School is a good place to learn life-changing principles and ideas. So why not use the school year to educate students on the needs of peers around the world–specifically orphaned and vulnerable children?
With a little time and effort, schools can make a tremendous impact on the lives of children in need. Here are some ideas to encourage students to learn and care about the world’s orphans. Don’t be intimidated by the size or scope of the need. Focus on one thing you can do to help one child, one orphanage, or one school. God has an incredible track record of multiplying human effort to accomplish His big, eternal purposes. (Look for a great example of this at the end of the post!)
As a school or even as a class, you can:
- Adopt a school overseas. Support the education, discipleship, and nutrition for children in need at a school overseas. (Learn more here.)
- Adopt an orphanage overseas. Partner with an orphanage to take the love of Christ to children in the form of daily provision, job training, medical supplies, and other vital needs. Be a critical part of their story. (Learn more here.)
- Host a play or concert and sell tickets to raise funds for orphans. Maybe you are already planning to host an event this year. Can you give some of the proceeds to care for orphans?
- Donate a holiday party. Raise items or funds for the fatherless. In lieu of (or in addition to) a traditional gift exchange at Christmas, invite the students to bring a gift for the local foster care agency.
- Discuss important days. Talk about Child Health Day, Orphan Sunday, or International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Need ideas? Come back to Lifesong’s blog to see what posts and ideas are shared for each of these important days (and others like them!)
- Communicate with an orphanage (via letters or e-mail) and raise funds to meet a specific need. Maybe adopting an entire orphanage or school is daunting. Could you host a fundraiser for a specific need? Many of the orphanages we serve have lists of things they could use to help children. We would be happy to share an item (or items) that your class or school could fundraise to provide. The impact–on your students and on children around the world–could be life-changing.
For faith-based educational settings
- Sponsor a child. Write letters to the child/children that you sponsor. Encourage them and point them to Jesus. (Learn more here.)
- Read books that highlight orphans or orphan care workers (in a sensitive and/or positive way). As you teach geography, stop and discuss different cultures and what schools and orphanages look like in that country. As you discuss historical figures–George Müeller, Mother Teresa–take time to talk about their role as an orphan or orphan advocate.
- Learn Bible verses about God’s love for the fatherless. Incorporate verses about the fatherless into your Bible curriculum and instruction.
- Choose an orphanage or country to pray for monthly. Incorporate orphanages and other countries into your pre-existing prayer time or Bible class. (Learn about countries/children we serve here.)
Need some more inspiration?–
Kids Caring 4 Kids
Kendall Ciesemier was just 11 years old when she started an organization in 2004 called Kids Caring 4 Kids. Impacted by a T.V. show highlighting orphans in Africa, she decided to act. At the time, Kendall was preparing for a liver transplant, and she did a remarkably selfless and mature thing–she asked friends and family not to give her gifts or flowers in recovery. Instead, she invited people to donate to a fund to help communities in Africa.
The response was mind-blowing. Kendall raise over $15,000 to help kids overseas. Read the full story here.
Since its founding, Kids Caring 4 Kids has engaged over 15,000 young people in the U.S. to raise one million dollars to support programs providing access to clean water, healthcare, food, and education. Kids Caring 4 Kids is now a program of Lifesong for Orphans. It is aimed at engaging, developing, and sustaining Lifesong’s school in Kitwe, Zambia.
So what is Kendall’s goal, our goal, and presumably yours?–To inspire a generation of givers in the U.S. and empower kids to create their own campaigns to help kids in need. Let’s aim to give students the gift of a greater perspective and a broader worldview.
“The idea is that if you inspire kids at a young age, they will carry this kind of giving throughout their lives.” –Kendall Ciesemier
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