Why was Alliance for Children Everywhere founded?
Alliance for Children Everywhere was created to provide emergency care for orphans and abandoned children until they are placed with an extended family, fostered or adopted. To impact the root cause of abandonment, we supply vital food and medicine to mothers or extended families so they may care for their children. We partner with churches to embrace isolated mothers and families and educate impoverished children.
Since 1969, we have worked with indigenous families and churches on three continents to rescue and care for vulnerable children. We are a Christian organization working with all people and with all children no matter what their religion or background.
Our efforts now are focused in Zambia, Africa, a sub-Saharan country thought to have one of the highest per capita percentages of orphaned children. In the capital city of Lusaka, we partner with local churches to rescue, care for and educate abandoned children who would otherwise die.
What are your goals?
Our objective is to address the immediate and long term needs of orphaned and abandoned children. To achieve that objective, we are focusing our efforts in 3 areas.
First, we provide a safety net for children who have no family or whose family is unable to care for them.
- We operate temporary crisis homes that are literally the difference between life and death for fragile children. The multi-disciplinary staff work to bring babies, toddlers, and older children back to health, and re-integrate them with their family
- If reintegration is not possible, our focus is domestic adoption and establishing programs to recruit in-country foster and adoptive families.
Second, we prevent child institutionalization and abandonment by supporting community families.
Almost half of Zambia’s children are so malnourished that their growth is stunted. Severe poverty and disease cause children to be abandoned in desperate hope that someone will feed them. We address the root cause of child abandonment by supplying vital infant formula, food supplements, counseling and support to the primary caregiver — often a mother, grandmother, aunt, or sister. Through our Nutrition & Nurture program, children are fed and remain with their family, while the primary caregiver is empowered with life skills that will lead to independent support.
Finally, we address the long-term goal of breaking the cycle of poverty through education.
Sixty percent of the nation’s children are not in school because neither their families nor their government have the resources to educate them. We partner with neighborhood churches to create FaithWorks Primary Schools for grades 1-7 in the poorest parts of the city. Grades 7-12 are offered at the Helen DeVos Christian High School where youth receive a high quality secondary education.
What makes your organization unique?
Alliance for Children Everywhere has four leverage points that multiply effectiveness and have uniquely positioned us for success:
- We work in partnership with established indigenous churches
- We depend on an alliance of collaborators and supporters from other nations
- We operate temporary homes, not orphanages with a focus on family
- Our staff and management in the countries we work in is local
We have cultural awareness, relevant programs, shared responsibility, and the potential to fully release the programs to the local people and reproduce the model in other places.
What makes Alliance for Children Everywhere effective?
Alliance for Children Everywhere drives towards collaboration and partnership. We have established a large network of organizations and individuals in Zambia, North America and other parts of the world with expertise we call on to evaluate and improve performance.
For example, one partner, Clothed in Hope, provides a life skills training curriculum focused on sewing and entrepreneurship. Fostering a legacy of hope in Zambian communities through sustainable business models, Alliance for Children Everywhere is proud of this empowering program that works with our Nutrition & Nurture families.
What are the metrics of success for Alliance for Children Everywhere?
Here are some of the metrics we use to track our success:
- The number of children we care for who are now healthy and growing in a nurturing family.
- The number of families, community leaders, and partners that we are training through our Foster Care program.
- The number of those successfully reunited with their family or an adoptive family. One of our accomplishments has been to sensitize Zambians about foster care and adoption. The year before our infant home, the House of Moses, opened there were only two adoptions in the entire country. Now, more than 10 years later, we have facilitated over 150 adoptions, the majority of those being to Zambian families.
- The number of babies able to stay with their family because we provide infant formula and food supplements to the family.
- The number of children educated, with a standard of passing the government proficiency exam. Zambia requires a national exam be taken at the end of the 7th, 9th, and 12th grades. We use the results of these tests to measure each student against national performance.
What are some of your major accomplishments?
- Our greatest accomplishment has been to shift culturally accepted paradigms about the care of vulnerable children and establish an organization that is family centered, financially prudent and culturally agreeable.
- We had the honor of being visited by Graca Machel Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela. After spending the morning in one of our transitional homes she said, “I have never seen anything like this in Africa.”
- The greatest success is that our model is deeply rooted in an active church community that becomes able to take over the programs we establish to care for the community’s children. This speaks to the sustainability of our model. Working with Christian churches has allowed us to capitalize on the most stable and enduring community structure in the country. All that is happening in our programs does not happen without the collaboration of the Zambian people.
- Participating as a partner with other NGO’s and the government to establish and implement new foster and adoption guidelines for the country of Zambia.
Do you host volunteer teams?
Yes, we will work with team leaders and their participants to create a mission trip to Zambia.
- We believe in the 7 Standards of Excellence (SOE) of Short-Term Missions. This organization is an accredited resource body for those who send, receive, facilitate and support short-term mission (STM) endeavors. Their standards can be found in full detail on their website at http://www.soe.org.
- For more information on short-term volunteer mission trips available through ACE, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.