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United States : Forgotten Voices International

Mission Statement
We are demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of AIDS orphans in their communities. We are focused on locally developed, locally run orphan care to protect the voices of pastors, community leaders, and the children they serve.

Visit their site: www.forgottenvoices.org

HeadQuarters: P.O. Box 1368 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-1368
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Forgotten Voices International

Organization Details

Mission

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Empowering Orphans: Local people, local projects.

 

Orphans and children at risk of becoming orphans are being cared for by local churches in large numbers throughout southern Africa.  Every day, 500 people die in Zimbabwe from AIDS related illnesses and 1,000 children become orphaned.

Forgotten Voices is demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities.  We are focused on locally developed, locally run orphan care to protect the voices of pastors, community leaders, and the children they serve.

The ministry of Forgotten Voices International is founded on the premise that every person is precious in the sight of God. Entire communities are being ravaged by AIDS, leaving orphans as survivors with forgotten voices that are too young or too vulnerable to rise above the background noise of a busy and preoccupied world. 

But there is hope, and together with partners across the US and around the world, Forgotten Voices is equipping leaders and empowering orphans in southern Africa. Forgotten Voices comes alongside these local pastors and helps them develop Local Action Plans for orphan care, funds them, and connects these pastors to other pastors through local seminaries and training programs.

 

 

Programs

Local People. Local Projects.
We are committed to partnering with local people in local projects.  We deeply believe that the local Church is the best tool available to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa and meet the physical & spiritual needs of orphans and vulnerable children.
Strengths of the local people, local projects approach:  
   
Pastoral Care:

Our partner churches in southern Africa are led by servants who care deeply for the whole person, physically and spiritually. They work tirelessly, and with limited resources. Pastors in Africa are often asked to be a friend, bedside companion, doctor, social worker, handyman, farmer, advocate, and even parent to vulnerable children. They are uniquely qualified to mobilize people and resources to combat AIDS and its effects.  Often, they lack the funding, time and project management knowledge to prioritize the overwhelming challenges before them. We can help.

Presence:

It is estimated that people in southern Africa look to the church for over 50% of all their basic social service needs: from bedside care to education to skill development. Communities see that the church stands ready to respond to these challenges in the effort to demonstrate Jesus Christ's love for all people.

Potential to Transform Lives:


The international response to AIDS must be channeled through avenues that are capable of transforming lives in sustainable ways. By combining the physical AND spiritual tools of the church, a holistic solution is possible. Individuals and communities are restored spiritually through Jesus Christ, and crucial strides are made to reverse the HIV epidemic.

Partnerships:

Churches throughout Africa are working together in ways unseen by many churches throughout the West. Denominations are partnering together, focused on a common cause rather than the doctrine that so easily divides. While this is still rare, we believe partnerships across the broader church should be encouraged, as they reflect the Biblical teachings to love people as Christ loved us - all of us.

Possibilities:

While many NGOs operate in southern Africa, their standardized methods leave little room for flexible solutions that consider the needs of individual communities. Church run projects provide local ownership and limitless possibilities.

Purpose:

The church has a purpose in the community that reaches beyond combating AIDS and empowering orphans. It exists to build hope, confront the ills of society, take on misbehaving governments, and stand for justice. No government, NGO, or association can claim that like the Church.

People:

The Church is alive with people willing to help. Jesus Christ's love is for all and God's people are anxious to share that love through physical assistance and spiritual restoration. They know the challenges in ways that an international NGO, government, or association cannot. The people of the local church are there to stay and will remain after AIDS is eradicated. Valuing this community is essential.

 

PROJECT PROFILES

 

ZIMBABWE

Christian Leadership Resource Centre, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Impact: 300 pastors; 800 trained through project management workshops
Partners: TCZ, Christian AIDS Taskforce, Scripture Union, Habakuk Trust, Others

Farming God's Way - Matopos Region
Impact: Anticipated 700 farms/year depending on supply costs each year; estimated to feed 7,000 individuals each year; 750 kids receiving school fees

Free Methodist Church Project, Magwegwe North

Impact: 102 children orphaned by AIDS sent back to school; Job training for 1; 25 youth attend camps/retreats during the year to get away and be kids, while receiving needed counseling & support for their grief; 100 people fed 4 times a year; Implementing Farming God's Way/Foundations for Farming
Partners: Neighboring churches, Farming God's Way/Foundations for Farming, CLRC

Matopo Mission Schools/Rotary, Bulawayo South

Impact: 25 students (some primary, some secondary)

Abandoned Children's Ministry
Impact: 30 abandoned children cared for currently; staff salaries, and general operations covered by this investment; requires $3,000/month/year to operate at current capacity. This investment, then, would equate to 1 month's operating costs at current need.

Mtshabezi AIDS Programme, BICC
Impact: 2,400 school fees, 400 VCT clients; 125 schools for Peer Education Programme; and 800 homebased care workers trained & 500 HBC kits distributed
Partners: BIC World Missions and Mennonite Central Committee

The Rock Church - Worrington, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Impact: 30 primary students; 200 person church receiving access to clean water now; farm will feed 23 children; new well and pump producing 300L a minute and providing clean water to an estimated 500-1,000 people

TCZ Leadership in HIV/AIDS Care Development Fund

Impact: 168 TCZ Alumni
Partners: Friends of TCZ, CLRC

 

ZAMBIA

BICC Compassionate Ministries, Choma, Zambia
Impact: 100 children, 25 high school students, 4 pregnant women & families
Partners: Mennonite Central Committee, TEAR FUND UK, BIC World Missions

CURE International AIDS Relief Project, Lusaka, Zambia
Impact: 100 HIV/AIDS children, patients at CURE Lusaka, Zambia
Partners: CURE International, Beit CURE Hospital

Free Methodist Church Ndola Project

Impact: 26 kids in primary school (school requirements)

Lubuto Church of Christ Project
Impact: 80 orphans (53 primary, 27 secondary) back to school (school requirements) and sewing/empowerment projects for 32 widows; hammer mill that will be used for sustainability - identified need for hammering mealie in the community that will generate income to sustain project, as well as provide food supplements for the kids and their caretakers. The project also wants to host semi-annual retreats for orphans (psycho-social benefit).

