Category Archives: Abandoned and Orphaned Kids

A Big Brother in Any Language

Jason-6By Allen Allnoch

Manila, Philippines is a long way from Fair Oaks, California, and the Tagalog language common to Manila is, well, quite foreign to an American like Jason Chappell.

Jason only recently arrived from Fair Oaks as a new staffer at ER’s Manila Children Home, but he’s already learned one important term.

“The main thing I am to these boys is kuya, which is a term here that means ‘older brother,’ says Jason. “This one thing has been the best thing I could ask for – I have ten younger brothers! As the baby of my family, I would have loved to have a younger brother, and now I have ten.”

Jason-7Jason’s move to Manila grew out of a series of short-term trips through ER. The first was in 2008, when he helped a team from his church, Sunrise Community, serve at ER’s Christmas Celebrations.

Right away he sensed a stirring to return, and he went back again in 2010 and 2012. After that third trip, he set his sights on serving long-term with ER and began raising support funds over the next 2-½ years.

Now he’s living in Manila, working part-time in the Extreme Response Asia Children’s Home and going to language school full-time, which ultimately will help him serve more effectively in the home.

“Without knowing the language, I have found it is almost impossible to tell the kids what they should be doing or not doing,” Jason says

Jason-3Still, some things transcend language. In his first three months, he says, he has served as “a nurse for scratches, a chair and jungle gym for the boys, a tutor in math and a teacher of chess.”

He’s also volunteering with a local ER partner that works with children in poor communities.

“Seeing the staff show love to these children, and being a part of it all, has been another highlight of my first three months here,” he says. “Each time I am able to go see the kids, I am able to speak more in their language, and it means so much to me and them to have that connection.”

Connection … relationship … personal touch … kuya. Those are the kind of things that help ER so effectively serve people in extreme circumstances. Even in a country that’s still largely unfamiliar to him, Jason Chappell is excelling at just that.

ER offers a number of ways to serve, both short-term and long-term, and from home or abroad. Visit extremeresponse.org/take-action/serve-with-us to learn more.

Paul Cripps: Faithful Leader, Lover of People, Life-Changer

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By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

There are many ways to measure the value of one’s life on earth, but perhaps the greatest is to consider the lasting impact he or she has on those they encounter.

Aranas | Photography2014-10Paul Cripps, co-founder of ER Canada with his best friend and wife Linda, was someone who had a life-changing impact on the people he touched. Soft-spoken, thoughtful and selfless, Paul was a friend and encourager to people wherever they were in their life journey. And when he met people who were poor, sick, uneducated, abused, abandoned or oppressed, he showed them deep compassion and love.

Consider these words from Paul, shared on an ER video:

“I have had the privilege of spending time in all three of our regions and have witnessed first hand many stories of changed lives. There is nothing more impactful than spending time in a squatter village, or picking up a street kid in need of a hug.”

ER CEO Jerry Carnill shared Paul’s willingness to battle through obstacles in order to serve others:

Paul & Linda“Paul  set an example for all of us on many levels. He loved his wife, kids and grandkids with all of his heart, yet he also set aside personal comforts to help people in extreme situations. During the past several months Paul served others in extreme heat, with very little sleep while living with physical pain due to sickness. His legacy will live on through the lives of people across the globe.”

Paul did much more than show compassion. He and Linda turned their concern for others into a life mission. They focused everything they had on helping people in very tangible ways.

Russ Cline, ER’s Chief Advancement Officer, recently profiled Paul and Linda’s strategic use of their time and resources in the Leader Mundial eNewsletter:

_DSC1771“But the biggest thing they have leveraged has been their lives. Not only do they serve the staff, partners and ER family around the world, but they have invested their lives in relationship. They have visited, they have served, they have helped set vision, they have coached, they have explored, they have listened, they have come alongside so many of us (I speak for many) and just helped us to do better.”  Read Russ’ blog here.

 

DSC_0169Paul impacted people around the world, including many ER partners who are on the front lines working to help people living in distress. Pierre Rioux,  Director of ATAIM, an ER partner that serves indigent people in South Africa, shared this:

“Paul’s approach to life was a huge example to me. He always put others first, in spite of how he felt physically. He never wanted people to know he was suffering. Paul was a true leader that I plan to imitate. I hope I can be half the leader he was.”

IMG_1308ER’s Asia Region Director, Joshua Benavidez, shared this regarding Paul:

“A big guy with a big heart. Thank you Paul for everything you have done for us and the people whom we love so much, especially the kids. You will be greatly missed. You will always be in our hearts.”

