ACF Team Travels to Kampala!

The Abandoned Children’s Fund team has just returned from its journey to Kampala, Uganda. During the team’s visit to our “Street Children Program” we were delighted to spend some extended time with our program director Caleb, who manages the operation of our partner Children’s Homes and Feeding Program in and around the capital city, Kampala. Caleb is a former orphan himself and a shining example of the good that can come from programs like those ACF offers to the impoverished people of Uganda!


At the Feeding Program in the Kampala Slum

Caleb was one of twelve children growing up in a poor family in Kampala. His father was rarely around and his mother had an extremely difficult time raising such a large family on her own with out a source of reliable income. At the young age of 8 years old Caleb and one of his siblings were abandoned on the streets of Kampala. Caleb says this often happens because parents believe that the children may have “a better chance out on their own” since their family could not afford to support them. Caleb’s brother eventually found his way back to the family, but Caleb never returned. For five years he lived on the streets, begging, and doing anything necessary to survive. He said that the most painful aspect of being abandoned was the feeling of being alone in the world; the idea that there was literally no one who loved or cared about him. Caleb said during that time he had little care for consequences, “it felt like I wasn’t even really alive, just kind of a blank feeling of being”.


Some of the Street Children, who have been orphaned or abandoned and are now forced to beg on the streets in the slum of Kampala.

When he was 12 years old, Caleb was picked up off the streets and brought in to a local orphanage. At the orphanage he had a chance to recover in a secure, safe environment that allowed him to go to school and to learn the love of God. He lived at the home for all of his teenage years before going off to university in Kampala. He said the feelings of love and compassion he felt in the home truly transformed the scope of his life forever. It was that transformation that inspires him to help children facing these difficult situations to this day. He is a dreamer, a truly compassionate individual who does not want to see children go through the terrors of being abandoned or left to fend for themselves on the streets.


The ACF Girl’s Home in Kampala. Similar to the home Caleb was brought into as a young child himself!

For a few years he worked with the orphanage that had cared for him. He was thankful for the opportunities that God had afforded him there, but had larger dreams. So in the early 2000’s with the help and partnership of Abandoned Children’s Fund we established a brand new street children program, one that has blossomed into the massive program that exists today! Caleb said that many people have asked why he never tried to go to the US or another Western country to “have a better life or make better money”. Caleb says he couldn’t handle the thought of leaving behind the place he loves, the children he is so passionate about. He understands that helping others has always been his true calling in life!


Caleb and one of the babies who’s young mother depends on ACF’s programs to feed and support her children.

Today Caleb continues to dream, he dreams of expansion in our programs and having an even larger impact on the lives of street children! With your help, we can continue to dream bigger together! We hope to provide lifesaving homes and care for even more street children in Uganda during the year 2016! It is truly the love and compassion of individuals like you that allows us to make an impact in the world! Thank you for your continued support of ACF!

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Christmas Reflection in Haiti

As we enter this most joyful Christmas holiday, a time in which we can all reflect on the incredible blessings we have been provided over the past year and share love and laughs with our friends and family, it is important to consider those less fortunate. Too many children around the world will be without a Christmas dinner, a roof over their heads, or a family to share joy with this holiday season. At Abandoned Children’s Fund we aim to provide for those children, orphaned and abandoned, around the world who have no other outlet for hope. While we know that we can’t provide for every child in need, with your help we have been able to provide meals, homes, and education for some of the worlds most underprivileged children; and for that we are incredibly grateful.

This Christmas we have but one wish. That is to continue to seek out and save the lives of orphaned and abandoned children, to provide new hope and love to children who feel as though they  are completely alone in this world. I know that you, our caring and compassionate donors, share this sentiment; and with your help we will continue to carry out the work that God has called us to. We thank you for your prayers, your support, and your care for those less fortunate who depend on our life-changing programs.

We would now like to share with you a few stories of hope from Haiti, that our team has reflected upon this Christmas season.

Some of the devastating aftermath of the massive earthquake.

Some of the devastating aftermath of the massive earthquake.

Years of Hopelessness…

Following the tragic earthquake which killed more than 100,000 men, women and children and left millions more homeless and abandoned, the island nation of Haiti is still struggling to recover. The most vulnerable victims of this natural disaster have always been the children.

One child who exemplifies the heartbreaking situation facing the children of Haiti is Sam. At 12 years old he has lost both his parents. His father was killed in the tragic earthquake and his mother succumbed to HIV shortly after—Sam was left to fend for himself. Separated from his siblings he bounced around between families and community members before he too, became ill. With no prospects for medical assistance, little food, and no support system he quickly became weaker and weaker. Fortunately, one of our partners in Haiti learned of Sam’s unfortunate circumstance and gave this young boy hope for a new life. Today, Sam has a chance to recover. He has been admitted into our facility and is receiving the invaluable medical care he so desperately needs. He is now surrounded by children and a caring staff who understand the pain he is experienced in his life, and now has a group of friends and family to share this Christmas with.

Sam the day he arrived at the clinic. He now has the chance to receive the treatment he needs!

Sam the day he arrived at the clinic. He now has the chance to receive the treatment he needs!


