Orphan Relief and Rescue is committed to transparency and ethical practices in all aspects of our work. We are dedicated to creating high-impact programs and applying every dollar with purpose and integrity.
Programmatic activity has continued to thrive in Benin through intercepting children from trafficking and placing them in our feeding and school program, while their caregivers take part in our Micro-Finance Program. Our Anti-Trafficking Initiative continues to grow to over 626 direct beneficiaries.
In Liberia, Orphan Relief and Rescue continued the implementation of the Break the Silence Program, until COVID-19 hit in March of 2020. The hotline connected to this program continued to function even through the pandemic. We provided educational assistance and mentoring for children in partner orphanages and scholarships for university students until March 2020.
At Orphan Relief and Rescue, we work to overcome injustice in the areas of abuse, neglect, and trafficking for underserved children in Liberia and Benin, West Africa.
Our Team through COVID-19
Our African staff had quite a challenge with COVID 19 hitting West Africa in March. All schools were closed down and food and work were scarce for our friends in Benin. We worked to keep our feeding programs going with social distancing and masks, to ensure our children would not starve during this crisis. Most of the children on our program would not have eaten had we not continued to provide food for them. Not having food, these children would become at risk to be sold once again. We could not allow that to happen and were able to continue to provide 2 meals a day – thanks to the generous partnership of our donors.
The pandemic brought on immediate hunger challenges for our Liberian friends. We are grateful to God’s Kids International for a grant to start a four-month feeding program at two orphanages, where we have kids on our scholarship program. Kids in these homes received monthly food donations to keep them fed through the pandemic crisis.
We are beyond grateful to Orphan Relief and Rescue supporters and our African staff. From financial provision to creative adjustments to our programs, we were able to provide children safety and food through a world-wide crisis.
Orphan Relief and Rescue collaborates with local leaders to identify children at high risk of being trafficked and engage intentionally to prevent those children from being sold. Currently 260 were intercepted from trafficking and placed in our Intervention Program, which aims to removed barriers that guardians face in keeping their children home. Through providing food and the ability to pursue education, guardians have little motivation to sell their children.
To date, we helped to intercept 494 children from becoming trafficked through our Intervention Program.
Orphan Relief and Rescue works diligently to identify and bring back children who have been sold into a life of slavery. When possible these children are placed with their families and are re-enrolled in school and placed in our Intervention Program. If this is not possible for the child’s safety, then the child is placed in Foster Care or Orphan Relief and Rescue’s Safe Home. There are a total of 68 children rescued and living in our Safe Home or in Foster Care.
16 of the children who have been rescued from slavery are too old to return or begin school. Without an education, there is little hope for a future, so ORR offers apprenticeships in electrical, mechanics, sewing, tailoring, or hair dressing and are also provided two meals a day.
21 young adults have graduated from the apprenticeship program and are working full-time jobs.
Orphan Relief and Rescue directly addresses the issues of poverty, providing 276 caregivers with the opportunity to improve their situation through provision of micro-loans, basic business training, and introduction to the savings and loans program. These small loans do provide enough to sustain the necessities of life and allow parents to provide for their children and not sell them into slavery.
To date we have had over 500 parents go through our micro finance program and/or savings and loan program. These parents have graduated from our program and now how self-sustaining businesses.
Break the Silence Program:
In partnership with the Liberian government and NGO’s, the Break the Silence Program uses a child friendly tool (a flip chart) that imparts awareness raising, prevention education, and aftercare training. With this flip chart, ORR has currently taught 5,497 children to be aware of their personal rights, as well as connect them to the resource of an anti-trafficking and abuse hotline number should they find themselves vulnerable to trafficking and/or exploitation. The tool also acts as a deterrent to would be perpetrators.
Anti-Abuse Training Workshop:
ORR training workshops gives trainees a practical tool to teach children about their value, rights, the dangers of sexual abuse and trafficking, and a means to get help. The partners trained in these workshops will continue to help us grow the number of implementations and children reached with the Flipchart.
- 223 Implementors were trained this year
Liberia’s Only Anti-Trafficking/Sexual Abuse Prevention Hotline:
2075 phone calls made to the hotline, which is funded by ORR, but hosted at the Ministry of Labor with World Hope International oversight and operational involvement. The hotline serves two significant roles:
- It is the only government-run anti-trafficking hotline in the nation and is a critical portion of the government’s strategic roadmap to combat human trafficking.
- The hotline provides abused victims with an outlet to get help from trained social workers and government officials.
Every caller to the hotline that reported a serious case of rape, trafficking or abuse from Sept 2019 to March 2020 heard about the hotline through the radio jingles that are played weekly.
15 of these callers were trafficking cases. 2 callers were abuse cases
2 callers were rape cases
4 of these cases resulted in prosecution and jail time.
The 2019/2020 year ORR was able to sustain programs during the pandemic, keep children fed, grow our micro-finance program, and continue to overcome injustice for children in Liberia and Benin.
Our work is made possible through partnerships and your support. Thank you for making positive change possible!