Nicaragua

8 Years of Partying with a Purpose

What a simple thing you can do to be the light in this world…go to a party!

-John Pitzaferro, Founder & CEO of TransNational Payments

Eight years ago, John Pitzaferro came back from a trip to Nicaragua wanting to make a difference in the lives of children he met there.

Eight years ago, ORPHANetwork partnered with TransNational Payments to transform the community of Nueva Vida, Nicaragua.

Eight years ago, the Party with a Purpose was born.

Now, eight years later, we’re still going strong. To date, the Party with a Purpose has raised over a million dollars that helped transform the lives of 1,200 at-risk children by providing over two million meals and effectively reducing malnourishment in Nueva Vida by 50%! But it’s not just the immediate needs that are being addressed — we also invest in these children’s future by teaching them valuable job skills that’ll help their families break the cycle of poverty.

Why is the Party with a Purpose so successful? Well, that’s because it’s more than a fundraiser — it’s really a party, and not just your typical one. It’s an evening where you can spend time with family and friends, dance to live music, taste delicious local cuisine, participate in thrilling auctions, win exciting raffle prizes, enjoy friendly game room competition and, most importantly, do all of this with a greater purpose!

This October brings our 8th Annual Party with a Purpose to Rolling Meadows, IL, and we plan to make it our most fun and successful one yet! Our event is open to all who want to experience an unforgettable Friday night and give hundreds of children something that’ll change their lives forever.

Check out the official Party with a Purpose website and watch the video below to learn more about how we make a difference, one Party at a time!

Emmanuel’s Remarkable Story

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.

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Equipping Caregivers with Trauma Informed Care Training

ORPHANetwork has partnered with LAMb International to train caregivers, social workers, psychologists and leaders to better understand and manage the impact of trauma on the lives of the children with whom they have responsibility. In addition, we are helping those caregivers and leaders who are personally experiencing the impact of secondary trauma in their own lives.

Participant feedback from 2016 allowed LAMb to hone in on specific issues facing our children and the caregivers who are raising them during our 4th training series which was conducted on both the east and west coasts in June. Below is an overview of the topics covered and the strategies developed:

  • A one-day learning lab was conducted to reinforce managing adolescents with trauma. Our Nicaraguan partners brought real cases of youth that they are working with and practiced team treatment planning to support the adolescents. This was an interactive day where treatment plans were developed, approved and there is a plan to implement them, reporting on results at our next training this fall.
    1. Each team conducted an evaluation of a child – behaviors (positive and negative), history, current relationships, trauma history.This information was handed off to another team to develop a plan for the child to meet their needs, develop trust and ensure that the child feels safe. The handoff was to illustrate the need to be comprehensive so that if outside psychologists, Mi Familia, etc. are brought in, they will have a full history and be able to make informed recommendations.

      An example is a 15 year old girl who experiences anger and impulsive behavior, low esteem and is verbally aggressive. Lacks social skills and anxiety. Her mother, a prostitute, had 10 children.   She was separated from her Mom as an infant and later from her siblings. She does see her siblings occasionally. She likes to help out at the home.

      The plan included:

      1. Work with her to develop a schedule to help her with life skills.

      2. Develop her leadership with activities such as cooking

      3. Maintain open communication

      4. Team will meet weekly to evaluate her progress using tools from training.

  • A one-day training was conducted on child sexual abuse – this was an introduction and we will go deeper at our fall training. The focus of the training was to orient the attendees to sexual abuse and the impact on the child. We reviewed the spectrum of behaviors that are considered sexual abuse, how sexual deviance occurs and we walked through the indicators of sexual abuse and the effect on children. In our fall training we will focus on strategies for supporting the sexually abused child. The teams will be developing “House Rules” to protect children from potential inappropriate behaviors.
  • Compassion Fatigue/Secondary Trauma Stress of the Caregiver/Worker – Anyone working with traumatized children is at high risk for secondary trauma. If this is not addressed it leads to ineffectiveness, burn out and potential health and psychological issues. Included in the training were self-assessments so that the individual could identify stressors and discussion of strategies that can be applied to the individual.

We are so thankful for our strategic partners at The Compass Church in Naperville, IL, for their investments that are making this invaluable training possible this year.

Coming in the Fall 2017

  • Child Sexual Abuse Part 2
  • Helping A Child Become More Resilient to the Impact of Trauma

Also available, our blog post from last year’s training with LAMb International. 

The Gratitude of a New Local Church Initiative Pastor

 

Pastor Jose is the pastor of Iglesia Redil de Ovejas, located in San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua. Over the past two years, our partners at Hillier Ignite made this Life Changing LCI a reality for this pastor and 18 more in Rivas. Additionally Hillier Ignite supports our network of Live Saving LCIs in Rivas – you can click here to see Luke Hillier and team on their first visit to meet these children and pastors in 2015.

We are so grateful for this partnership that prevents vulnerable children from being abandoned, breaks cycles of poverty and empowers our partners to Share Christ! Enjoy the recent photos of Pastor Jose’s LCI launch below.

 

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