Every year, millions of individuals help support communities in need through organizing fundraisers, setting up donation programs and holding community service events. Orphan Life Foundation has been recognizing those areas which require attention through the following programs:
Fallen Service Members Child Program
In the United States, our primary focus is to ensure that all children of military/service members, firefighters and police officers who have been orphaned are provided with the same, or even better, opportunities as provided to other children. We believe that it is our responsibility to do so in light of the sacrifice of their parents for our country.
An estimated 3,700 children of US service members have been orphaned because of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. These 2 wars alone have claimed the lives of over 6,800 military service members, leaving behind numerous children, often as orphans. Our approach leads us to adopt the role of a catalyst for providing support and aiding the development of these orphans. By coming up with innovative solutions in the educational and healthcare sectors and through organizing family programs, this strategy is bring about a change on a broader scale.
PENCIL FOR POOR PROGRAM
The main aim of our Pencil For Poor Program (3P2) is to provide education material as well as basic school supplies to thousands of children. We commenced this program in 2008 with very little support. In the initial years, we were able to provide basic school supplies to hundreds of young children in need and still continue to do so till this day. The program is part of our vision to reduce economic disparity by providing education to fuel the change.
ROOF FOR ROOKIES PROGRAM
As part of our Roof For Rookies Program (2RP), we assist in the construction of additional classrooms or renovating existing ones to accommodate as many orphan kids as possible. Through this program, we aim to reduce educational disparity and eliminate the barriers to access to education among children of all ages.
In 2016, we plan to build 6 additional classrooms under the “Roof for Rookies” Project. To serve as justification for our plans, over 1,600 children are currently sharing 4 classrooms in the village of Didyr, Burkina Faso. That’s approximately 400 children per classroom, which as you can see in the picture, is very crowded.
CLOTHES FOR ORPHAN PROGRAM
The Clothes For Orphan Program (COP) is concerned with the collection of usable clothes/shoes and their distribution among orphan children. This program has been critical in serving several communities where orphans were deprived of appropriate articles of clothing in harsh weather conditions.
DESK FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM
This program’s goal is quite straightforward: To improve the overall classroom environment by providing desks for children. From 2011 to 2015, we were able to provide 450 school desks to accommodate hundreds of children that were using the floor of their classrooms as their study/school desk. This is an ongoing effort: We are continually partnering with different organizations in order to achieve this objective.
HIV & AIDS PROGRAM
This program is specifically designed with the objective of supporting orphan children affected by HIV/AIDS as well as those children who lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. Through this program, we strive to improve the ease-of-access to health and nutritional services to both, children as well as their parents.
Background: One of the most devastating impacts of the HIV epidemic is the loss of entire generations of people in communities which are hit the hardest. In this regard, it is often the children who have to bear the greatest impact in the form of the loss of their parents and relatives. It is estimated that across the world, 17.8 million children under the age of 18 have been orphaned as a result of their seniors being affected by AIDS. This number is expected to rise to 28 million by 2017. Around 15.1 million (85%) of these children live in Africa. In Burkina Faso alone, 63% of orphan children have lost their parents due to AIDS.
Our HIV & AIDS Program focuses on formulating a working strategy to minimize the risk of orphans and vulnerable children contracting the disease. This program focuses on supporting the careers of children, keeping children in school, protecting their legal and human rights, and ensuring that their emotional needs are cared for.
SHELTER FOR SHY PROGRAM
Our Shelter For Shy Program not only helps provide adoption opportunities and facilitates people in the adoption process, but also conducts psychosocial evaluations and interventions by placing children in fostering environments and monitoring them.
We also place heightened emphasis on the social protection of orphans, with the main objective of reducing vulnerability and risks and improving their access to health and nutritional services. A number of social activities are also organized under the program to provide a family-like environment to these orphans.
Every year, Orphan Life Foundation conducts an orphan census registration in the areas where it operates. This program not only helps identify and track down newly orphaned children, but also helps develop appropriate strategies for preventing and responding to cases of child abuse, exploitation, violence and family separation.
PENNIES FOR POOR PROGRAM
Several households have a substantial amount of currency in the form of coins, with little to no plan regarding their utilization. As a fundraising platform, our Pennies For Poor Program (3P1) collects Coins, Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters to improve the lives of those who need help and support. This program helps Orphan Life Foundation improve the living conditions in poor communities, improving their economic standing and providing them with the means to fulfill the essential needs of the children in their care.