Trapped in the Mountains:

Life in the city is difficult enough for the impoverished children of Haiti; imagine then, a young child left abandoned in a secluded mountain village, with no infrastructure, no resources and little food. This is the plight of so many of the orphaned and abandoned children living in the rural areas of Haiti…

Our community outreach program in Fermate, Haiti is comprised of a dedicated group of volunteers and missionaries who seek out secluded, mountain villages to provide assistance for the poor and needy in regions that are completely cut off from other aid organizations. We pride ourselves on seeking out and helping those who cannot help themselves, especially abandoned children who have no other source of hope. Our team has regularly brought in shipments of food and brigades of medical staff to provide for these children and families who are cut off from necessary support!


Children in Fermate celebrating ACF food shipments!

Hope is on the way!

Thanks to you, our compassionate donors, Abandoned Children’s Fund has just sent a massive shipment of life-saving food to serve the needy children of Haiti. This incredible gift contains more than 270,000 meals for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. This miracle, which you made happen, will provide food for countless children throughout our network of orphanages, feeding programs and community outreach programs. Our partners wish to thank you, for extending your heart to those in need. So many of these children will now have a warm nutritious plate of food this Christmas!


Friends excited to share a meal this Christmas!

From all of us at Abandoned Children’s Fund we thank you for the year of miracles which you made possible! We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. 


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Three Siblings, Three terrifying real stories from Uganda

Wounded, Abandoned and Terrified

Bettina was just 5 years old when our partners in Uganda discovered her in a remote forest outside of Kampala. Weak and wounded, we found her laying in the protective shade of a Mango tree, praying for someone—anyone—to find her. She had been severely beaten by her step-mother leaving her with an open head wound; then abandoned and told never to return home.


Bettina the day we found her frightened and alone.

Here is an image which shows a frightened and frail Bettina the day we found her. And here is Bettina just three weeks later, fully healed, joyful, and ready for a new life. Bettina has been with us for over a year now and we are so happy to report that she is thriving in our home and attending school. Thanks to you, our compassionate donors, we are able to provide an outlet for hope for orphaned and abandoned children who come from all walks of life.


After three weeks in the home! 

Frank Escapes Years of Terror

A short while after our team discovered Bettina, our project director found a young boy, alone and crying in the same forest we found Bettina. We quickly discovered that this Boy was actually Bettina’s brother, Frank. He was only 12 years old and had experienced much of the same horror as Bettina in his short life. After constant beatings from his abusive father and stepmother, he left home never to return.

We took Frank in to our home, where he could have the opportunity to be loved and cared for just as every young child in this world deserves. Something wasn’t quite right however. Frank seemed distant and often could be found up late at night crying to himself. When our caring staff approached him we learned that Bettina and Frank had a third sibling who was still living in the abusive home. Frank couldn’t stand the thought of having left his younger brother behind in such an awful situation.  Neither could we.


Frank is now at the top of his class in school!

ACF to the Rescue

The following day one of our team members sought out the small village hut where these poor children had been living prior to their abandonment to confront the abusive stepmother and father. She found Asheri, a young six year old boy, huddled alone in the corner of the hut. He too shared stories of the abuse that he and his siblings had been subjected to and was searching for a way out.

Asherie, the day he was brought to the home.

Asherie, the day he was brought to the home.

When the stepmother and father returned to the hut later that day our team member was waiting there. She told them that she was a young mother looking for a child to adopt, the parents quickly offered up Asherie and our team member was able to reunite Asherie with his siblings that day.

Asherie, happy after reuniting with his siblings!

Asherie, happy after reuniting with his siblings!

Thanks to you, our ACF donors, all three children now feel the love and care of a happy home, receive a powerful education and have the opportunity to create a new, brighter future.

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What would the Great Philanthropist do?

The members of the board of directors of Abandoned Children’s Fund aspire in their modest way; to represent what they understand of the heart of the Great Philanthropist of the universe, the original lover of mankind’ (GOD) when planning and undertaking initiatives to alleviate the suffering of Abandoned Children.  The first impulse is hopefully to quickly gather an abandoned child under the shelter of a household, where a loving community (dedicated to their physical and emotional needs) can begin the healing from the trauma of fear, loneliness, rejection or despair. A child left without care or supervision (for whatever reason) is the classic image of an abandoned child.

Abandoned in Mexico

There are however, sadly, a number of ways that children can be abandoned. Recently one of the leaders of the Juarez Children’s Home that Abandoned Children’s Fund supports in Juarez Mexico, a mother, administrator and someone with a lifelong involvement and field experience in the Children’s Home, asked the following question; Have you ever wondered what your life and your children’s lives would be like, if you had not had the opportunity of an education?   What if you did not have the way of sending your children to school?  When I think about this, I know my life and my children’s life and future would be completely different”.

A child, who has had their future potential abandoned through neglect of an education, is an abandoned child. Admittedly, the emotional pain and the blunt force of separation from family and loved ones is less compelling in the short term, but the long term damage of borrowing from a diminishing future to sustain a failing present, is horrific and lasting.

