my life helping orphans smile.

I was recently reminded that it will soon be 10 years since Fred Cornforth and I met in his office in Idaho sharing our mutual heart for orphans. It was then that Fred said, “I have a vision to build 200 Orphanages.” That stirred in my heart and the work was born. We began to build an organization that would help provide safety, shelter and sustainability for orphans.

So, almost 10 years on, we’re still building building building. We’re building supporters, partners and projects. We’ve funded dormitories, security walls, clean water wells, building repairs and renovations, agricultural projects and school buses. We work with multiple partners projects in Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Burundi, Rwanda, India, Haiti, Guatemala and Myanmar. Today, we’re reaching out to find donors for solar lamps, a sick room in India, a well and generator in Haiti, the remodel of the dormitory for special needs orphans in Guatemala, and the finishing of the dormitory and well in Burundi.

You are our partners in this work, each one a supporter of the kids in big and small ways. We can’t be more appreciative of each one of you. We’re in this work together, brick by brick! Here is a collage of some of your work over the years. I can only imagine what the next 10 years will bring! Let’s keep building as the need is great!

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Me.

I know it’s almost April, and that 2017 is marching steadily along. I feel as if I’m just getting started on very important things for our partners this year. So here we go!

First of all, much of my time in 2017 has been spent with my grandchildren in Arizona. They are filled with such joy when they see me and I can’t get enough of that! To make things even better, there’s a new baby in our family in Washington. Holding that little one reminds me again why I have such a heart for the orphans. When I hold her close in my arms, and put my face to hers, my heart floods with love so strong. This new life has a loving mom and dad and two very loving sisters. She has aunts and cousins, another set of grandparents, great grand parents and many great aunts and uncles. What a joyous way to start her life.

Relindis and Emmanuel in Cameroon

But, then I remember. There are so many  children who don’t have a large loving family to shower them in this kind of love and it breaks my heart. I know it breaks your heart too and that’s why you have partnered with us to make life better for these dear ones.

I’m so proud of you and blessed that you love the orphans too. Last year, your love was expressed with generous donations. Your love dug a well for children and communities in India who didn’t have water. It’s hard to even understand what that would be like, and you get that.

Your  love bought 100 orphans in India a bus so that as a family the kids can go on outings and be brought safely to school and back. Your love and generosity provided windows and concrete work toward finishing the dormitory for 80 orphans in Burundi. And your love sent funds to provide clean water for the 500 students, the orphans and the local villagers through a bored well. Your love repaired a dining hall roof in Cambodia and as we speak, a security wall and buildings are being repaired and painted. Your love provided screens for a girls orphan dormitory in Uganda. Your love allowed a special needs orphans group in Haiti get a bus to transport volunteers who provide medical, physical therapy and other necessary support for the orphans and families. You even loved the kids at Ashirvad in India enough to help them have their own library. There was a lot of love spread around the world for orphans last year because you cared so much!

Some of the work you funded is still in progress. I expect to get photo updates of the security wall in Cambodia and the bus is expected to arrive in Haiti in early May. The bored well company in Burundi will soon begin its work to provide the children at the school much needed fresh water for their sustenance and I will update with photos and stories.

Tractor for Tanzania

This year’s projects include a tractor and greenhouse in Tanzania and finishing raising funds for the dormitory in Burundi.

Other projects include remodeling the NPH- Guatemala special needs dormitory to make room for physical therapy rooms, a generator and well for a new family home for a special needs orphan in Haiti, an additional dormitory to separate the boys and girls at Serenity Homes for Angel of Mercy in Cameroon. There’s talk of a school for the kids in Ashirvad and other needs along the way.

There are so many ways for you to show your love again as the year goes on. Here’s  link for you if you want to help today!

Thanks for caring and sharing!

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Collateral Damage,
Collateral Beauty

By Fred Cornforth

Not sure when it began in me–this passion to help orphans. But I remember my response–it was immediate and with my whole being.

Orphans. I thought it unbelievable that someone would have to go through that experience, but I knew early in my life I wanted to do something about it. It’s heart-rending to me.

Orphans. An earthquake, a tsunami, devastation brought on by economic distress or war–disease, all are life up-ending events. Some areas are hit by two or even more of these unfortunate occurrences… and what is the collateral damage?

Orphans. The kids…and they are just kids. It’s the kids who are left on their own, some will die, some will be exploited, and yet some, in fact, will find caring people who’ll take them in.

We can’t do it all, but as a growing group of caring people at 200 Orphanages World Wide, we are doing something about it, every chance the opportunity to help presents itself.

