New Blog Series – Hosting a Fundraising Event

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog site, you must have a heart for orphans. Maybe you just came back from a short term trip that changed your life and you don’t know what to do with this new-found passion. Perhaps you have a dream of starting an orphan care ministry, nonprofit, or center. Or you could just want to find out more about what it takes to help needy children. Wherever you are in this process, whatever your dream is, we want to help equip you and teach you from our own experience or the experience of other ministries who are actively caring for orphans. A common question we get is how do I fund my ministry? While most nonprofits run on generous donations from individuals or businesses, many people don’t know how to host a fundraising event that can draw in these donors. Fundraising is complex part of the nonprofit sector, but holding annual events can be a great and easy way to get your feet wet in this area. We’re about to start a blog series, Hosting a Fundraising Event, that teaches basic tips for hosting fundraisers, benefits, and fundraising events. We’ll use practical examples of how one orphan care nonprofit is getting it done…right now! This blog series will follow Shaping Destiny, a orphan care nonprofit ministry that cares for orphans in Cameroon, Africa. They are gearing up for their 3rd annual Ultimate Frisbee for the Fatherless fundraising and advocating event this August that has raised thousands of dollars in the past years and brought out over 100 people in support. Through these tips and examples, we hope you will learn and be empowered to go and host your own fundraising event. You will be able to ask questions, leave comments, and even participate in the Frisbee for the Fatherless event if you’re located in the Austin, TX area and want to get hands-on exposure for yourself. Stay tuned for this blog series that will start Monday, May 29th and continue every couple weeks over the next few months. Come and learn, ask questions, and be...

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Learn What it Takes to Start an Orphanage in Only 8 Weeks

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Orphan Care, Orphanage | 11 comments

Thousands of people like you come to our website each month with one question: “How do I start an orphanage?” Up until now, it’s been difficult for us to answer this question because starting an orphanage is not something you can teach in one article or phone conversation. It’s way more complicated than that. Now, that difficulty is solved. In collaboration with Austin Bible Institute, Dr. Kenneth Acha is teaching an eight-week introductory course on how to start an orphanage. In this course, he teaches you how to go from your dream to successfully launching your own orphanage. He also introduces you to other essential courses at Austin Bible Institute that you can take to further prepare yourself to achieve your goal of running an orphanage or orphan care organization effectively. The journey to effective orphan care is not easy and you would take a lot more training beyond this course to be effective. However, this course lays a great foundation and gets you started on the journey of learning and growing into an effective and safe orphan care worker and advocate. Click here to see the course page >> This amazing course is offered about once a year.  Spots are limited, so register as soon as you can if you want to take advantage of this opportunity. Dr. Kenneth has also arranged with Austin Bible Institute to offer a $100 scholarship to each of the first 5 students who register each year and cite this article. ** This course is offered online. You don’t need to move to Austin to take it. Click here to see the course page...

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How to Ask and Receive From Others

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Leadership | 0 comments

In this blog post, Dr. Kenneth Acha shares a few incredible videos about the art of asking. This is a hard lesson for many people to learn and many of us go about it in the wrong ways. However, ministry work – regardless of what type, size, or location – is not a one man show. We need a team to work alongside us in different capacities. And sometimes, all you have to do is ASK. “I think one of the greatest areas of growth in my life has come in the area of asking and receiving from others without feeling guilty. I used to be the kind of guy who had no problem giving to others but felt like I didn’t need help or want others to help me. Even when they offered, I often found ways to turn it down. As I have grown and matured, I have realized that is a very self-centered and immature way to approach life. The reason I acted that way was because of pride. I was afraid to be seen as vulnerable.” Read...

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Developing Leaders Like Kenzie

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Leadership, Orphan Care | 0 comments

Meet Kenzie, one of the students enrolled at Austin Bible Institute. Kenzie and her family live in Honduras as full-time missionaries. Her heart is for orphans and vulnerable children and she has been studying with us since last August. We have seen Kenzie grow so much and have loved being a part of what God is doing in her, her family, and her ministry. Stephanie and Danielle, two students at Austin Bible Institute and staff with Shaping Destiny, interview Kenzie about what God is doing in her life and how she is enjoying her studies with ABI. Watch this video to learn from Kenzie herself. Find out more about Healing Honduras: Find out more about Austin Bible Institute: Find out more about Shaping Destiny developing YOU as a leader:...

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

This is a great video by Nadine Burke Harris about the effects of severe trauma on children throughout their lifetime. Many orphans and vulnerable children encounter such trauma in their childhood and this cannot be ignored. Watch this video to learn how to dig deeper into adverse child...