Just to illustrate the trauma of this form of abandonment, consider some of the following facts. The poverty rate in Mexico is approximately 40 percent of the country’s population. That’s 50 million people in families struggling just to provide food for their children. Some of these families simply cannot afford to send their children to school. The result is staggering illiteracy that in turn, contributes to the cycle of poverty, forcing many children prematurely into what little work can be found, instead of going to school.

child labor in Mexico

This is one of the dilemma’s that faces the board of directors at Abandoned Children’s Fund. What would the great Philanthropist “Himself” do?  Devote more of our limited resources to rescuing more homeless or parentless children and housing them or invest some of our resources in the long term strategy of providing children with the opportunity to reclaim a future being abandoned?

Our long term partners in Juarez have demonstrated that they believe education is an irreplaceable part of early childhood development. If children fail to receive the education they need in their early years, they may be less likely to pursue qualifications in higher education and may even struggle to enter the workforce. Because of the decades of compassionate commitment working with Mexico’s culture of poverty and abandonment, they know this first hand as each year they see and hear the stories of pain and suffering their children have endured, and in most cases a lack of education has played a key role.

Children working in Mexico

Out of the forge of crisis and endurance our Juarez partners have not only taken upon themselves the goal of providing these children with their basic domestic needs, but also making a dramatic educational impact in their lives, during their time in the Children’s Home.  For this reason over the past 11 years they have provided quality Christian Education and offered countless children the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and pursue a quality education despite their economic status.

Most children in the neighborhood surrounding the Children’s Home have only the limited privilege to attend public schools where the teachers are only required to have as training a high school education. With Abandoned Children’s Fund donors financial help our Juarez partners are able to make available to the resident children an education that gives the students a truly superior educational advantage. Because all of our teachers have a degree in education and many have years of classroom experience, therefor we are confident our children are in very capable hands.

To operate a top notch school while keeping a fully staffed orphanage in robust condition is a bold and heroic plan to manage. Our Juarez partners have asked for our assistance to continue providing an education to all the children at the Children’s Home plus extend an outreach to as many as 60 children who live in the neighboring community with a hopeful goal of creating an opportunity to reach out to a total of 140-150 students each year.


With education being the primary ticket out of poverty for these children, your gift is invaluable. When our children say they want to grow up to be doctors, dentists, and teachers, we know they have had provided to them the educational foundation needed to fulfill those dreams. Through keeping our class sizes small, placing our children in classes based on their level of learning, and offering individual tutoring, these children are thriving.

A good example of thriving is Carlos Meza’s story (3rd grade).

At the beginning of this school year, Carlos was very shy and had difficulty expressing his feelings. This caused him to not want to speak in front of his class. The teaching staff worked on building his talents to improve his self-esteem. When the opportunity to participate in a writing contest was presented, Carlos’ teachers encouraged him to enter. At first he didn’t want to, but he overcame his fears and won first place at the area level and third at the sector level! Carlos now always gives 100% and is not afraid to share his ideas or speak in front of his class.

Juarez boy

Luis Mata is another example of thriving in the classroom (Pre-K). At the beginning of the year, Luis was very isolated from his peers because he seemed to be behind socially and developmentally. He did not show interest in learning and had a low self-esteem. Through encouragement and recognizing his good work, Luis has greatly improved. He is now a responsible student. He can write his name and identify several numbers and letters. In his extra-curricular classes, Luis has improved in choir, dance, and soccer. Now Luis is ready to move on to Kindergarten with the rest of his class.


Student’s expressions of THANKFULNESS

Ximena (3) “I am thankful for my friends that I have here in the home.”

Evelyn (7) “Because they always help us with homework.”

Jesús (7) “I am thankful because we have a courtyard where we play soccer.”

Kimberly (7) “I am thankful for our sponsors.”

Nahomi (8) “Because we learn a lot.”

Jason (9) “Because they love us, they take care of us, for my bed, my blanket and the food.”

Josue (10) “I am thankful because they take care of m.”

Cristina (11) “For the food they make, it’s super good!”

Another example of how your support is changing lives in the Juarez Children’s Home is through Leslie’s story. When she first came to us she was very well behaved but also extremely shy. She tried out for the School’s Theatre Club and discovered that she had a hidden talent! Leslie started socializing more and making friends. With her newfound confidence, she was even given a lead role in the school’s summer drama and dance presentation!


Lastly, we wanted to share Gerardo’s story. Today he is a boy with a lot of personality and character, but that is not how he arrived here at the Juarez Children’s Home. At first he was very controlling and had a bad attitude. He always wanted things done his way, and if they weren’t, he would become angry. After receiving help such as psychological therapy and group therapy, Gerardo has learned how to manage his emotions, and when he doesn’t like something he doesn’t explode as he used to.

Abandoned Children’s Fund is truly thankful for all our supporters and donors, some of whom have learned about our work on this blog or at our web page, who enable us to be part of the Great Philanthropist’s work in the world, helping children like Carlos, Luis, Leslie and Gerardo in Juarez. If you have not yet experimented with becoming a lover of mankind in this way we invite you to visit our website and discover for yourself how with a small gift you can bring such a big change to the lives of these vulnerable and precious children.


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Hope Shines in Family of Six Children


A family in the process of being healed and transformed.

