Beyond the Orphanage employs a unique model of kinship or foster care designed by leading social policy professional, Dr Natalie Conner.Here, Dr Conner describes the journey that led us to our unique model or care, how and why it’s effective in addressing the homelessness and vulnerability of Ethiopia’s orphansIf you are not in the social...Read now
This month at Beyond the Orphanage (BTO) we’ve been celebrating spring here in Australia and back to school season in Ethiopia, both times of new beginnings.
In the past couple of months six new children have joined the BTO program and we are excited that we can change each of those children’s lives with our community of care.
Reaching out one by one to a staggering statistic seems like an enormous challenge and it is. What made one man begin? And what makes others join him? Part of the answer can be heard in this interview between ABC RN Life Matters presenter Natasha Mitchell and Beyond the Orphanage founder and CEO, Geoff Hucker.
On Geoff’s first visit to Ethiopia he was struck by the beauty of the country but also the number of children on the street on a school day. As a father he thought, “If there wasn’t that structure we have in the west for my son, if something happened to me, what would happen to him?” It’s something we think most parents can relate to.
What then? Geoff started to support a number of children financially and with mentoring, “I saw first hand that support love guidance mentoring make a difference in a child’s life – it also gave them that hope for the future and allow them to dream…Individually you can really make a difference…organisationally we can do much more.”
BTO began to address the needs and care of children who were not supported by orphanages. They are the older children, the ones with special needs and they come to us from every race and religion. We call that the BTO difference. “Everyone loves the little babies but the toddlers are there with their hands out, ‘what about me?’ Then there’s the children with HIV and others with mental and physical challenges, who really need our help. And that’s who were there for, the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable.”
Everybody deserves a new beginning.
Hear Geoff in his own words here and be inspired to be part of a new beginning in the lives of children who need your support.