If a child is hungry, Dove Children's Foundation will provide food. If a child is cold, it will supply clothing. If a child is sick, Dove will bring medicine. The immediate need must be met but it is not enough.
Dove Children's Foundation seeks long-term solutions to the child's situation. How can this child get food once we're gone? How can we eliminate the suffering? By focusing on long-term solutions, Dove Children's Foundation can do more than apply a band-aid to a child's physical and emotional wounds. By first feeding the body, Dove can help a starving child become healthy and strong. Then by "feeding the circumstance," Dove can help move a child into a safer situation.
Since 1994, this unique approach has been the cornerstone of the way Dove Children's Foundation has organized aid for children in crisis around the world. By forging active alliances with other relief organizations, Dove Children's Foundation director, OrvaLee Farris, has overseen the shipment and distribution of tons of supplies. At times, using their own funds to make your donations stretch further, tens of thousands of dollars have been spent to purchase critical supplies for starving children in Romania, Russia, India, and Africa.
As you explore the various pages and read the accounts that begin in desperation but end with a promise of a hope and a future for each child touched, we trust that you will let their stories touch your heart. And that like us, you will want to make a difference.
Together we can do so much!
Our first goal is to provide food and medical aid to the world's children in crisis. Our second goal is to remove the cause of their suffering.
And our final goal is to release them into a safe environment - one that allows them their God-given right to live and grow.
Light in Darkness
It was new territory for Dove Children's Foundation - Africa. It took 20 hours to fly from Oregon, USA to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in East Africa. With a small team, we were on the ground to touch base with a work that Dove Children's Foundation had helped pioneer.
Our time in Ethiopia took us into the country side - vast and varied with its lush hillsides and hot springs. But in a little corner of the country, not far from the Somalia border, and far from the lucrative coffee fields, stood a small foster care compound. DCF had sponsored this foster care unit for a few years and was working on expanding into adoptions. What we saw was a remarkable and innovative initiative. With the DCF donations, they had constructed a few buildings that served as housing, schooling, and kitchens. They had invested in a few dairy cows and now were self-sustaining. The garden grew crops, the milk was sold for cash to pay for books, the manure was used to fertilize the ground and make fire for cooking. Nothing went to waste.
We saw another project of great interest to assist - irrigated crops. The children that were "too old" to adopt out (approximately 18-years-old) and who had gone through the schooling available were able to work. Initially, the Ethiopian government dug wells on this land and began to use irrigation to turn the dry fields into rich farmland. But when the cost began to be too much, they abandoned the project and put the land up for sale for a give-away price. Partnering with another agency, Dove Children's Foundation invested in the field. Today it grows many crops and helps to pay for the growing foster care system that we are connected with. The young adults working the fields are not part of the thousands of poor without hope in Ethiopia. They are educated and working. They are the hope of tomorrow for this country.
Within days we were on a plane for another eight hours to Maputo, Mozambique. This time we drove into a children's compound where most of the 500 children living there had been rescued from the garbage dumps. Children swarmed our small team as we climbed out of the vehicle - hugging, loving, and begging for a look or a touch from us. It was impossible to refuse their wide, bright smiles and their enthusiastic brown eyes! For the next two days we immersed ourselves in the sea of black little boys and girls, playing, walking them to school, visiting them in the on-site clinic. We listened to their stories, sang their songs with them, laughed and hugged, and cried at their stories. Unlike the homes they had known of physical abuse and starvation, of prostitution and persecution, of the stench of rotting garbage and hill after hill of stinking decay, they had come to a place of safety, love, and acceptance. This was just the kind of work that Dove Children's Foundation has always pioneered. To get involved was an easy decision.
Since coming together with the work in Mozambique, the same success story has repeated itself in other children's centers in Pemba, Mozambique, South Africa, and the Sudan. By partnership, a drilling machine has been purchased and now all sights have fresh, clean, safe drinking water. All compounds have a working medical facility that cares for the children living in the compounds and is also open to the community at reasonable costs. Quickly these compounds are learning to be more self-sustaining, bringing hope and relief to one of the most impoverished African nations.
Within one year of our trip to Ethiopia and Mozambique, we had the opportunity to get one of our key people at a grass root level in Kenya. She was able to find a way to aid the establishment of children's centers within the Nairobi area. In the poorest slums, feeding centers opened up every lunchtime to feed children as young as 2-years-old. Preschools opened up to get these small ones off the streets. Uniforms were given to primary school age children whether they were orphaned or had impoverished parents. With a helping hand, these centers were able to open secondary schools and computer training centers to begin the journey to self-sustenance.
