Orphaned & Vulnerable Children

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life, and there is nothing more life-changing than providing a young child with a family and education. Over 90% of orphans in the world live in developing countries. These children are orphaned from such things as HIV/AIDS and armed conflict. With no one to care for them, many of these children suffer from hunger and malnutrition. We care for orphaned and vulnerable children by developing and sustaining family-style orphan villages.

We also provide for orphaned and vulnerable children by building and supporting schools for children. Education is the foundation of a hopeful, productive future, yet in the world today, nearly 75 million children do not have the opportunity to attend primary school. In Africa, one-third of children enrolled in primary school ultimately drop out. We work with our partners to provide educational opportunities to children that have limited or no access to education.

Here are a few examples of our ongoing programs:

CAMINUL FELIX

Romania Choir

In 1989, when communism fell in Romania, many major news organizations became aware of the inhumane conditions for the 100,000 children in state-run orphanages.  One ABC news article described what they saw: “Young children in straightjackets, groups of mentally disturbed adolescents spending their days in bleak rooms sitting in eerie silence, babies nearly starving to death.”  

While visiting Romania with his wife in 1990, Assist International founder Bob Pagett witnessed the Romanian orphan crisis with his own eyes, and he felt compelled to respond.  He partnered with an organization called Caminul Felix, which means “Happy Home” in Romanian, and built a family-style orphan village in Oradea, Romania.  This orphan village “gives families to the children of the world.”  Founded in 1990, today many of the children who arrived at Caminul Felix as young orphans are living joyful lives and have families of their own.

FELIX FAMILY VILLAGES

FELIX Choir

The Caminul Felix model has expanded to Thailand, Tanzania, Kenya, and Bangladesh.  These new villages are called Felix Family Villages, and Assist International continues to be an active partner.  The children of Caminul Felix and Felix Family Villages are supported directly by donors and sponsors in the US. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting these children.

Link: www.caminulfelix.org

Link: http://www.felixfamilyvillages.org/

AOET (Action for Empowerment)

AOET (Aids Orphan Education Trust) was founded by a Ugandan named Sam Tushabe in 2000. The organization provides shelter, education, and healthcare for orphans who have been impacted by the AIDS epidemic. AOET now cares for nearly 4000 children in Africa. Assist International has been a long-time partner of AOET over the years. We’ve come alongside the organization to build capacity and expand its reach. This includes providing orphan homes, dorm rooms for the school, and classrooms.

BOB WITH KIDS AT aoet.

Sam Tushabe, the founder of AOET, became an orphan at twelve years old. His mother’s last wish was for him to finish school. To honor her wish, Sam took all the money he had- a few dollars- and met with the local headmaster. In Uganda, school is very expensive because students are required to purchase school uniforms, books, and pay regular school fees, and many parents cannot afford to send their kids to school. Throughout his adolescence, Sam paid for his school fees by working as a school janitor and taking any job he could find. His determination to honor his mother’s wish carried him through primary school and secondary school, and a few years later, he even graduated college. After college, Sam met a local orphaned child in Uganda and decided to take him in and support the child with his own money. Before long, he was providing for 40 children, and he decided to start AOET in order to reach more children.

SISTER ROSEMARY (Bringing Hope to War-Torn Communities in Northern Uganda)

Sister Rosemary has dedicated her life to rescuing children and mothers in Northern Uganda who have been devastated by war. During a 20-year period of vicious armed conflict in northern Uganda, woman and children were captured by rebels and forced to become soldiers and sex slaves. As they escaped, they tried to return back to their home communities, but the communities rejected them, saying, “You are the wives of murderers and your children are the children of murderers.

Sister Rosemary has provided these women and children with shelter and a community. She shows them unconditional love and gives them with hope and and a home. We are honored to help Sister Rosemary achieve her vision to heal this war-torn community. Thanks to the generous support of donors, we have helped build five orphan homes for Sister Rosemary in Atiak, Uganda, and we plan to build more in the future. In addition, we plan to build a school and medical clinic in Atiak.

Orphaned _ Vulnerable Children

We also provide for orphaned and vulnerable children by building and supporting schools for children. Education is the foundation of a hopeful, productive future, yet in the world today, nearly 75 million children do not have the opportunity to attend primary school. In Africa, one-third of children enrolled in primary school ultimately drop out. We work with our partners to provide educational opportunities to children that have limited or no access to education.

Many of these children are supported directly by donors and sponsors in the US. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting orphaned and vulnerable children.

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