Ndeke ECZ Project (Evangelical Church of Zambia)
Impact: 48 primary and secondary kids, as well as 20 trained in homebased care, as well as funding to supply orphans and caretakers with health & food needs

New Life Ministries Church (Mercy Ministries)
Impact: 50 orphans back to school (school requirements) and 60 widows trained in tailoring skills, as well as start-up fabric. Acquiring of 4 sewing machines and repair of 7 machines.

TCCA Leadership in HIV/AIDS Care Development Fund
Impact: 200 TCCA Alumni
Partners: THETA

Twapia ECZ Project (Evangelical Church of Zambia)
Impact: 40 orphans, 15 vulnerable children attending school; 10 widows, 2 people receive needed training

Zambian Baptist Association (Ndola)
Impact: 50 kids school fees

 

History

Forgotten Voices International was founded by a few folks that saw a challenge and wanted to help orphans and their relatives address the challenges they face because of HIV/AIDS. It's amazing what a simple, "Yes, I'll help" can do to empower the lives of others. As you read our brief history, consider joining in the cause to insure that the voices of orphans in developing countires are not forgotten, but rather equipped to face the challenges in life that they are facing everyday.

Short Version

Forgotten Voices International was founded by a few folks that saw a challenge and wanted to help orphans and their relatives address the challenges they face because of HIV/AIDS. It's amazing what a simple, "Yes, I'll help" can do to empower the lives of others. As you read our brief history, consider joining in the cause to insure that the voices of orphans in developing countires are not forgotten, but rather equipped to face the challenges in life that they are facing everyday.

Forgotten Voices International started as a project of West Shore Evangelical Free Church (WSEFC) in Mechanicsburg, PA. Icon, a young adult ministry within WSEFC, was sent to explore how the church could engage with Southern Africa to address the challenges of AIDS. During and after the first trip, research was completed to see how we could plug in to insure that we were both needed and not redundant with existing efforts. From this research and by developing a partnership with the Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ), an organization was formed to help address the challenges faced by AIDS orphans and their relatives. Now operating for about 1.5 years, our organization aims to assist 3,500 people a year with school fees, basic hygienic and health needs, psycho-social support counseling for the families, and income generating projects. Explore our projects here.

Long Version

In 2001, the Senior Pastor of WSEFC attended a conference in Arizona on the challenges in church leadership. At this conference, one speaker began discussing the overwhelming hurdles HIV/AIDS were presenting in Southern Africa. Upon hearing this speaker, Pastor Thorne was inspired to begin exploring how WSEFC could begin assisting this challenge. After returning home from the conference, Pastor Thorne addressed his congregation and announced that within one year he was going to Africa to see exactly where God was leading the church. Approximately one year later, the pastor and others began exploring where in Southern Africa the church should go first.

Zimbabwe jumped off the map. Not only did WSEFC have several missionaries there, but the church's new Young Adults Pastor, Dale Brantner, had just returned to WSEFC after living in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for 6 years. While in Zimbabwe, Pastor Brantner served as President of the Theological College of Zimbabwe (TCZ), a regional seminary training qualified leaders and pastors for all of Southern Africa. Furthermore, WSEFC was actively funding several prominent and potential leaders at TCZ. The fit was natural and exciting.

A trip for July 2004 was planned. Icon, a vibrant and emerging young adult community within the church, was charged with spearheading this first exploratory trip. Thirteen professionally diverse volunteer leaders, along with Phil and Dale, traveled extensively around the country, exploring the multifaceted challenges presented by AIDS, with a focus on the effect HIV/AIDS was having on AIDS orphans and their relatives. After completing this research trip, the team partnered with several international development groups to explore best-practices. A model was developed, in conjunction with local leaders and reputable NGOs. After devising priorities and a plan for implementation, a smaller group of leaders solicited requests for funding from various communities in Southern Zimbabwe.

These funding requests had to be in writing and meet certain criteria. After traveling again to Zimbabwe, Forgotten Voices International selected its first funding priority, Mtshebezi Mission, which is located approximately two hours south of Bulawayo.

While Forgotten Voices International is primarily focused on the challenges in Southern Zimbabwe, its volunteers are independently impacting areas around the world. Contributing financial resources and time from all over the globe, our volunteers and investors make FVI run.

FVI's history continues to unfold. Check back regularly to join us as we travel along this path. Also, please consider subscribing to our e-Newsletter or investing in FVI's future, as well as the future of people in Southern Zimbabwe.

What role can you or your organization play in the painting of this picture? Explore the website and engage with Forgotten Voices International. Together, by God's grace, we can empower our friends in Zimbabwe and accomplish great things!

 

Donate Now

Your investment is needed. Each year, through your continued support, Forgotten Voices International intends to continue expanding its impact around Southern Africa. Together, by God's grace, we can accomplish great things!

Click HERE to Donate Online.

To donate by MAIL, please send your checks to the following location:

Forgotten Voices International
P.O. Box 1368
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-1368

Checks may be written to Forgotten Voices International.

Note: Every contribution to Forgotten Voices International is tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. At the end of each year, you will receive a notice highlighting your contributions to FVI for the previous year. If you have any questions about this process, please contact us or talk to your financial advisor.


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