In July we announced that Helping Children Worldwide received a grant from the Christian Alliance for Orphans called the CAFO Research Challenge Grant. The purpose of this grant was to allow smaller non-profits to be able to do research into their promising practices in child welfare. By connecting a university-associated researcher with a non-profit, the goal is to "learn from our practices and provide the best care possible for vulnerable children and families."
HCW submitted to the grant our work in family strengthening, which combines our training in attachment between caregivers and children with our training on microfinance. The CRC has been using this new curriculum for about a year in our Village Partnership Family Strengthening Workshops, but this research project will give us the opportunity to measure the impact of these workshops on the families who attend them.
HCW was paired with researcher Dr. Sarah Neville. Dr. Neville completed her PhD in Social Work this past August at Boston College, and is now a Post-Doctor Research Fellow at Brown University. Among her other interests in global child welfare, she is interested in studying family reintegration (reunification and foster care) and the effects of family strengthening, parenting, education, and economic assistance on family reunification.
Dr. Neville, a compassionate and enthusiastic researcher, just returned from Bo, where she trained the CRC case management team in survey collection. On day one, Dr. Neville gave an overview of the study design and purpose of the project, and then reviewed the ethical considerations and best practices in data collection. On day two and three, the team reviewed the surveys question by question. Dr. Neville said this was the most fun part of the training. The survey had been translated into Krio, as it is a language that CRC families understand better than English. Each question was reviewed by the team and then back-translated into English to ensure the translation was accurate. Well-humored arguments ensued over the use of certain words, and laughter was exchanged with a team member would say "I understand what it means but I can't explain it!" On day four and five, the team practiced delivering the survey, first with one anther, and then with a practice caregiver and child pair. Finally, each of the team received a certificate for the training.
The survey is set to deploy some time in October, with a cohort of 100 families being recruited. Fifty of these families will receive the family strengthening training sometime after the survey is conducted. The remaining families will receive this training in 2023. Stay turned to hear more about this exciting project!
This October, Helping Children Worldwide is doing a fundraiser called The Road to Mercy Hospital Virtual Fitness Challenge. In this fundraiser, you can follow the journey a mother would have to take to bring her sick child to the hospital for treatment.
A virtual fitness challenge combines the fun of an in-person 5k or bike-a-thon with the convenience of completing it anywhere you want and at any pace. In this challenge, you can run, walk, cycle, or swim a set distance and upload your results online to compare your performance against others around the world. It’s a great way to exercise and raise money for a worthy cause. By tracking your fitness in this fundraiser, you can virtually go to Bo, and see the programs and places supported by Mercy Hospital.
The Road to Mercy Hospital is a 27-mile journey that can be completed throughout the entire month of October. If you walk 30 minutes a day, you can complete the event with a few days to spare! For more of a challenge, you can do the 50-mile Road to Samie or the 100-mile Road to Freetown challenge, which extend into November and December respectively. Along the way, you will get badges for completing different milestones, allowing you to see important places in Bo for yourself!
Every person who completes the challenge will receive a woodcarving carved by a Sierra Leone artist, and there are additional prizes for the person who finishes first, raises the most money, and refers the most people.
Beyond taking action by running, walking, biking, etc in this challenge, we hope that you will set up a fundraising page and ask others to donate towards your progress in this challenge. If you can raise an additional $50 towards our cause, we can do more for children and families worldwide.
Every registration makes a difference around the world in addressing the deadly conditions like malnutrition and malaria that impact vulnerable children and families around the world.
Sign up for the Road to Mercy Hospital today!
This fundraiser is put on as the Director’s Invitational 1st Annual Fitness Challenge. Therefore, this fundraiser is dedicated in honor of Jamie Beletz. Jamie was the husband of Executive Director Melody Curtiss. A father, grandfather, and powerful activist in the community, Jamie passed away from COVID-19 in December of 2020.
CRC's Transition Coaching and Mentoring team continues to coach orphanages to transition to family care models
by David Musa, Transition Coaching and Mentoring Department Senior Consultant.
A two-day Rising Tides Family Reunification was conducted in Makeni for orphanages and child protection organizations in the north. Almost every institution that works with children in other parts of the country have benefitted from this workshop from the CRC except for the ones targeted here in the north.
Based on the information from the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs and the previous visits done by the CRC/TCM, there are few institutions here that are run as typical orphanages even so they are substandard as children do not get the required provisions, such as adequate feeding, clothing, education and security. So this workshop was timely because most of the institution here have limited idea on family reunification and family base care program and it importance. So they only believe in keeping children that have either lost parents or are vulnerable in orphanages.
The workshop attracted 35 participants from 16 organizations across the northern region including the media, representatives from the ministry of Gender and Children Affairs and other stake holders in the region. Giving the key note address the regional Director of the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs applauded the effort of the TCM department in complementing the effort of the government in spreading the message of family reunification, he admonished child protection organizations and stake holders to see it as an eye opener and hence work together to ensure the best practice for the children we are serving and hoped to be part of such engagement in the near future.
Presentations were made on selected topics from the two days version of the Rising Tide family reunification manual by the TCM team and had an interactive session with participants. Many ideas were brought forward and the participants raised interest in learning more from the CRC and getting our resources. Further requests were made to have more training and some organizations requested that the TCM visit their offices to have a one-on-one discussion for further trainings.
Contacts and relevant information were shared to establish a good relationship with these organizations and we are looking forward to have them becoming clients for continuous mentoring and coaching. Distribution of certificates and Photographs climaxed the workshop.
The workshop event was followed by a radio discussion programme aired on 98.1 Wusum Radio Station in Makeni. There were lots of talking points on air and many text messages were received with complements and questions on family separation, reunification and child protection concerns. The panelists from the TCM team responded to most of them appropriately
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