So, while we’re in the Philadelphia airport, I can add some stuff to the blog (maybe).
This is the very first report we got from our Working Group, which chose the name “Samaritan Liliaba” for itself.
Samaritan Liliaba first group report (has a couple of pictures)
Samaritan Liliaba Working Group, Kenya
Partnered with University UMC, 2014-2016
Focus On: Working Group Formation
Poverty often means a life lived in isolation, unconnected even from those who share the same struggles and challenges. A ZOE working group provides orphans and vulnerable children a community where they experience understanding, compassion and acceptance. Together, they begin their journey towards a better life.
To form a working group, ZOE social workers first contact community leaders and local officials to educate them about the empowerment approach and to ask for their help in identifying children. During the first meeting, the children and their young caregivers learn how they will change and improve their lives within three years. Then ZOE takes a step back.
Working group members elect their own leadership, make rules to guide their meetings, choose a group name and decide where to hold weekly gatherings. These once-marginalized children learn from ZOE staff that their community and their Hope Companion partner have faith in their ability to succeed.
The eldest child from each family attends weekly meetings to discuss their activities, both achievements and challenges, and to share in prayer and reflection with each other. Additionally, ZOE’s staff and selected community members host regional training sessions covering food security, health and disease prevention, business management and child rights.
One of the first actions the group takes is to select a project, such as a group farm, which they undertake together to quickly secure food and generate income. Because of your support, ZOE is then able to provide the basic training and resources they need to begin.
Below is the list of names recorded by our ZOE social workers; there are 30 households and a total of 79 members. The names in bold are heads of household, followed by their siblings and dependents. ZOE works with orphaned and vulnerable children ages infant through college age. Occasionally, an older person lives with the family, but is unable to provide for them due to age or illness. Although ZOE obtains name lists with both first and last names, ZOE uses first names only in public lists to preserve the privacy of children in the program.
Please note, children joining the ZOE program are living in extreme poverty situations. Often they have no parents or birth documentation and have suffered multiple traumas in their young lives. Occasionally the children give conflicting information on their names and ages. Additional orphans are frequently adopted by the group, and a small percentage of children will leave the group due to family reunification or other reasons. ZOE strives to keep the list as up-to-date as possible. All the names on this list represent real children in need of your prayers.
[Note: I deleted the actual list because it’s already been posted.]