Today, this city work continues to thrive but the children's work has also expanded into the bush areas along Lake Victoria. A foster care home has opened that houses children ranging in age from 3-years-old to 17-years-old. Feeding programs to care for the widows of children have begun. Rice and beans for eating, and maize for planting are all a part of the help that given every month. To help you understand just what an impact Dove Children's Foundation is having, let me illustrate it for you in couple of true stories:
Loreen was 7-years-old and had a loving mother until that mother fell ill with encephalitis. Due to the lack of proper care and medication, the disease damaged this mom's brain and her thinking. Although the mom recovered, every time she saw this precious girl she was compelled to beat her until this beautiful child almost died. We took Loreen in. We held her and nursed her wounds. We kissed on her and loved her. It took six weeks before the child could eat much more than a meager meal of soup. It was months before she smiled. But today she is happy, and vibrant. She attends school and knows that she is secure. We will continue to love her and educate her, making sure that she has all she needs and that opportunities are made available to her as she grows up.
Another day we sent relief funds to the workers in the bush area. One gift was specifically for a widow we knew with five children. Upon returning from picking up the money, our agent met with this widow. He told her that he had just received a gift for her and quickly distributed the money to her. She fell to her feet and began to weep, crying out her gratitude. It turns out that she and her children had not had a proper meal in over a week and nothing for the last three days. She has since been added to our list of widows that receives monthly support.
It only took $75 to change this widow's life that day and $25 to sustain this family every month. Help us touch the poorest of the poor in the world. Help us feed the hungry and aid the suffering of the most innocent victims of poverty - the children.
To donate, click here now.
PICK ME! PICK ME!
The little Romanian boy begged as he tugged on my sleeve. Whether in Romania or Russia, the feelings upon entering the orphanages were always so similar - despair, hopelessness, sickness, and starvation. I am overwhelmed by a tiny baby who lay dying, too young to know how to ask for help in a situation where help has not come before. Dozens of other needy infants just like her lay quiet and wan, in row upon row of anonymous bassinets. Their stomachs protrude and their hair thin - both signs of starvation.
Our tour took us into the kitchen facilities, the one place where one would expect to find some relief from the cold But alas, it was not to be! Due to a lack of payment the electricity had been turned off. The pantry held just one cup of formula to be shared by more than eighty children. When the director of the orphanage saw the boxes of food and medicine that our small team brought, she broke down and cried. Not only did we bring much needed supplies, but we paid the worker's back wages and the overdue electric bill to get the heat turned back on.
Russia, with its alluring countryside, magnificent architecture, excellence in the arts, and with recent discoveries in oil and natural gas, is still a nation in turmoil. Those who suffer most are the children, for they are too young to know how to save their own lives. Orphanages beg for shoes, coats, blankets, and mattresses to brace the children against the cold winters. Without donations, many children are left to sleep on the floor or use shoes long worn-out by those who came before them. Without the food and supplies given by Dove Children's Foundation, many infants and children would die. Those that receive relief are quick to gain weight. The healthier children are then able to participate in adoption programs. Many go on to new families leaving their struggle for survival behind. Let me tell you the story of one:
This bright-eyed child especially caught my attention. Although small for his age, his mind was sharp. As I listened to his story of his life before he came to the orphanage, my heart tore in two. To survive on the streets, he would scrape the ice off of the grass and eat the grass and dirt. He would huddle with other street kids at night trying to find a warm spot to survive the bitter cold nights. When he was taken in by the orphanage, his life improved. He was given thin porridge and broth to eat almost every day. Even though he did not have a blanket, he did not have to search for shelter every night. He was happy with the improvement. The days that this precocious boy had to spend in the Russian orphanage were limited. My husband and I adopted him.
That was one way to improve the life of one child. We immediately began the process of opening the door for adoptions to bring other children into loving homes. But still, that was not enough. What about the hundreds of children that would not find help through adoption? That is where the Soy Cows came in. Soy Cows may be a modern day miracle. These incredible processors inexpensively produce 90 liters of soy milk per day - enough to meet the nutritional needs of one entire orphanage. Not only do these amazing machines offer a solution to the severe protein deficiencies suffered by many children in the Slavic nations, but they offer a way to self-sufficiency by selling the high-nutrition foods that can be produced - yogurt, tofu, puddings, cakes, and even bread and muffins. Many of these machines have already been placed in Russia's neediest regions, but Dove Children's Foundation desires to place 200 Soy cows throughout Russia, Siberia, Romania and other Slavic nations, with the potential to feed 150,000 hungry children every day!