Paul and ER Canada were big supporters of the programs in Haiti run by ER partners Lemuel and House of Hope. This Facebook post by the folks at Lemuel captured Paul and Linda’s impact in Haiti:

“Paul Cripps was known and loved by all of us. He had a genuinely compassionate, servant’s heart and we are grateful for all the ways in which he touched our lives and served Lemuel through ER Canada.”

Aranas | Photography2014-10Paul and Linda led volunteer teams to help at-risk people around the globe, introducing hundreds to the concept of serving others cross-culturally. Paul was tireless in his dedication, working long hours at their auto dealership only to come home and work just as hard for ER Canada.

Led by his strong faith, Paul strived to bring hope to the hopeless. Those who knew him would say, “Well done faithful servant, well done.”

Author’s note. It’s rare when you meet people you immediately love and trust. That’s what took place when my wife Deb and I first met Paul and Linda. We saw their character, compassion, selflessness, generosity and willingness to sacrifice and we were inspired. We wanted to be more like them…and still do. Thank you Paul and Linda for living lives that are authentic, and for helping show the way.

The notice below was published by the Jason Smith Funeral Chapel and provides details on Paul’s family and life.

CRIPPS, Paul Kenneth (1959 – 2015) – surrounded by his loving family and promoted to the arms of his Lord & Saviour, at the Norfolk General Hospital on Sunday, September 20th, 2015 in his 57th year.  Cherished husband and best friend of Linda Cripps (nee Armstrong) of Simcoe.  Loving father & grandfather of Nicole La Porte (Aaron) of Waterford, their sons Jacob & Evan;  and David Cripps (Angel) of Simcoe, their son Benjamin.  Beloved son of Ronald Cripps (late Violet) of Simcoe.  Paul will be lovingly remembered by his brother Carl Cripps (Lenny) of Caronport, Saskatchewan, their children Daniel, Samuel & Deborah.  Dearly loved son-in-law of Elsa Armstrong (late Lawrence).  Together Paul & Linda own and operate Aitken Chevrolet Buick GMC.  Always a passion for serving others, Paul served as Chair, Vice Chair & Past Chair of the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation Board, was a member of the Simcoe Gospel Chapel and was the Canadian Founder & Director of Extreme Response Canada, a charity organization committed to changing the lives of people by providing humanitarian aid to those living in extreme, often life-threatening, poverty stricken situations.  Friends are invited to share their memories of Paul with his family at the JASON SMITH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 689 Norfolk St. North Simcoe for visitation on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. and again on Wednesday morning from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at the Simcoe Gospel Chapel, Hwy#3 East Simcoe.  Paul’s home going service will be held in the church sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Martin Brown officiating.  Interment:  Oakwood Cemetery, Simcoe.  In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate in memory of Paul are asked to consider Extreme Response Canada.  Personal online condolences at www.smithfuneralchapel.com (519) 426-0199.

Abandoned 18 Years Ago, How Is Alex Doing Today?

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Alex and his Dad Any Brooke.

House of Hope Director of Development and ER staff member Jenny Reitz Compère, shared this story in her July newsletter. It tells the journey of Alex, a young boy who came to House of Hope under dire circumstances. Located in the town of LaPointe on Haiti’s north coast, House of Hope serves children who are orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected. 

By Jenny Reitz Compère

Last month, ER partner House of Hope (HOH) was pleased to have our friends from the Hands of Hope organization in the United Kingdom (UK) visit. They have supported the HOH in many ways over the years, but the link we have with them that means the most to both of us is a young man — their son Alex.

kevAlex was an extremely sick nine-month-old boy, who had recently lost his mom and been abandoned by his dad, when he made his appearance at the HOH. Our friends from England, Andy and Carol Brooke, were visiting when Alex first came on the scene. God spoke to their hearts about this precious life, and soon they were knee deep in adoption plans and regulations. It was a terribly long and exhausting six-year process as they waded through all the legal work to make Alex (or Kev — for those of you who remember him from the late 1990s) a part of their family.

Alex has grown into an incredible young man. He finished his schooling in the United Kingdom and will be starting a three-year degree in Product Design at Swansea University in the fall. Alex’s mom and dad (Andy and Carol) reflected on Alex’s journey to adulthood:

“Alex arrived in the UK two weeks before his fifth birthday, in August 2001. We were the first British couple to adopt from Haiti, which is why it took almost four years to complete the process. Alex is 18 now and waiting for his examination results in preparation for university. He’ll be 19 on September 8.