Abandoned Children’s Fund makes a genuine effort to keep our mission focused on the distinct suffering that abandoned children endure in the world. There are sadly an abundance of forms of desperation that a caring person can become sensitive to. Charitable people consider, ponder and occasionally embrace a certain kind of sorrow and then ask themselves, how can I lend a hand to alleviate that pain?”  Child abandonment happens to be our sphere of concern, therefore it frequently brings us into contact with many heart breaking and even disturbing facts and circumstances. Abandoning a child is usually not a casual decision, made in a vacuum; there are usually layers of tragedy that precede the final act. But on the bright side it also gives us a front row seat on the dramatic rescue and healing of a number of wonderful children and families.

Usually, if the actual act of abandonment involves both parents, it is permanent and we are working with our partners ‘after the fact’ to pick up the pieces and redeem what would be a catastrophe for the child if not interrupted. In most cases, where just one parent abandons the family, it is usually the father. It’s less common when we see an example of the mother abandoning the family. This story takes place in one of the most family ravaged parts of the world, right on the geographic doorstep of our own country, in the misery adorned city of Juarez. It is one of those moving and yet rewarding stories where it’s the father of six young children who is abandoned and left to raise them on his own. Thanks to your donations and support, Miriam, Melissa, Maritza, Blanca, Michelle, their brother Eleazar, and their father all found hope this past year with our project partner in Juarez.

Sadly for these six children their mother paid no attention to them. Their father went searching from one construction job to the next while the mother spent the day watching television, leaving the children to roam the streets alone. One day, police found the children unattended in the streets, and the authorities threatened to take the children away if they were caught alone again. Later that year in 2012, the mother left the family with no plans of ever returning. Without trying to excuse anyone the weight of the burden of living in profound poverty and hopelessness, just becomes too much for some to bere and they give up trying.

In this case after mother left, the father picked up as best he could and went on in anxious desperation and struggled to support the six young children alone. He himself was illiterate, since he was never able to graduate from elementary school because his parents forced him to abandon his education (a boy of only 10 years old) to help support the family by working in the fields.  It was a full year after his wife left him, when he was exhausted, desperate for help (with his six children behind him, dirty and scared) running on fumes that he finally found the Children’s Home in Juarez.

                           3        4

                                                     Michelle                                      Eleazar (formerly known as “Angel”)

When the children arrived in the Home they were all significantly behind in school and displayed major behavioral issues. Michelle and Eleazar could not read nor write even their first names, and could neither count to ten. None of the children had birth certificates, and Eleazar told the staff his name was “Angel” and he would constantly run away, hide, and act out violently.

Maritza began school in the Home by ripping up all of her schoolbooks. The one word she could barely write was her first name. Blanca was only able to write copying something else already written. Melissa also came rejecting everyone and would scream and become violent. The oldest Miriam could not read aloud and would take all day to finish her work, turning it in only when no one was looking. Love finds a way.



We saw an amazing transformation in each of the children’s lives! Michelle can now write her name and read and has shown up twice on her class’ wall of honor. Her charismatic personality has come shining through, and she has discovered a love for dancing and singing. Eleazar now not only knows his name but also can write it, and he has fallen in love with anything related to math. He’ll now run to you to receive a hug.

Maritza has also embraced school, loving to add and multiply from memory. She has nearly mastered the entire alphabet as she learns to write. As she continues to heal, Melissa has also reached the top in her class in mathematics. Blanca particularly likes school, loving to complete all of her homework and making a great effort to learn quickly.


                                    Miriam and her father dancing at the school graduation

Miriam, having also advanced greatly, graduated from the 6th grade this past summer. Her father told us, “My daughter has graduated elementary school, something I wish I had the opportunity to have accomplished, but I’m so proud that my children have a future full of hope because of the chance they have been given at the Children’s Home”. He continued saying, “All of my kids are better now. They came not knowing how to read, but now they do. Even their attitudes have changed. They don’t say bad words anymore and they are a lot more affectionate. I finally have hope for their future.”

As much as we wish it were not so at Abandoned Children’s Fund we realize it’s not always possible to see a family being repaired and restored in this way. Many children start over in new families or learn to find joy and belonging in the context of the Children’s Home but in this story the determination of a father to keep going, eventually led to an oasis for him and his family in the desert of abandonment.

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272,000 Emergency Meals for Haitian Deportees

Most of Abandoned Children’s Fund‘s financial support to projects worldwide is pre-scheduled and transferred quarterly for practical reasons. Occasionally we need to respond to immediate needs that call for emergency action and the unfolding crisis in the Caribbean is just such an emergency. We have been involved this last week responding to requests for immediate food assistance from one of our partners in Haiti to help with a development that may have escaped your notice but is of grave concern for the wellbeing of countless vulnerable children and families. 

You may have heard about new tensions emerging between the Dominican Republic and Haiti in recent news reports. These are both nations Abandoned Children’s Fund has been investing resources in for many years. A brief review of my postings on this blog will reveal stories about a couple of my previous visits to Haiti around the time of the Earthquake and subsequent visits. These humanitarian traumas don’t usually happen in a vacuum. The conflicted history of relations between the two Sovereign Caribbean nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (who co-habit the Island of Hispaniola) goes back more than 150 years.

