At Children’s Heaven, our goal, whenever possible, is to keep our girls in their extended family situations through our sponsorship and community based care program. Each month, we provide rations of various living essentials such as food, clothing, medical help, and school necessities, so that destitute Children Heaven’s families can have the means to keep their children at home. In cases where girls are discovered to be in living situations which are deemed to be unsafe or hostile, Children’s Heaven has taken immediate action to shelter these girls under its protective wing.
In addition, with the help of Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Children’s Heaven has maintained a Children’s Heaven youth center exclusively for the care and support (including mentoring and counseling) of our orphaned girls. This center provides a safe, clean, and cheerful place for our girls to come after school for studying, playing and showering. The center also houses a small library for additional educational support. During summer program days, full-day supervision is provided with activities spanning everything from cooking and crafts to tutoring and nutritional training.
When a comprehensive medical checkup was carried out in September of 2008 at Children’s Heaven, it was discovered that all of our orphaned girls had a Body Mass Index (BMI) below the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO)—this is an indicator being underweight and malnourished.
Since that time, Children’s Heaven has made gross efforts to address the nutritional and physical needs of its girls through the implementation of the Nutritious Meal Feeding Program. To date, Children’s Heaven has noticed vast improvements in the health of its girls as well as overall improvements in their attitude towards life, attendance at school, and general alertness and awareness. As funds increase, Children’s Heaven hopes increase the scope of beneficiaries of the Nutritious Meal Feeding Program.
For many of our girls at Children’s Heaven, poverty is just one obstacle in receiving their education. Many times, the issue of poverty is further compounded by the loss of one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. When children lose their parents, they frequently take over the care of their younger siblings—this is especially true of orphaned females. Often, this means leaving school and doing labor work in exchange for pennies.
At Children’s Heaven, we have actively supported and encouraged our girls to continue their education and fulfill their dreams by giving them the necessary supplies for school. Additionally, we provide our girls with school uniforms, backpacks, shoes, and pay for their school tuition as well as provide extra tutoring when needed. As the girls of Children Heaven age, through mentoring, we determine if they have the opportunity to continue on to college or additional vocational training. Upon completion of their education, we assure that each girl has the tools she needs to lead a self-sufficient and successful life. We believe that an employed orphan female can provide hope and act as a positive role model for other hopeless and helpless orphans.
Children’s Heaven provides yearly physicals, health education and basic health services for all of its girls. In addition, Children’s Heaven provides daily nutritious meals for its girls. For more information on that program, please see the Nutritious Meal Feeding Program.