2023! The new year has arrived! I think many of us are hopeful that COVID is largely in our rearview mirror, and we are looking ahead to new challenges and opportunities. Traveling has always been part of my life. Never though, have I traveled so far and so much as 2022! I appreciate the gifts that friends and family provide to fund these travels! This page is a gateway to those of you that want to help fund the education ministry of Children of the Nations. As Education Program Leader, I am seeing slow and positive changes! As a teacher and later as a school principal, I employed scientifically validated strategies whenever schools presented with problems in literacy, mathematics, and with teacher collaboration. The work of researcher, John Hattie, and Visible Learning provided proven guidance so time and resources would not be wasted on unproven efforts. I bring these understandings to the role of Educational Program Leader here at Children of the Nations. As I interact and support our local partners, the education coordinators Paulo in Haiti, Ruth in the DR, Brima in Sierra Leone, Naomi in Malawi, and David in Uganda, and teachers in each country, together we are working to bring these proven educational strategies and avenues for knowledge to classes where over 6000 children get to experience instruction and learning. There is a new COTN preschool in Haiti that just started in December educating 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds!
Together with other COTNI education staff and volunteers, efforts have begun to implement fluency assessments in literacy, introduce Visible Learning concepts, and teach professional collaborative strategies and philosophies. I know that these strategies can work to improve student learning. Check out these websites to learn more about fluency assessment What is DIBELS? | DIBELS® (uoregon.edu) and Visible Learning - About MetaX (visiblelearningmetax.com) to see what I'm up to. We continue to share and support these efforts in all five countries. I have a former colleague from Glendale, Arizona, graciously helping to teach our Spanish speaking staff in the DR about how to assess and enter data with IDEL, the Spanish version of DIBELS. Thanks, Alfredo!
Kathy and I both were able to spend a little time in September 2022, with Ireen Banda, the lady shown in the video on this page. While visiting Malawi in April of 2022, I was able to be at the ribbon cutting of her first duplex constructed by her company which is shown in the video. She later visited Silverdale and came to our neighborhood newlife group where she shared her story. From sleeping on a plastic bag on the dirt floor in the corner of her house, losing both parents, and trying so hard as a child, to find food and care for her brother, to now building houses for the people of Malawi! That is transformation--180 degrees! I’m so pleased when I hear her story, and there are so many other stories of transformation--victory over poverty and loneliness--and inclusion in the family of Children of the Nations. We have other great stories--Patrick the lawyer, Solomon the doctor, Martin, the Solar Power Installer, and over 300 university students approaching their launch into the workplace. God is using this ministry to bring children out of hopelessness and poverty into hope and a future of productivity and transformation.
The Caribbean countries of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and African countries of Sierra Leone, Malawi, and Uganda all have such beautiful lands and waters, and certainly very beautiful people! When I traveled to Sierra Leone in November 2022, Paul A., was part of the huge parade of welcomers to greet us. He is my sponsored child! It was quite an experience to meet him face to face. He later showed me his classroom, and his home, and mother, father, and little brother. I am so pleased to be able to support his life with educational opportunities, physical, spiritual, and social emotional care.
Incredible stories of transformation from destitute and orphaned to thriving in the COTN Family are happening with these young children and university and vocational students! I am blessed to be a small part in this work! God is listening! Thank you for speaking my name and this ministry when you pray! I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider partnering with me in financial support of this ministry as God works in these young people to transform their lives. (We have a generous donor pledging to match gifts up to $30,000 for staff support given in the month of January 2023. Click the blue DONATE button above to enter your gift). You can purchase on Amazon and donate books or other preschool items at https://a.co/f8dTu7b and when you order, it ships directly to our shipping partner in Florida who ships the item(s) to Haiti. At cotni.org you can find many opportunities to support parts of this ministry from sponsorship like I'm enjoying with Paul A. ($36/month, Children of the Nations (cotni.org)) to nursery school and university scholarships ($10/month Children of the Nations (cotni.org)) to solar and other building projects, and many other worthy volunteers Children of the Nations (cotni.org).
I've been impressed with COTN and the careful and conscientious manner that we manage finances. Charity Navigator has again awarded COTN with their highest 4-star rating, Search | Charity Navigator, to recognize the integrity and fidelity and overall percentage of funds that reach our children.
Thank you for reading! Thank you for praying for me and my educational partners! Thank you for your giving! God bless you!
Education Program Leader,
Children of the Nations