Haiti ~ DRThe differences between the former Spanish colony (presently Spanish speaking Caucasian population) of Dominican Republic and the former French colony (presently Creole speaking Negro population) of Haiti are stark. While the Dominican Republic is poor by any standards, Haiti is the most abjectly impoverished location in the western hemisphere. The border is drawn roughly north and south along highland range in the interior of the island and separates the two population groups. The borderline between these countries is clearly revealed in these photos which show the barrenness and deforestation on the Haitian side of the border compared with the relatively healthy tropical growth on the DR side.

Haiti 1 Haiti 2 Haiti 3

Recently, emotions and accusations have heated up once again over the long and contentious issue of the citizenship status of second and third generation, undocumented, Haitian migrants, who have taken residence in the Dominican Republic (in some cases for decades) seeking refuge from starvation and unemployment at home in the less poverty stricken Dominican Republic. Uncertain estimates of the number of Haitian immigrants living in the Dominican Republic range from 400,000 to 700,000.

In a Dominican Republic Supreme Court decision in 2013 it was held that children born to undocumented Haitian immigrants are not entitled to a naturalized Dominican Republic citizenship simply because they were born on Dominican Republic soil. The consequences of this decision have set off a tidal wave of political and social comment in Haiti and throughout the region. While many in the Dominican Republic have grown impatient with government inaction and demanded for even stronger immigration measures to be taken to protect national sovereignty and rid the country of hundreds of thousands of unwelcome Haitians, other regional Caribbean neighbors and fellow members of the Organization of American States (OAS) accuse the Dominican Republic  government of initiating a fundamentally racist motivated deportation policy.

Some OAS member states argue this 2013 Court Decision is unjust and will cause great suffering if families are uprooted and deported back to Haiti. Charges by the Haitian of racial and economic discrimination have also fueled the increasingly hostile discussions at meetings on the subject at UNHCFR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).  The Board of Directors at Abandoned Children’s Fund take no position in disputes like this, realizing the issues are historic, too complex and outside of our expertise. Our focus is on doing what we can to alleviate the suffering of those caught in these terrible and heartbreaking circumstances.

Tensions have been mounting between these two positions since the Court decision and the Dominican Republic established a deadline (mid-June 2015) for Haitian immigrants to acquire the necessary documents to prove their Dominican Republic citizenship or return to Haiti. Of course the bureaucratic hurdles to be navigated were such that few bothered to even try. During the first quarter of 2015 it is reported that 40,000 undocumented Haitians have been seized under a policy known as “The Shield” and deported to Haiti. That combined with recent official warnings and public pronouncements in the Dominican Republic served to intensify immigrant fears and suspicions that the government was preparing to marshal large scale organized sweeps of Haitian refugee communities, rounding up everyone for forced deportation.

danticat-dr-explusions-1200_crop1435331132668.jpg_1718483346   DOM20130515_3b

The Haitian fears associated with a large scale, forced government deportation program are that in the scope and confusion, dislocations of families would occur and family members (with no means of communication or network of connections back in Haiti) would never be able to reunite with separated children or lost family members.  These fears have motivated tens of thousands of Haitians to reluctantly remove themselves from the Dominican Republic, leaving behind in some cases decades of accumulated property, job opportunities and what little they have of any network of family and friend relationships.

On the Haitian side of the border there is another chapter (in a long and baneful history) being written of misfortune, hardship and misery as more dislocated and impoverished deportees, many of whom have never lived in Haiti or set eyes on it, are arriving by the tens of thousands with nowhere to go and no provision for their food, shelter, health, education or future. The Haitian government announced it was prepared to accept and process up to 30,000 deportees but some estimate the numbers may prove in time to be 10 times that number.

Haiti Camp     Haiti deportees

Those who are aware of the seemingly endless parade of human suffering that befalls this Island and particularly the Haitian people can only shake their head and brace themselves for this next round of chaos and exploitation. Abandoned Children’s Fund has been active in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti since our inception in 2007. While Abandoned Children’s Fund has no illusions about quick fixes or solutions to this failed state of existence, we do have dedicated, experienced, tested partnerships with hard working people committed to feeding, educating and providing medical health to thousands of Haitian children and families in the areas they occupy.

As this latest episode has unfolded it has created an immediate need for available distributable nourishment for families suddenly on the move. We have received an urgent cry for help from our friends in Haiti and responded by making arrangements to accept a food donation from a bulk food provider and pay the cost of shipping a quarter million highly nutritious protein based meals into the waiting hands of a project partner we have worked with before in Haiti, to see to it that hungry children get fed. The wheels are now in motion to pass a container of food through Haitian customs and get the meals into the mouths of children and families.

080923-N-9620B-001 GONAIVES, Haiti (Sept. 23, 2008) Haitian relief workers assist service members embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) unload food and water to aid those affected by recent hurricanes that have struck Haiti. Kearsarge has embarked U.S. service members from all military branches and a multinational group of medical and support personnel. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erik C. Barker/Released)

The video below was taken by Abandoned Children’s Fund’s partner in Haiti and gives you a very brief image of the scope of the need they are facing. We are grateful to you for being part of providing the means through your donations to be able to coordinate a response to this developing emergency. Without your generous support, who knows what would happen to these thousands of displaced families.

