In This Issue
* OphanAct Update
* Who is an Orphan?
*Children's Action Teams
Board of Directors
Leanna J Roberts
Holiday Greetings from OrphanAct
OrphanAct is pleased to have completed its sixth year as a viable non profit agency. As OrphanAct continues to grow, we have made some changes to the organization. Leanna Roberts, former Vice President of OrphanAct, has assumed the position of Executive Director in a full time capacity reporting to the Board of Directors. Steve Moksnes, co-founder and President of OrphanAct, will continue his role as OrphanAct's Board President.
Leanna will spend the majority of her time fund raising, The goal is to increase OrphanAct's annual level of financial support which in turn will increase OrphanAct's ability to provide more aid to children in need. She will be speaking to Rotary Clubs, individuals and other organizations across the country not only to raise money to but to raise awareness of the needs of these children.
As we move into 2010, Lida Sclocchini, Director of OrphanAct Russia, will continue her dedicated work in Russia. Dana McIntyre will lead the way in Romania for OrphanAct Romania. The team leader position for the OrphanAct Philippines is open.
UNICEF's most recent number of over 130 million orphans worldwide is staggering. In Russia and the Ukraine, where OrphanAct began its pilot program, the number tips the scale above 4 million. In Russia alone, the annual number of ‘children left without parental care' has more than doubled over the last 10 years, despite falling birth rates.
With that being said, there is work to be done! If you would like her to visit your organization or get involved in OrphanAct's mission, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is an Orphan?
What defines an orphan on the world stage is a child who is deprived of their first line of protection - their parents. Reasons include having temporarily or permanently:
- Lost their caregivers or guardians (orphans).
- Lost contact with their caregivers. For example, street children, unaccompanied displaced or refugee children.
- Been separated from their parents. For example, where parents are detained or children are abducted.
- Been placed in alternative care by their caregivers. For example, children with disabilities or children from poor families who are placed in institutions.
- Been kept in prolonged hospital care. For example, on grounds of health status, such as HIV status.
- Been detained in educational, remand, correctional or penal facilities as a result of an administrative or judicial decision. For example, suspected or convicted offenders or child asylum seekers.
Although the reasons vary greatly, separation from parents and family is usually detrimental for the overall well being and development of the child.
Children's Action Teams
For the past year, OrphanAct has been working not only on funding projects but building Children's Actions Teams. Children’s Action Teams wrap their arms around an orphanage, homeless children’s shelter, hospital of abandoned babies or other facilities for children and work towards improving the living conditions and overall quality of life for the many children that are making the best of their situation.
Children’s Action Teams are comprised of the target facility, an in-country Rotary Club that has an on-going relationship with a children’s facility, volunteers, donors (U.S. Rotary clubs, churches, schools, individuals and other civic organizations) who pay a membership fee to support the facility, and volunteers that support the work that is being accomplish.
In 2009, these Children's Action teams continued to provide on going support for New Year's gifts and celebrations, birthday gifts, sensory rooms that give children a tranquil place to go to in the orphanage and receive therapy from counselors, new kitchen equipment, puppetry programs, diapers and milk, and funding of a child's education to name a few.
These teams could not be successful with out the help of team leaders both in the United States and abroad. Thank you to all who continue to make these teams a success. There are money facilities that need Children's Action Teams and more teams that need members. Please contact Leanna to participate.
As we look to 2010, OrphanAct will not only focus on growing the membership of each of the Children's Action Teams but will focus on generating funding for one time projects such as a request from the Regional School for the Blind in Biysk of $80,000 to purchase ten computers that are equipped to teach the blind the computer skills necessary to find work and become self sufficient, an $11,000 request for computers for an orphanage in Kemerov to not only fund computers but hire a full time teacher, $12,000 for a musical instrument program for the Altai Children's School, up to $30,000 for diapers for the children with disabilities for Orphanage #2 in Irkutsk, diapers and milk for the Children at the Little House of the Nazareth in the Philippines, to name a few.
Burn Victim Improving
In October, OrphanAct received a cry for help from our Director in Russia, Lida Sclocchini. She told us of a thirteen year old boy name Sasha, who had been seriously burned (75% of his body) in an accident at his orphanage. For almost two months the boy was in intensive care unit and had five surgeries. We sent out a request for support and have had an overwhelming response of well wishes and donations to help this boy.
Lida reports that Sasha was released from the hospital at the beginning of November. He was transferred to his shelter in a small town. The money will be used for the expenses that have been incurred and will be incurred to treat Sasha. We continue to keep Sasha in our thoughts and know that his expenses will continue so thank you for your ongoing support for Sasha.
Thank you to our Partners
Many thanks to the partnership we have with so many Rotary Clubs around the globe and our continued partnerships with IORPHAN, Arm in Arm, Legacy Bridge, The Humanitarian Network and all the individual donors that support OrphanAct.
With out your commitment, 2009 would not have been a success especially in light of the economic conditions and 2010 would not look as bright with out each of you.
On behalf of all of the Board of Directors, best wishes for a prosperous 2010!