Local Church Initiatives

Al Kotchi Memorial Fund Provides Three Eye Surgeries


Today three children’s lives in Nicaragua are being changed through corrective eye surgery thanks to the memorial fund of Al Kotchi.

Israel, Genesis and Tamara are three children whose already tough lives were compounded with an eye condition called Strabismus. The condition does not go away on it’s own, but it is repairable with surgery.  

Two months ago, these children and their families had never dreamed they would be blessed with financial help for the surgery, transportation to the hospital, medicines and follow up care. Today they are so grateful for the help they are receiving and for the love that has been shared with them from this family in the U.S.

Al’s family has been blown away by the support that has come in (over $7,000 to date) and would like to continue to help children in Nicaragua who need surgeries through the “Al Kotchi Memorial Fund.” If you would like to make a gift in Al’s honor, please click here and simply include “Al Kotchi Memorial Fund” in the order notes of the donation page.

You can see the photos below of Israel’s journey and we will update with photos from Genesis and Tamara as they become available.


And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

– Matthew 18: 3-5 NIV


After School Education Program Equips Vulnerable Students to Succeed

Keyling is a student who has grown in self-confidence and improved performance in reading and math

The ORPHANetwork Local Church Initiative (LCI) After School Education Program (ASEP) builds upon the platform of health that our LCIs establish through nourishing meals and routine nutritional assessments. The purpose of the ASEP is to provide our children the skills and strategies needed to learn and advance in the public school system and break the cycle of poverty in their lives.

The broad goals of the program are to:

  • Increase student aptitude and capacity while developing their faith in Jesus
  • Improve student academic performance in reading and math
  • Improve facilitators’ (teachers) abilities in class management and creative teaching techniques
  • Educate parents regarding their responsibility to participate in their children’s development and educational success


Instruction takes place Monday through Thursday, 2 hours per day for a total of eight hours per week for the 2-3 levels (depending on needs) of instruction.

The first parents’ meeting at Keyling’s LCI


Parent Involvement: 

The program strategically includes parents so that they can be empowered to take an active role in their child’s education. Parent workshops help parents learn how to support their children’s learning and parents have shared positive changes they’ve witnessed in their children, like better behavior and more self-confidence, since joining the program.

Last year the ASEP was piloted in 8 LCIs, impacting 300 students. In 2017, the program will reach 800 students in 16 LCIs!


The first mini-library was resourced from a Florida teacher and her school school district!


Would you like to help a child break the cycle of poverty through our LCI ASEP? Each of our locations needs a mini-library and at a cost of $1,200, what a great thing to involve your friends and family in through a peer-to-peer fundraiser!

Check out our online fundraising tool here, and please let us know if we can help you along the way!




Innovative Program Empowers Hundreds of Moms and Teenagers

dsc_0345Our Club for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers is now serving over 440 women and teenagers in 32 Local Church Initiatives (LCIs) across Nicaragua!
The overarching goal of the club is to prevent the often irreversible cognitive and physical defects that are caused by chronic malnourishment during a child’s most formative years.
Mothers learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to provide proper nourishment to their babies and infants. The club also educates the women on their rights and provides strategies for protection from abusive partners, all the while inviting the women into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
According to the World Bank, Nicaragua has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Latin America – 1 in 3 teenagers will have a baby before they are 18.


Teenagers like Chelsea (on right) are also being reached through our clubs with information about preventing teenage pregnancies as well as how to protect themselves from sexual abuse situations.
Chelsea shared, “The club has helped me learn about the consequences of an early pregnancy on my life. I am grateful for what I am learning here and I want to help teach other teenagers.”
We are so excited for these women and teenagers who are not only being equipped and empowered with life-changing information, but who are also experiencing Christ’s love through their local Nicaraguan church.

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