In Pursuit Framework
Academically-based, rather than agricultural or trade
Rather than simply training the children in the industry or trade prevalent in the local community, the framework provides children with a classical, liberal arts education. In addition to the traditional subjects, they learn both their native language and English. Our research has shown that a preventive model can offer the children much more from an education perspective. Children, on average, will enter the program by age three, and thus will be able to get all necessary tools (e.g., proper nutrition, stable family, proper medical care) to make our academic model reasonable and suitable.
Staffed by nationals, not foreigners
National leadership and staff is absolutely critical to the success of any community. All of the workers on site should be from within country and chosen for their skill level as well as their character and desire to serve God. Ultimately, it is much more likely that a community and staff will own the project and become self-sustaining if the project is run by peers from their own community and culture.
Development and renewal, not relief
Our work strives for long-term, paradigm-shifting changes in lives and societies through orphaned and at-risk children being developed into leaders. We seek to do this through comprehensive care that fills not only the children’s material needs, but also their deep social, spiritual, and psychological needs. We seek not only to feed, clothe, and shelter them, but to give them hope, community, self-respect, power, and voice in their respective societies. We seek to raise them up to be thriving, productive members of their communities who are not dependent on handouts or other aid from outsiders.
Impact through Self-Sustainability
As recent books like When Helping Hurts, The Poor Will Be Glad, and Toxic Charity bring to light, economic self-sustainability is a necessary component to any organization’s or program’s long-term results and successes. Community care projects in support of orphaned and at-risk children are not an exception to this rule. To have any chance at long-term success, there needs to be real ownership and buy-in by the community serving and being served by the project.
Dissemination of information, not hoarding
We seek to share information about our framework and other orphan care research with the orphan care community around the world. We believe that the parts are stronger only when more of the whole is equally well informed and collaborating with each other.
Family-based, rather than an institutional setting
The framework places orphaned children into family homes with a set of parents and up to seven siblings, where they truly become a family for the entirety of the children’s lives. The framework requires a family-based model of care, which places children in permanent family homes. We realize that this approach requires more resources and will thus mean that we will take fewer orphaned children than if we used an institutional setting. We intentionally sacrifice quantity for quality, because we believe that it is in the best interests of the children. In particular, the family model substantially increases the chance that the children will become societal leaders without character disorders and other ills common to children without permanent, stable families.
The parents in the family homes, who are Christian, married couples, are arguably the most crucial part of the framework, raising orphaned children as their own. It is extremely important all couples complete an intense interview process before being allowed to have their own home of children. Under the framework, one of the two parents in each home has a job in the local community and they will have the freedom to function as an individual family. Within reason, they will choose which activities they want to attend, what church they want to attend, and how basic household duties are managed.