Next time you see something–something devastating–think about the kids left behind, then act! Rather than turn your head or heart from the TV or your laptop, think about the $25 you can spare, knowing there’s group of people, just like you, who are dedicated to doing something to help.

Orphans: Respond to the needs when you hear of them.  Give generously or with your time. There are MANY ways you can take action. Think about approaching a service group like Rotary, Lions, or Kiwanis, any number of groups like churches, or even schools–I even know of one 4th grade elementary class that raised $1280.00 for an orphanage in Mexico. There’s a service group that sent 25 members to help run a medical and dental clinic for 250 orphans in Haiti that needed the care. Have a yard sale at your church, synagogue or mosque, or do one together, making it a cross-faith experience! See your community, not by who’s a member here or there, but as a group of people that can rally together in response to devastation when it hits. When we come together, in response to the collateral damage impacting kids, we emerge, in a collateral beauty and goodness, seen all too rarely. The goodness of people comes out when we are working together, with a force far stronger than anything nature can conjure, far more reaching than any war raged by man.

Next time you see a need, look, observe, feel, sense and see, THEN respond. Move toward the solution, and away from denial or being overwhelmed. Working together, people helping people, because its the right thing to do, because then a collateral beauty will emerge.

C Fred Cornforth,
Co Founder 200 Orphanages Worldwide
Chief Executive Officer, CDI Group of Companies

Garden City, ID 83714 (208) 459-8522

Fred’s crew, board members and wives at the CDI annual board retreat in Washington state. All of them are happy to serve orphans in anyway they can.

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November is Orphan Awareness Month. Most of you know our mission is to raise awareness and funds for projects that serve orphans.

Awareness is a vital piece of the puzzle as we look for ways to make a difference in the world and in the lives of orphans.

Awareness is key in that until we begin to see the world around us, we don’t know what needs to be done or even that there are needs to be met. As we become aware of the needs of those around us, whether they are near or far, we can take the next step and do something.

As for orphans, those working directly with them day in and day out, are most aware of the challenges to be overcome. They understand better than anyone the importance of a safe place to sleep, access to clean water, and reliable transportation for special services and a much-needed education. Our partners keep us informed of the safety and shelter needs and let us know when they need a security wall, a new dormitory, a bus, or another project. We listen and do what we can to raise awareness and funds to help complete the project.

When we become aware, we reach out and spread the word. One person can Drive Change in the lives of so many just by caring enough to pass the information along. It’s been exciting to see how many projects have already been funded because one caring, involved individual shared our post on Facebook or talked with family and friends about how we’re helping. It creates a domino effect that builds as awareness grows, literally.

Current projects

A bus for myLIFEspeaks in Haiti: $15,000 (we have $7,500 matching funds)
A security wall for Sihanoukville Children’s Home in Cambodia ($4,000 left to raise!)
A dormitory for JRMD in Burundi, ($11,600 of $25,700 left to raise!)
A $7,000 greenhouse and mini-tractor at $10,000 for the JBFC farm in Tanzania.

We share because you care!!! Visit our Projects page for more details. Share with people you know to raise awareness and make a difference.

“We can’t do it all, but we can all do something!”

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A few, short days after I joined the 200 Orphanages team, we received word that the Ashirvad Children’s Home in India purchased a new bus.

Supporters of 200 Orphanages had raised the funds, and we got to see photos of the kids with the new bus right away. Recently, we received more photos from a field trip. It has been so much fun to share the photos as we all love looking at those happy faces.

It strikes me that something as simple as safe, reliable transportation can make such a difference in the life of a child. For the Ashirvad Children it means they no longer have to walk long distances to school or ride 15 deep in Tuk Tuks. It also means the kids will experience field trips to new places, sparking fresh, new ideas.

We now have another bus project!

This time the bus is for special needs children being served by myLIFEspeaks in Haiti. For these lovely children and their families, a new bus means volunteers can come to help parents and kids access services and training. Hundreds of volunteers each year rely on the campus’ bus to reach and support the families who have taken in the special children as their own. The existing bus could break down any day; it’s not going to last much longer. A new one is needed as soon as possible and you are going to be the CHANGE!

We’re Driving Change!

DONOR PROVIDES MATCHING Funds up to $7500!

We’re humbled, excited and grateful! The bus costs $15,000 and one of our supporters has offered to match up to half of the cost of the new bus. That means your donation will be automatically doubled.

Will you Help Drive Change for the special needs kids in Haiti?

We know you love making good things happen! I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day we receive news of the new, reliable bus in Haiti!

Thank you for making that possible!

Go to www.200orphanagesworldwide.org/projects/haiti to learn more and help, or CLICK HERE to donate.

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