6 Years On: How Things Have Changed.
Wow, it’s been six years since this project started. Where does the time go? Check out my first ever blog post from November 2008. I was absolutely petrified posting this. I look back in wonder at my boundless enthusiasm to change the world with no concerns or understanding of the obstacles that would try to stand in my way. This project has always been driven by positivity, although honestly I could cringe at how naive I was at the beginning. My first intention for the project was to build a baby orphanage (Shock, horror - I know!) It was called iOrphanage. I had 60 architectural designs for an orphanage to provide care for up to 50 babies and a volunteer village where people could come and visit to hug our babies. Eeek.
Thankfully during the planning stages of Child’s i Foundation, I met Brian Waller - a former director of Social Services. I told him my plans to build an orphanage. He was one of many experts that told me firmly that what I was doing was not in the best interests of the children I hoped to help. Like others that have gone before me, and sadly many who are likely to follow, I was full of enthusiasm but my kindness was entirely misguided. Brian is one of many incredible people that have informed and steered this project in the right direction. Their guidance goes uncelebrated but not unthanked. Every person who has contributed over the last six years has helped us achieve what we are today. We now very firmly believe in making families not orphans (or even iOrphans!).
We’ve learnt that 80% of children in orphanages have relatives.
Child’s i Foundation is committed to children growing up in families and our aim is to resettle children back into families within six months to avoid long-term damage. We successfully reunite the majority back with their extended families and we find new families for abandoned children. As a result every child admitted into our programme ends up in a family.
We make families not orphans.
Now we’ve proved that it is possible to place children into families, we are scaling up our project. Our exciting news is we were awarded a grant from Terre des Hommes to work with 20 orphanages in three districts to replicate our programme so hundreds more children will be resettled into families.
So six years later, many lessons learnt and hundreds of lives changed I want to thank you for believing in us and I hope you continue to support us. A very happy 6th birthday to everyone who has been involved in Child’s i Foundation from Day 1 to today.