Our Strategy for Impact
The vision of Face the Children program is to give abandoned or abused children an opportunity for a life of dignity, love, education and opportunity. Not all homeless children are willing to accept this opportunity for various reasons, including such things as drug addictions, or established psychological and behavioral problems. Some children are not currently willing or ready to trust others, and then accept the full time care and help they need. Many street children live on the streets because they have been abused by adults. That could mean parents, relatives, or neighbors. Some are abused by adults while living on the streets. Often times the abuse is sexual in nature, in some cases resulting in forced prostitution. There is minimal governmental protection or assistance for these children, and in class segregated social systems these children are often viewed and treated as a nuisance. Needless to say, many of these children no longer trust adults.
At FTC we approach the problem through a process of simple but intentional stages. Some children need more time and mentoring than others who quickly move in and through the process. This "process" is implemented in three main stages. Each stage has it's own challenges and requirements for entry or exit. There are opportunities for those who want to support the children at these different stages.
Stage One: Develop Relationships / Set expectations
Our staff take time to build relationship with street children through regular visits to the areas where they live and survive. This can also be done at established "Bayan Centers" where the children can come during the day. In either case, we provide food, drinks, bibles, fellowship, and a witness to the love and message of Jesus. Some of the older, more established children already in our program will often accompany the staff, where they themselves can witness and minister to the kids. They serve to inspire hope and a vision of a better life through the ministry of FTC. During these visits or interactions the children are visibly and verbally assessed as to their health, mental and spiritual state, and history. Once we learn that a child's situation mandates escalation, it is reported to the social welfare agency, which begins a process of possible acceptance into the next stage of the FTC program.
Those children who show receptiveness, and are deemed ready to take further steps can be accepted into stage two of the process. Readiness is assessed by compliance to small expectations, such as staying off drugs, coming to kids Church, making changes in destructive behaviors, responding to mentoring, etc. It is important that children who are incorporated into next stages are ready for it. If accepted too early, they can not only disrupt the progress of other kids already involved, but can also experience failure that will make it difficult for them to try again.
Children at this stage can be supported financially through donations to the FTC operational fund. Special opportunities to provide individualized medical attention for a particular child may also be available. The major direct costs for ministering to children in this stage are food, drink, clothes, shoes, slippers, bibles, minor medicines, and the operational costs of the vehicles staff use to go to and from the different areas where street children live.
Stage Two: Interim Center / Integration and Initial Development
A child invited to live in the FTC Interim Center marks stage two of the mentorship process. The required paperwork is filed with the local government that allows FTC to house the child. The child is given new clothes, and taken to the doctor and dentist to assess their health and address any immediate issues. An individual staff worker is assigned to shadow the child for the first few weeks to ease the transition from life on the streets to life in community. This staff worker will eat with the child, and develop a spiritual mentorship plan that is appropriate for age and maturity level. The child will attend church, and begin a transitional school program designed to assess their skills, and then allow them to progress -hopefully- to a level that will allow the to enroll accepted in the Frontline Academy (our school).
Children at this stage begin to share in basic responsibilities, according to their level of maturity. Chores may include washing clothes, helping with cooking, cleaning, small building and maintenance projects, or caring for smaller children. At this stage the kids may also participate in some of the outreach activities, as they mature and grow. They can begin to minister to other street kids that are still at stage one, and in hospital ministry, jails, garbage dumps, and even help out at evangelistic crusades. The more talented children may also assist in the music ministry.
Unfortunately, after many years of living completely on their own, with no structure, some children will have a difficult time adjusting to a structured environment with chores, rules, etc. Some may not let go of the drug addiction, or escape unhealthy relationships they developed with other children out on the streets. For these reasons some children may leave at this stage and return to life on the streets; either by leaving on their own, or by demonstrating behaviors that are dangerous to the rest of the children resulting in expulsion from the program. This is a sad, unfortunate part of the process, but very essential in ensuring success for the children who are ready and moving forward.
Children at this stage can be supported financially through donations to the FTC mentoring process. Since some children may actually leave and return to the streets during this stage, sponsoring children individually is not available. There may be specific opportunities to provide for specific medical or dental needs this stage. Major costs at this stage are lodging, food, clothes, health and dental care, and costs related to schooling materials.
Stage Three: Develop Disciples / Complete Education
Children at this stage are demonstrating the behaviors necessary for long-term success in FTC, and are allowed to move into one of the FTC Boarding Homes. At this point, they are beginning to take on leadership roles among the other children, have completed the transition school program, and are most likely ready to be enrolled at the Frontline Academy to complete their education through high school.
Most importantly, these children are being discipled in following Jesus Christ. The message of the gospel permeates all the activities the children are involved in during their entire interaction with FTC. The spiritual mentorship activities are enhanced on an ongoing basis as the children are consistently challenged with growing in their faith, and giving back some of their time and talents to the camp and the surrounding communities.
Once these children graduate the K-12 school, some may even become part of the full time staff of FTC or Frontline; others may go onto college, or secular jobs.
Children at this stage can be sponsored individually by name. You can develop a relationship with this child through writing and email, and eventually through web conferences, phone. Specific needs of the individual children will also be made available for sponsorship. Major costs at this stage are basic care concerns such as permanent lodging, food, clothes, health and dental care, and the tuition at Frontline Christian Academy.