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A Children’s Home in Nakuru, Kenya


The corners of a child’s mouth tells a library full of stories. Look here. Abandoned Children’s Fund has for many years funded an orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya, which is operated by a local Church that is located in the local slum area and associated with a community development association which provides a wide array of life enhancing services to children including health care, education, vocational training, feeding programs and clean water well-drilling and well installations in their own as well as other nearby slum communities.

Nekuru 1

There have been many hundreds of children over the years that have been rescued from horrendous and desperate plights by the work of this group of tireless Kenyan servants to their neighbors. Frightened, battered, shocked and helpless boys and girls who have been brought into the Children’s Home and later some into loving households and put on track to a normal, healthy and productive life by these lovers of mankind in Nakuru. The following are a few very brief examples.


After losing both of her parents before she turned seven, Susan was badly abused and repeatedly raped by the family who took her in after her parents died. “My Uncle who had agreed to care for me as my dad… pushed me out of my bed, undressed me and raped me mercilessly then left me there.” Susan found someone to help her and take her to the hospital. She now lives in a loving place without fear of abuse.


Similarly, Sarah lost her mother at age seven and was forced to live with her violently abusive father who threatened to kill her and her siblings if they were to tell anyone of his nightly sexual attacks. “As soon as we started forgetting the pain of losing our dear mother, things started changing. Dad became so harsh and cruel to us. He used to call us one by one and rape us threatening to kill any of us who leaked stories.” Sarah’s story was verified and her father was arrested. Now Sarah is grateful for her sense of belonging in the Children’s Home and wants to become a teacher.


Simon was beaten and chased away by his own family as a young boy. Not many of us can even fathom what emotional devastation this would cause a young child. After being chased away he was forced to live on the streets in unrelenting hunger and become a street beggar. For the first time, Simon feels he is in a safe place where he does not need to run away. He now has hope for a healthy life and a family of his own one-day. 


After the death of his mother, Michael moved in with his Aunt. Although he was not beaten or sexually abused by his caretaker as the others were, Michael’s aunt could not afford to feed him and asked him to leave. With nowhere else to go, Michael had to live his life on the streets. Michael found his way to the Children’s Home and is now having a great time in the nurturing community with plenty of other children to play with and caretakers who love him.


Life changed for each of these children (and many, many more) when they came to the Children’s Home. The hope and future these children experience is made possible in part by the material support they receive from donors like those at Abandoned Children’s FundYou can be a part of turning the corner of other mournful children’s mouths into smiles by participating in a one time donation or a regularly scheduled donation at

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Progress in Ghana’s Refugee Camp

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The plight of the Liberian and Ivorian people in the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana West Africa has been a designated project for Abandoned Children’s Fund since it was first introduced to us by our project partner in 2011. The camp originally opened in 1990 by the United Nations served originally as a refugee camp for the first Liberian Civil War (19890-1996) and later served to provide refuge to victims fleeing from the Civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2001) and the second Liberian Civil War (1999 -2003). There is also a small contingent of Ivorian refugees from the two Civil Wars in The Ivory Coast (2002-2004 & 2011).

As the open hostilities in these wars have mostly long faded into history and the camp has “officially” been decommissioned by the United Nations. Unfortunately, the problem of resettling mostly widows and children back to their places of origin are complicated by poverty and war ravaged conditions in their home countries, property that has either been confiscated or seized by hostile strangers, massive unemployment and the accumulated weariness and depression resulting from years of displacement. At some point the shock of a life of continual insecurity gives rise to a sort of paralysis.

As is often the case the circumstances behind these wars are complex and confusing toGhana casual observers but the humanitarian consequences are by no means ambiguous. The same old ghosts of war and poverty stalk these camps. Contaminated water, scarcity of food and health care, an absence of any educational or occupational opportunities reduce the strength of will of these people to little more than begging, victims of circumstances far beyond their control.

Abandoned Children’s Fund has supported our project partner in the camp who are comprised primarily of Ghanaian citizens who Ghana 4(unlike the majority of their fellow countrymen) look beyond these unwanted immigrants and the stigma they represent as social pariahs, and see in them the suffering of the human family.

They pay a price for reaching out against the popular rejection of the refugees (who are feared and hated for taking potential jobs away from Ghanaian nationals) and attempting to lift their lifestyle though providing basic human necessities. Abandoned Children’s Fund has donated containers of food medicine and medical supplies. We have also been able to assist logistically in providing funding for the installation of water tanks for the camp residents.

Understandably the government of Ghana has for years been trying to actively encourage the deportation and relocation of these refugees back to their host countries and as a result the population in the camp is slowly declining over the years, but it appears it will be many ears before the final page is turned on this sad chapter of African life.

