Numerous studies reveal that the break-up of the traditional family leads to increased poverty levels and poor futures for children. Keeping them with a mother or family member, and out of an orphanage, gives children a better chance of a healthy future. Single mothers or grandparents who are not isolated, but who have a support network of people who care for them, generally take better care of their children. Most child abuse happens where family is broken, isolated, and in despair.
At Mercy Projects we cannot cure the ills of our broken society. With your help however, we can provide social and spiritual support networks for the at-risk children in our program. In our Child Sponsorship program we initially targeted single mother led families for sponsorship. Other criteria included families affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. This grew to other factors such as poverty, child disabilities, and their geographic location to receive assistance.
Keeping Children From Entering Orphanages
Our first approach is to keep children with their mother or a family member. We provide assistance through sponsorship, which includes a Mercy Projects case worker or “Child Coordinator.” This person is in contact with each family and is a resource person for the single mothers and others in her care. She might be the only person in the support network. That support however, is usually vital in providing social and spiritual connection. We believe that a child that grows up in a loving home, no matter the level of poverty, will grow up well adjusted with better opportunity for education and spiritual understanding.
Rescuing Children and Placing Them Into Families
For children who have been abandoned we developed our Foster Family Sponsorship program to encourage and support Ukrainian families to care for the fatherless. Ukraine and Eastern Europe is home to over one million “social orphans” which means children abandoned by one or more living parents. Most of the children in orphanages in Ukraine do have a living parent. The children have been removed from the home for their own protection. As opposed to America where foster children are moved around numerous times, our program in Ukraine supports families who are raising these children as their own.
Families Are the Solution For At-Risk Children
Whether in America, the UK, Ukraine or Africa, children being raised in a safe and loving home is the key to a successful future for that child. Thus, our approach is to identify at-risk children and develop programs where they can thrive both physically and spiritually. We strive to create a connection between sponsor and those sponsored. Your prayers and help are key to providing that vital support network.