Every Child
3/1/15 at 08:55 PM 0 Comments

Family: Saving Children in Zambia

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Bethany Christian Services and our partners in Zambia are taking another step forward for family-based care. We are ramping up our efforts to establish foster-to-adopt homes over the next four years for 200 children who are currently on the streets or institutionalized.

Our ministry in Zambia is a prime example of Bethany’s commitment to family-based care. Our Milk and Medicine program, which provides for orphaned babies and babies whose mothers have HIV/AIDS, is, and will continue to be, an important part of the social services Bethany provides in Zambia through our One Family support. The Christian Alliance for Children (CACZ), part of Alliance for Children Everywhere (ACE), has been our partner in Zambia since 2008. Working together with CACZ, we hope to place 50 children in foster homes this calendar year.

To that end, CACZ has begun to collaborate with other partners, such as Save the Children, Catholic Medical Missions Board, and Catholic Relief Services. The Embrace Zambia Project (churches that partner with CACZ) has been praying for and recruiting families to enter our foster-to-adopt training. We also work with the Zambian government and UNICEF, as well as other global organizations. At Bethany, we are expanding our One Family sponsorship program to support foster care givers.

So far, with hard work from a country director and four social workers, 16 families have been assessed and approved for placement, and three children have been placed into foster homes.

Four-year-old Theresa is a Zambian child whose life has transformed through foster care. She was rescued from a home where, on a daily basis, her life was at risk from a mentally ill biological mother who was prone to violence and often threatened to end her children’s lives. Theresa was institutionalized until she was matched with a foster family, a Zambian couple married for eight years with no children of their own. They made sure Theresa underwent a thorough medical check-up, and doctors discovered she had sickle cell anemia. Theresa is now not only safe, but she is receiving the best treatment available for her condition and has developed a loving relationship with her foster parents.

There is a growing need for support for families and children in Zambia, including in our effort to place children like Theresa in loving and nurturing homes—in many cases, saving their lives. If you would like to make a gift or support Bethany’s work in Zambia, please contact onefamily@bethany.org.

Listen to Bethany’s Every Child audio podcast. Bethany leadership engages Christian artists and leading voices from ministries, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies in discussing issues relevant to children and families. Learn more and hear about topics such as child welfare, family preservation, social justice, and sustainable, culturally appropriate social services in developing countries.

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