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In the meantime, tens of thousands of mostly women and children are born and raised in the tragic squalor of this camp outside Accra. The strategy for assisting these people includes as a first step; installing water tanks throughout the various sections of the camp (which has no sewage system or running water) and organizing feeding programs throughout their section of the camp. Step two then seeks to undertaking to provide rudimentary educational instruction for the children and then lay the foundation for some kind of health care provision for camp refugees (which is at this point mostly a dream).

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Once there is some support in place for addressing the most fundamental needs for survival the encouragement leads to an increased hope for bettering the circumstances that plague such profound poverty and disempowerment. Our project partners have reported that in the parts of the camp community that they have responsibility for there have been some rather dramatic improvements measured in the underlying mental and spiritual health of the youth. An example of some of the results being reported by our partners in the camp include

  • 90% decrease in absentee from days missed at school among children enrolled in our project partners program
  • 80% decrease in children diagnosed as malnourished among children enrolled in our project partners program
  • 85% decrease in death from starvation among children enrolled in our project partners program
  • 75% decrease in child prostitution related arrests among children enrolled in our project partners program
  • 65% decrease of criminal activities associated with gang activities among children enrolled in our project partners program

Though these results are not yet supported by pure verifiable scientific data they represent the search for reestablishing some control in their environment and are providing vision and enthusiasm to continue in a struggle which at times appears to them to be Hopeless. Please help us continue to be a cup of clean water, a bowl of nutritious food, a way out of illiteracy and recruitment into gangs or prostitution and the way forward to a purposeful life for these refugees.

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Serial Orphans in Zambia

The names of the children in Abandoned Children’s Fund stories are changed to protect the children but the stories related are true stories. This story is about baby Jeanne who when our project partner first laid eyes on her was seven months old and weighed a mere 12 pounds.  One of our caregivers observed that even at her age she had the saddest expression she had ever seen on a baby.


Jeanne was born to a couple who loved her dearly, but the happiness did not last long.  When Jeanne was less than one month old, her father died. Grieving for her husband, Jeanne’s mother clung to her baby, carrying her on her back all day and sleeping with her at night.  But Jeanne’s tragedy was just beginning. One day her mother came down with malaria.  Twenty-four hours later she was dead.

In Zambia when a nursing mother is buried, often (within a few days) the infant child is buried right behind her as a nursing infant cannot survive without milk. A household trying to survive on one dollar each day cannot afford even one small can of infant formula. A child may lose his life because of a simple infection that could have been cured with $2 worth of antibiotics.

In Jeanne’s case, according to Zambia’s extended family custom  Jeanne’s aunt took her into her family.  Unfortunately, with other children in the home, Jeanne did not get as much attention as she had from her mother, but her aunt was at least able to feed her and sometimes she sang to her.

Then an unexpected tragedy struck again. One morning her aunt had a bad headache.  Before noon she had collapsed on the kitchen floor.  By evening she had died.

Another relative, a widow, had compassion on Jeanne and took her home.  But this woman, struggling as she did to earn a living working as a maid, found it necessary during the day for Jeanne to be left with neighbors – first one, then another.  This exasperation was just another straw on the camel’s load as some mornings it seemed impossible to find anyone who would watch little the baby Jeanne.


One day, the widow left the child with a woman who was unknowingly an alcoholic.  When Jeanne cried, her baby bottle was filled with beer.  After that “meal” Jeanne didn’t cry for the rest of the day. When the widow returned from work she found Jeanne drunk. Horrified, she knew she couldn’t continue to care for Jeanne and keep her job, which was her lifeline to survival.

If a friend had not told her about our Children’s Care Home, it is likely Jeanne would have been abandoned by the caring widow. Though this may seem heartless, sometimes the burden of compassion just becomes to much to bear and even the most generous people give up. Baby Jeanne had become a serial orphan, having lost three mothers in less than 7 months.

Fortunately, Jeanne’s story does not end on this sad note.  After recovering at our partner’s Crisis Nursery, and was eventually adopted by a wonderful Zambian family. Jeanne matured into a healthy, delightful little girl and is now growing up as God intended, in a family.  Please accept our invitation to provide a safety net of provision for an innocent, abandoned child like Jeanne.


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Hope in Action in the Philippines

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The Abandoned Children’s Fund just had a team return from the Philippines in mid-March where as a group we had the opportunity to meet with each of our key project partners in their work. For a few days we were able to travel with them and experience some on-site observations of the work they consistently accomplish and the unpleasant conditions they cope with daily while assisting the families and children of the poorest of the poor in that country.

I recently discovered a fact unknown to me in my research preparing for this trip, that Manila is the most densely populated urban environment in the world. That is not to say it is the largest or most populated (China holds a couple of those distinctions) but it is the most densely packed population in a given space or area.

Speaking personally going into third world shanty towns, dumpsites and barrios to visit families who live in conditions that no human should have to be reduced to, has always been one of the most revealing, stressful, riveting and white knuckle aspects of the work we do at Abandoned Children’s Fund. Taking those first tentative footsteps out across the treacherous bridge, spanning the gulf that exists between the relative comfort and security of our lifestyle in the West and the hodge podge of languages (there are 179 linguistic dialects spoken in the Philippines) cultures and lifestyles that permanently reside in the hunger and filth of profound poverty in these barrios, is always nerve wracking.


