Our Pursuit of Excellence
We are embroiled in a crisis surrounding millions of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC). Families are being torn apart daily through a wide variety of tragic events, including accidental deaths, natural disasters, wars, terrorism, gang violence, drugs, poverty, and sex-trafficking. While there are programs in place to help these children in their distress, many of them only provide for the children’s physical needs (food, clothing and shelter) and do not lead to lives fully restored in the absence of biological families. For these children to thrive, they need to experience the full measure of God’s love – they need to be cared for with excellence.
Given these realities, what does gospel-driven excellence look like when we care for orphaned and at-risk children? In 2014, through the book project, In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence Providence World framed a conversation around this critical question through a collaborative effort involving fifteen authors from orphan care organizations around the world. Using the La Providencia incubator model we founded and operated in Honduras for over 15 years, In Pursuit established a framework to inspire and equip others to understand what excellent, best-practice orphan care looks like in situations where kinship care, legal adoption, quality foster care, or reunification with biological family is not possible, feasible, or likely to occur.
As we launched the book and began having deeper, global conversations about what excellence looks like in caring for OVC, it brought to the table an oft-neglected component of orphan care – the preventive measures such as poverty alleviation, community development, family strengthening, and discipleship. Since then, we have expanded the global conversation to better understand the full context of the global orphan crisis and the need for a full-spectrum solution centered around principles of excellence.
To further enhance the global movement towards OVC excellence, in May 2016, we launched the Think Orphan Podcast, which is hosted by our President Phil Darke and Rick Morton of Lifeline Children’s Services. The podcast brings in leading voices from around the world to navigate the difficult issues that affect millions of children and families, from poverty alleviation, anti-trafficking, mentoring, and family strengthening to best practices in caring for OVC.
In order to effectively reduce the number of OVC worldwide and provide them with the highest possible standards of care, we need a collaborative network of churches and organizations who are fully committed to working together. To do this, Providence World has set out on a mission of inspiring and equipping others to love orphaned and at-risk children with excellence!