An Intact Family Is Always the Answer
Our priority for any child in crisis is simple — to provide them with all they need to give them the best shot of a future in which they can thrive. For a child with a family in crisis — whether through poverty, economic instability, extreme weather, conflict, or other reasons — that means keeping their family together, what we call Family Preservation.
We’re well qualified to practice this: It’s our area of expertise.
For the last 50 years, we’ve worked with some of the most vulnerable children in the world. When we first met them, some of these children were orphans who had no living family. But another large percentage of these children did have a family, and could have remained with their family — if only they had received the help they needed before they succumbed to a confluence of crises that made life untenable. In our experience, it is when life becomes unmanageable for a family that actually creates most of the orphans we’ve met over the last five decades.
Keeping a Family Intact
Our work takes us to parts of the world where people live on the edge. These people aren’t just dealing with one crisis at a time. They live each day with a number of crises — extreme poverty, famine, civil unrest and disease, to name a few. Theirs is a daily struggle to survive. So when another crisis lands on them, it can tip the scales and bring them to a terrifying realization that they cannot survive as a family.
That’s when orphans are created — when a family is tipped over the edge.
We know that, by intervening before that point, we can help a family stay together. We can help a family survive, stabilize, and thrive.
With Personalized, Multi-Layered Help
Our Family Preservation work uses a holistic approach that examines multiple stress points in a family’s daily life, and tries to address all of those points, together. This is necessary to ensure that a child at risk can avoid becoming an orphan in the first place.
We also emphasize that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t nearly as effective at transforming a child’s life. We have found that each case must be personalized to each child and family, as each situation is unique.
The services and training we provide a family might include: child sponsorship, income generation for parents, family life skills, training and education, medical services, feeding programs, and emergency relief.
HOW WE DO IT
Our Family Preservation Programming
In their words…
We received 20 bars of soap, one quintal flour, and 61 kg of Teff as emergency support. It was a great chance for us to manage our lives successfully! And if Wide Horizons for Children had not provided us with support, it would have been difficult to save the lives of our family members. —Messeret Mother of Sponsored Child, Ethiopia
I’m very thankful to you, dear sponsor. You are supporting me in my education and I promise I will not let you down any time. I’ll keep my words, and I’ll be a very bright person in future. Thank you for your helpful, I’m very thankful towards you, dear sponsor. Thank you so much. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. —Dipta Sponsored Child, India
My mother lost job and in my house there was lot of problem of food and really thank you that you came for support and gave ration. Very happy and thank you for your help. —Pavani Sponsored Child, India
When a mother dies in childbirth, it puts her child in a crisis situation. Reducing the region's extremely high maternal mortality rate will not only mean that fewer children will become orphans, but also make those children much more likely to survive through childhood. The building of Leku Hospital [in Ethiopia] was a true partnership between the government, the community and Wide Horizons For Children. —Dr. Fletcher Wilson Chairman of the Wide Horizons For Children Medical Advisory Board and an OB-GYN
Cristela received medical assistance since her admission aged 3 as she had approximately 200 lice, and a skin disease from poor hygiene. She is receiving psychological care and medical care and cannot be reintegrated with her family as they are still involved with gangs. Now Zamira is a girl who enjoys sharing with the other children, has healthy hair, is very affectionate and likes to be taken pictures. —Cristela Abandoned Child, Guatemala
The Community Development program gave me self-confidence and taught me how to save. I was able to contribute towards our family expenses. This made me feel good and strong. —Priya Mother of Sponsored Child, India