Innovation Brings Results
Through innovation and creativity, we are breaking the cycle of poverty for orphaned, abandoned, abused and vulnerable children in Nicaragua.
ORPHANetwork investors have inspired and supported innovative tools and programs such as state-of-the-art computer centers, online learning programs, job skills training and paid internships.
In 2016, 16 transition students landed internships that will help them get good starter jobs. Mirza Aguirres, a child from our partner home, El Canyon, was the first student to complete an online internship with the Marketing Department of Live Oak Bank, a publicly traded company in the United States. This opportunity was made possible to Mirza because of her English and computer skills; it is opening doors for her professional future.
Through our SMART Missions ® program, investors and highly qualified individuals from our partner
churches are training our transition students in job search skills.
We are sourcing Nicaragua’s growing garment manufacturing industry with fully trained, job ready employees through our Local Church Initiative job skills training program. Students are trained 15 at a time, in an environment that mimics a real shop floor in a garment manufacturing plant. This readiness is highly desirable to employers in this significantly growing industry.
Club Pregnant is an innovative tool designed to wipe-out malnutrition before the largely irreversible damage it can cause. Mothers are educated and empowered to proactively care for their children’s development, dispelling myths and cultural norms that have prevented generations of children from developing to their potential. The atmosphere is supportive and the material presented provides a valuable resource of education, support and empowerment for the women that is uncharacteristic in communities of abject poverty – and especially of the local church.
These are just a few of the examples of how God has gone before us to break the cycle of poverty through innovation. I hope you are inspired and moved by the results you will see in our 2016 Annual Report.
We Give Credit to God for all He is Accomplishing,
Leveraging Technology to Innovate
In the growing economy of Nicaragua, English and computer skills open doors for entry-level employment which provides an opportunity for our children to break the cycle of poverty. ORPHANetwork’s six partner orphanages are innovatively transforming orphaned, abused and abandoned children’s lives through first-class computer centers.
Learning from a curriculum that was developed to meet government standards, students are eligible to earn an INATEC computer certification that verifies their skill set and distinguishes them from their peers in a competitive job market.
Children are benefiting from technology and access to online learning tools such as Khan Academy and Duolingo, a free English language program. These programs allow students to work at their own pace, advancing when they are ready and remediating when they are not. Additionally, our children are developing their language skills through Skype calls with Christian schools in the United States.
The primary goal of the program is to prevent the largely irreversible cognitive and physical defects that are caused by chronic malnutrition during a child’s most formative years.
“A child who is severely stunted is sentenced to a life of underachievement: diminished performance in school, lower productivity and wages in the workplace, more health problems throughout life, and a greater propensity for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease as an adult. And the life sentence is most often rendered by the time a child is two.”
– Robert Thurow, The First 1,000 Days
The program is innovative because it engages women in a fun environment where discussions enlighten young mothers about the harmful effects cultural norms and generational myths have on long-term health. Learning that coffee and a tortilla is not an appropriate meal for their baby – is an example of a cultural norm that the clubs work to eradicate.
ORPHANetwork is innovatively reaching teenagers through Club Pregnant with information about preventing teenage pregnancies as well as how to protect themselves from sexual abuse.
According to the World Bank, Nicaragua has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Latin America – 1 in 3 teenagers will have a baby before they are 18.
Spiritual Tools of Innovation
These creative tools help children reach their God-given potential and visually comprehend the story of Jesus’ life.
Internships in Nicaragua Reach to the United States
Employees of Live Oak Bank (Wilmington, NC) utilized technology to offer a four month internship to Transition Student, Mirza Aguirres.
Mirza is a Graphic Design major who completed her English certification at a Nicaraguan university in early 2016. The Marketing and Art Directors at Live Oak Bank created an internship position that consisted of online projects that allowed Mirza to further develop her skills while she continued her studies in Nicaragua. A portion of Mirza’s four month internship included a two week trip to Wilmington to work on-site with the team and gain exposure to the US work culture. This experience will be a game-changer for Mirza’s future and it is the first of many internship opportunities for our children with US based companies.
During Mirza’s visit to the Live Oak campus, she was able to cast a big vision through a video conference to over 60 high school students across four partner orphanage homes back in Nicaragua. The vision: working hard in school, learning computers and speaking English will take you to places beyond your dreams.
“It was very encouraging to me..when you see what she has accomplished, it encourages us to follow in her footsteps, to be responsible, to see the future and to not give up”
– Scarleth Almanza Velásquez, 15 years old
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Employable Job Skills
Nicaragua’s growing garment manufacturing industry is being sourced with fully trained, job ready employees through our Local Church Initiative job skills training program.
Through a collaborative partnership with Mission14, students are trained in an environment that mimics a real shop floor in a garment manufacturing plant. They finish the program job ready and highly desirable to employers.
Welding is another key industry in Nicaragua. In 2016, our first two classes of Managua welders graduated and 15 applied their skills at internships, opening opportunities for employment.
Doors to employment are opening for our Transition Program students because of their English and Computer skills. Pilar is one of 16 students who was placed in an internship – she and three other students’ internships developed into full-time jobs!
“Getting a job changed my life. English and computers opened the doors for my professional career. I am so thankful to God for my job that helps me make money to buy food and things I need day to day.”
– Pilar Contreras
InterContinental Hotel Customer Service Professional
ORPHANetwork is a results oriented ministry. We measure the progress that God is producing through stewarding and leveraging His resources. Changing children’s lives through our Nicaraguan partners remains our highest priority. We directly address the epic challenges they face and continuously empower our partners to share Christ.
2012 Lives Redeemed
2014 Lives Redeemed
2016 Lives Redeemed
High School Graduations
2015 Chronic Malnutrition
2016 Chronic Malnutrition
2012 Funds Deployed
2014 Funds Deployed
2016 Funds Deployed
Percent of every $1 invested goes to our work in Nicaragua
Accredited with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 2004.
4 Star Rating from Charity Navigator
For 2 Consecutive Years
Almost 400 full or part time jobs created through our work in-country.
Board of Directors
A ministry needs strong guidance and much wisdom. ORPHANetwork’s board is a collection of experienced leaders who provide great leadership and insight. With proven careers in the medical, legal and business fields, our board of directors are innovative leaders in their respective industries. Each of them provide extraordinary value to our ministry.
Ted Wille (2004)
Chairman - Florida
Tyler Tuite (2013)
Lane Moyer (2012)
Dr. Windy Mason-Leslie (2011)
John Pitzaferro (2011)
David Lucht (2015)
Michael Freeborn (2010)
Tedde Reid (2016)
Pastor Michael Simone (2000)
Founder, Director Emeritus - Virginia