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Helping Children Integrate in Their Communities

Posted by on April 17, 2017 in Leadership, Orphan Care | 0 comments

You’ve probably heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” This concept is very true when it comes to any sort of child rearing, especially when working with orphaned, abandoned, or displaced children. Integrating a child with their community is key for sustainable and excellent solutions to the orphan crisis.  A person’s identity is rooted in where they were born, their family, friends, etc. When you work to integrate a child in their community, you help make them belong even when they feel like an outcast. As they grow up as an equal, they learn how to contribute, serve, and give back in their own ways. Whether you have an orphanage, an orphan care community, or a family-based care program community integration should still be one of the focuses and values in your organization. By failing to do so, you could unintentionally reinforce the orphan mentality that they are second-class or isolated because of their situation which only sets them up for failure as adults. So what does this practically look like? Here are some ideas: Create ways for the children to engage, serve, and be served by their communities. For example, the children at Shaping Destiny in Cameroon used to go once a week to the nearby hospital to pray for the patients, bring them meals, or simply read to them. Have a healthy organizational relationship with churches, other organizations, and individuals in the community. Have your children attend a nearby local church, school, etc. Allow the children in your program to participate in community events such as after school programs, parades or celebrations, Vacation Bible School, crusades, etc. Perhaps you could host some of these yourself as a way to connect with and serve others. Build up leaders in your children by giving them responsibilities as well. Invite leaders in the community to visit the families or children in your program. For example, have local pastors come and preach during a summer camp, invite nurses to teach about sanitation and hygiene, connect with local business men and women for short training sessions about baking, sewing, etc. You don’t have to do it all alone! Wouldn’t it be great to help sew seeds of love between the children you serve, the people around them, and their village/city/country as a whole? This could be the first step toward family-based care programs, local adoptions, volunteers, sponsors, partnerships, and so much more. But ultimately, you want to avoid the orphans you care for from feeling isolated, neglected, or bitter toward their own people. Help them integrate and watch them bloom in the very land that God planted them. This post is written by Stephanie Eitzen, a student studying Ministry to Orphans and Vulnerable Children at Austin Bible...

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How to Raise Successful Kids

Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

Check out this awesome TED talk by Julie Lythcott-Haims about raising successful children that Dr. Kenneth Acha shared on his blog! We think you’ll really enjoy this. Watch video.

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Less is More: Children and Free Play

Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

We came across an interesting study about how children play and which items seem to provide a better play experience. Many people would think that bigger and better toys would equate to a bigger and better play time, however this study found that children played more intensely with simple items such as crates, pipes, and buckets than they did with full playgrounds! These items that many would consider cheap everyday things seemed to open up the children’s imagination in ways that other clear-functioning toys or structures didn’t. The two-year study, published in BMC Public Health, followed 120 students at a newly built Australian primary school. The children had multiple “cheap and everyday” avenues for play including exercise mats, hay bales, pipes and buckets. When comparing the behavior of these children to that of children at a nearby school who had more traditional play avenues such as swings, slides, and monkey bars the study showed striking results. The children who played with the mundane items played more energetically and profoundly than the children who played on the playground and sedentary behavior was reduced from 61.5% to 30.5%. “Moveable/recycled materials are suggested to stimulate creativity and diversity to children’s play and provide active play experiences by facilitating pushing, pulling, and lifting and the construction of structures (e.g. houses, rockets, ships) whilst engaging in social interactions and problem solving.” (Hyndman et al., 2014). The author of the study continues, “Unstructured, active play allows children to understand their world and develop skills, therefore school playground environments should be developed in a manner than enhances development and physical functioning of children.” (Hyndman et al., 2014) Take into consideration the things that children, especially those in poor and developing countries, play with. Many times when Westerners come and visit these countries or families, they tend to look down on the “lack of” play items or toys that the children have. They think they need to supply teddy bears and trucks, necklaces and dress up clothes in order for the children to have the play experience they deserve. That may be appropriate in the U.S., but does that mean it is necessary in the jungles of South American? We encourage you, in light of this study, to consider the context of the children you care for and try your best to provide play items that supply the problem solving, social, and creativity skills their growing brains need…even if that is simply a bucket and a spoon.   This post is written by Stephanie Eitzen, a student studying Ministry to Orphans and Vulnerable Children at Austin Bible...

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The 8 Values of Effective Teams

Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Leadership | 0 comments

In this blog post, Dr. Kenneth Acha teaches about important values to have in effective teams. Whether you’re running an orphanage, a nonprofit, a small business, or a mission trip these values will help you work better together as a group and therefore be more effective as a team. “When I think of an effective team, I often think of a medical code team during a resuscitation. Because it is a life and death matter, the team is organized as effectively as possible. I think that teams within businesses and other organizations are dealing with matters of great importance every day. It will help to organize the team as effectively as a code team because everything really is about life and death.” Read...

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The Power Of Mindset: Changing Your Mindset Changes Everything

Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Leadership | 0 comments

Check out this TED talk by Dr. Alia Crum at Stanford that shows the power of mindset. As you watch, be thinking about how changing your own mindset can help alter where you’re going, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Watch the video here.

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