Emmanuel lives with his mother and extended family in a tiny home in the former refugee community of Nueva Vida. He was born with a congenital deformity in his upper and lower limbs. When we first met Emmanuel on the steps of our dental clinic in 2012, he was just three years old. We learned he had once received a pair of leg braces from a visiting surgeon to the public hospital in Managua. However, when the surgeon left the program at the hospital ended.
ORPHANetwork Medical Director, Dr. Janice Hebbert, has helped this family throughout their journey. She remarks, “it has been a great blessing to be able to continue to help this young boy; to be a witness of God’s love and his power through science.”
Today, Emmanuel is eight years old and has been through eight surgeries – six on his hands and two on his legs and tons of physical therapy. The leg braces he was recently fitted with are expected to correct the curvature of his legs within two years! We are honored to create new opportunities for life for Emmanuel, his mother and each of the 22,000 children we serve.
Click here to see additional medical success stories of our children and stay tuned to our emails for another incredible medical story coming soon.
Our jobs skills training program with Mission 14, empowers students from our Local Church Initiatives to gain in-demand sewing skills. Textiles at the top export in Nicaragua and our students are learning this trade which opens the door to employment.
“Today there are eleven people with a job and a salary to provide for their families who are taking the first steps to break the cycle of poverty.” – Fabricio Mercado, Mission 14
You can provide training for 3 students for just over $1,000. Consider launching a peer-to-peer fundraiser to provide training for our next class!
We recently welcomed Chessney Barrick to our staff as National Relationship Director. Chessney comes to ORPHANetwork with 10 years of non-profit experience, having served as Director of Development and Marketing at Stop Hunger Now and as Founder of Fill the Bowls. Chessney has been serving as a volunteer with ORPHANetwork since 2007.
In this week’s post, we feature Chessney’s reflections on following her Calling to Nicaragua and her new role at ORPHANetwork.
In 2007 I traveled to Nicaragua as a student leader with my church. I had recently been hired as the Director of Development with Stop Hunger Now, a hunger relief organization. We witnessed the work ORPHANetwork was doing in impoverished communities to break the cycle of poverty.
A powerful collaborative partnership started to take shape, the goal was to get rice/soy fortified meals donated to support the development of a new ORPHANetwork feeding center program in a community serving 1,200 kids. In 2009, ORPHANetwork received its first shipment of 285,000 fortified rice meals to serve this one community. To date, ORPHANetwork’s feeding programs have evolved to 245 Local Church Initiatives serving more than 22,000 kids. To date, Stop Hunger Now has donated more than 6.2 million meals.
Each time I visited Nicaragua thereafter, I left awe-inspired. The impact of the ministry was clear, ORPHANetwork and its partners were changing the lives of children and creating new opportunities for their future. I challenged myself to consider making a decision on how I was going to commit both professionally and personally to this cause. I went from thinking about it to doing it.
This lead me to founding Fill the Bowls.
In the organization’s inaugural year we partnered with ORPHANetwork to launch four Life Changing Local Church Initiatives in Matagalpa, one of the least food secure regions of Nicaragua. We are delighted to report that 412 children are being nourished through daily hot meals, medical care, spiritual development and so much more.
God has lead me every step of the way in this journey to answer His Call to serve children in Nicaragua. He opened the door for me to go all-in. I am thrilled to serve as National Relationship Director for ORPHANetwork.
ORPHANetwork partners with churches, non-profits, individual investors and families to build long-term relationships with national leaders, children and parents of each community we serve. Working together we address the specific needs of each community, continually working towards the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty through health, education and jobs.
God has answered my prayer. He has used my journey over the past 10 years and more than 20 trips to Nicaragua to equip me to serve alongside the passionate ORPHANetwork staff and supporters who have dedicated their lives to this ministry.
Through committing myself to working with kids, I hope to encourage others to pour themselves into what matters most to them. How will you go from thinking about it to doing it?
To learn how you can take action click here.