Multitudes of children still lack adequate food, medicine, and other essentials. Without immediate help, many will die.
To help the thousands of sick and hungry children who still wait in the orphanages for food, hope and love, click here now.
A mandate from out of the blue struck my heart with such passion that it consumed me for days - Four days to be exact before the Tsunami that devastated an entire country hit, killing thousands and leaving a wake of turmoil in its path. My contacts in the area called with such desperation in their voices. Thousands of children were instantly orphaned or separated from their families. Over the following weeks, hundreds of precious children were on the brink of starvation. A country previously closed to help was now welcoming our international efforts with arms wide open.
Working with nationals, we quickly established a home to take in the children that would otherwise be endangered on the streets. We put together a system to reconnect some children with their frantic parents and identified others that were truly orphaned for continued assistance.
That was in 2004. It was the beginning of a new era for Dove Children's Foundation. Since then, the work has grown, touching the multifaceted nature of this country and its culture. Following is an excerpt from a recent letter from one of our contacts in the region. Names are withheld for individual's protection.
"Here I am in India where you sent me and started the work just after the Big Tsunami wave hit India. Yes, you are being used to 'Save India' ...and here we are bringing hope and courage to this nation. A Children's Center has been set up. They just had the village come out dancing, singing, playing drums, and doing a processional with a banner. Hundreds of the untouchable children are being fed and go through school near Calcutta. We have begun feeding leper colonies. A widows program with 120-150 very young women who are prostitutes has begun. For just $20 per month, we can support them. For $500 we can buy the widow back. Even doors in Bollywood are opening for us. You did it, Orvalee! We are all here because of you and what you started!"
Listen to what another one of our contacts says about the work Dove Children's Foundation is involved with:
"It was probably the most heart changing experience we have ever had - going to the red light district in Calcutta and hugging prostitutes so young - some even ten or eleven-years-old. My heart went through the blender as I kissed their faces. Other social workers were so surprised to see these prostitutes cry saying that they do not cry - they are too hardened. Then we went to the HIV positive prostitutes in the hospitals. Some women had deteriorated to the bones and skin only. Women wept to be touched and kissed and wondered if we were ghosts as they believe that they are contagious just by touch. "
"To help deal with the pressing temptations that youth are facing, we are working to build a youth center to include a skate park. With the help of Dove Children's Foundation and other companies, we will work to teach the kids how to have clean fun and be active without drugs or getting hooked into trying to be western. "
Help us continue to Save India. For more information on how to send your donations to this work, click on this link now..
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Even as a young girl, it was my passion to help those less fortunate. Later, after becoming a mother of six, I realized that in societies everywhere, it's the children who are most vulnerable because they are too young to care for themselves.
My personal commitment and lifetime goal is to assist in saving the lives of threatened children worldwide - to help those who cannot help themselves, and to influence them in a practical way so that they may realize their potential and fulfill their dreams
To this end , I have established Dove Children's Foundation, Inc. along with some associates who feel as I do.
If you love children and want to make a difference in a small one's life, please help Dove Children's Foundation by getting involved. Invite others to become involved. It is our intent to make every dollar contributed multiply threefold in our crusade to help heal the worlds hurting children.
Thank you and may God bless you."
Meet some of the children of DOVE CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION
When representatives from Dove Children's Foundation first met Oksana in 1997, she was underweight, mentally withdrawn and infested with parasites. A more recent photo shows an almost miraculous transformation after the little girl was rescued from the orphanage and adopted by a loving American family.
At nine months old, little Victoria struggles for life. Her starving body is so wasted that hypotrophy - the progressive degeneration of tissue - has begun. With the food that Dove Children's Foundation brought to her orphanage, Victoria quickly gained weight. Today she is the picture of health and happiness, in a photo taken by her adoptive parents.
Like many malnourished babies, Zhanna had barely the strength to hold up her head. A smiling, happy infant even in this condition, Zhanna filled out to a healthy weight under the care of her new mother.
Be a part of this dream...
Your financial donation helps supply transportation and purchase essentials such as food and medicine. By supporting Dove Children's Foundation, you give wings to its mission of aiding children in crisis, as well as its goal to eliminate the cause of their need. Over the course of five years, Dove Children's Foundation has funded relief missions to orphanages in Romania, India, Africa, and most recently, Russia.
With your help, we can save lives. Call today: 1-503-777-2223
Dove Foundation Inc.
Mail:3735 S.E. Martins, Portland, OR 97202 + Fax: 1-503-771-7893
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