I never seem to be able to prepare myself adequately for that journey and without the internal knowledge that when we a finished for the day I have a ride back to my hotel room, a hot shower and a nutritious meal (and eventually a return ticket to my home in the first world) I would probably be paralyzed with shock. I look around in the tangled chaos of bootlegged electric hot wires that power the unknowable reaches and the illegally tapped and hi-jacked plastic water hoses carrying questionable water (presumably for drinking?) from who knows what source into the maze of alleyways and footpaths of mud and rubbish and I’m profoundly humbled

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I see countless laughing children running barefooted through the muddy slop and squalor of this deterioration where the smell of rotting waste chokes the lungs with a penetrating, awful, toxic smell. Oddly, there is prevailing calmness in the clamor of all this disorder, perhaps its resignation, humiliation or just human exhaustion. Maybe it’s that God’s grace is close to those who suffer such poverty and neglect. There is nothing here that He is not present for.

It would take me hours to record just some of the circumstances we encountered in these disease ridden pockets of need. For the sake of economy I selected one widowed grandmother on the fringe of a garbage site who alone was raising 7 young grandchildren. With an average daily income of 20 cents per day per child for food and water she lived in a squatters hut the size of a small bathroom, made of plywood, tin and cardboard she gratefully accepted the delivery of a food package from the Catholic nuns we partner with. She was crammed-in on all sides by women and families like her own (in huts indistinguishable from her own) for as far as the eye could see. The open sewers ran past her threshold just feet away as her grandchildren looked with pleasant curiosity at our team with our package of food and water.

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In another part of Manila, yet another displaced community of countless hundreds of disparate, homeless men, women and children, living in makeshift structures attached somehow beneath any one of the many concrete overpass bridges in Manila, had the unique distinction of a “waterfront view” of Manila Bay. With its endless landscape of squalid ramshackle booths of plastic, corrugated tin and burlap, built on top of one another like tumbling shapes of rubbish, here on the banks of this fetid body of oil slick strewn salt water, with garbage and human waste floating on the surface. To these children, this was a swimming pool. They slid frolicking in and out of the filth and stench of this water like it was an Olympic sport.

I could go on for hours. The examples of human suffering are limitless. The countless stories of young children being sexually abused by family members or neighbors, pre-teens entering prostitution cartels to help feed their families, parents selling their own organs for enough money to escape the camp are common, as are tales of gang recruitment, extortion and organized protection rackets, Muslim intimidation of Christians, seemingly random strong arm robberies and murders. It’s almost more than the heart can fathom that there are more than 100,000 families squatting in the Baseco camp alone because they have nowhere to go.

But great loss gives rise to great Hope.  So each morning, into the thick of this overwhelming human tragedy the outreach teams we support go forth and follow up on reported leads about incidents of sexual abuse, abandoned children and victims of violent crime. When it is verified for instance, after some discovery, that a child is being physically or sexually abused and there is no extended family into which the child can be placed, as a last resort they are taken to a secure residential treatment center (that Abandoned Children’s Fund furnishes resources for) where they receive medical, nutritional and psychological therapy and are introduced to an educational program and begin to learn to read and write. The reintegration of the family will only take place after the offending adult has been removed from the home.

Other teams provide primary school education programs and feeding projects for children on a daily basis so they can at least have the benefit of nutrition and clean water and the foundation of literacy. I asked one of the young female project partner supervisors, who was walking with me through a narrow, filth strewn alley way, we were traversing “if she was ever “stressed out” being in that environment”. Myself, though I keep a smile on my face and try to remain as alert to the dangers and challenges in the environment I’m in, I find I am inwardly tensed up, like a tightly clenched fist in my chest. She paused and answered “this is our calling. This is what we are led to do.. I feel at peace when I’m here.

I tend to get philosophical after I return from a visit to one of these dump sites or slums and try to rationalize why we are doing this work and what kind of progress we are making when it seems as though the scope of the problem is so enormous and need is so intense. After a while the effort seems so inconsequential compared to the circumstance. Then I come to remember the look on the faces of the children I saw in those classrooms, the smiles on the faces at the feeding program, the reality that these children know these volunteers and project workers, they know in spite of all the obstacles stacked against them that someone is thinking about them, caring for them. It brings them Hope.

These dump site squatters, these poorest of the poor in an impoverished nation are not the only ones who need Hope. The social workers, organizers, counselors, cooks, teachers, volunteers, drivers, everyone involved in the attempt to lift up the lifestyle of these poor need Hope. Those of us who fund raise and tell stories about these modest philanthropic enterprises, who advocate for the needs of the poor, need Hope. Those of you who choose from time to time to donate to Abandoned Children’s Fund, who generously give a little bit of what you have or earn to someone less fortunate, need Hope.

It’s not that the abasement of less fortunate people will ever be completely eliminated, that’s not the object of acting positively from a love for mankind. It is that a life without Hope is a worse tragedy than poverty is. Each of us has our own form of poverty somewhere in our lives don’t we? These dump-site dwellers in the Philippines are not the only ones in need of being lifted up a bit. We all do our part whatever it is, in the grand scheme of things and by doing our little part we keep Hope alive for all of us.

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