“He has developed into a fine young man and we are really very proud of him, but we will never forget that he had a great start with you (Jenny) and Linda (Felix, HOH Administrator). It was the best start he could have wished for, we reckon, despite his family circumstances. We believe you should be every bit as proud of him as we are. He is really looking forward to our trip to Haiti.”

Their visit was a great time of catching up and relationship building between Alex and the current kids at HOH.  He made an effort to relearn some of his Creole, and in exchange, he taught our HOH boys to play rugby!

While this story is unique because we don’t often do adoptions out of the HOH, we are thankful it was an option for the Brooke family.  We are sharing it to encourage you and your partnership with us in this special work we do of caring for kids who have no other options. HOH has been changing lives just like Alex’s since 1956 and we couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the support that you give us in so many ways.  Thank you for your help!

Read more about House of Hope here. Subscribe to Jenny’s blog: http://houseofhopehaiti.blogspot.com/.

Belwop Playground Creates Laughter Among Kenyan Orphans

playground finished 2
By Kim Merrefield, Extreme Women Communications Writer

“Veronica has such a mother’s love for the children. The kids had never been on a swing or slide. She longed for them to connect with each other, and for it to be another step in their healing. I knew we had to help.”

Laughter and smiles fill the playground. Children swinging on the swings yelling “higher!” A little boy grips tight to the monkey bar rocking his body back and forth to grab another bar. A young girl giggles as she slides down the giant twisting slide, screaming “wee!”

playground finished 4All of these sights and sounds seem so common for many of us, but for 41 children in the small town of Nyeri, Kenya, this scene was just a dream.

Kelly McClelland, Director of Women’s Advocacy, recently sat down with Belwop Rescue Center founder Veronica Mumbai. Belwop, which cares for abandoned, abused and orphaned kids, has been an Extreme Response partner for many years. After hearing Veronica’s story and feeling compelled to help, Kelly asked, “If you could dream big, what would be one thing you would desire for the children?”

20150611_173830Veronica told Kelly she dreamt of a playground. A playground where laughter could abide and giggles would be endless. A playground where the children could run and skip and hop. A playground where imagination could flourish and dreams could be built.

“Veronica has such a mother’s love for the children. The kids had never been on a swing or slide. She longed for them to connect with each other, and for it to be another step in their healing. I knew we had to help,” Kelly said.

In early 2015, Kelly and the Extreme Women team set out to accomplish this giant task. Through advocating and fundraising, they were able to not only raise the funds for the playground, but also provide Belwop with additional funds to help with the children’s schooling for the year.

A playground company in Kenya was able to complete the project in just a few days. The playground consists of monkey bars, three slides, a pair of swings, and a jungle gym. The kids are looking forward to enjoying more time on it during their summer break in just a couple months.

finished playground 5“The playground we got through this partnership has brought much excitement to our children, as well as the children of the neighborhood,” Veronica said.

Many thanks to all the generous donors for helping Extreme Response make this dream come true! You are making a difference in these children’s lives!

Kim MerrefieldKim Merrefield manages communications for Extreme Response International’s Extreme Women. ER recognizes that women disproportionately bear the burden of poverty throughout the world. Women living in extreme situations are in desperate need of advocates who will share their stories with leaders and influencers. That is why we’ve established ER’s Extreme Women, an advocacy program created by women to help women in need. 

KellyFor additional information on Extreme Women and how you can get involved, please contact Kelly McClelland at a kmcclelland@extremeresponse.org or visit http://www.extremeresponse.org/our-programs/womens-advocacy.

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This year, Extreme Response is working to rescue more kids from hunger, poverty, human trafficking, homelessness and more. Read ER founder Jerry Carnill’s rescue message here.

Help Extreme Response Rescue More Kids in 2015

At the Quito Family Resource Center, kids of Dump workers receive after school tutoring and a meal.
At the Quito Family Resource Center, kids of Dump workers receive after school tutoring and a meal.

Extreme Conditions Require…an Extreme Response

By Jerry Carnill, ER President and CEO

I write this blog feeling immensely inspired and challenged. On one hand, ER is helping more people in more places than at any time in our 17-year history. We’re seeing tremendous success in changing the lives of people living in great poverty. See our Impact Report for a few highlights.

Beaufort west gril team from july 2014 Feeding program
Kids in Africa are especially vulnerable to hunger and poor nutrition. Feeding programs help change their futures.

On the other hand, we’ve encountered more extreme needs this year than we are able to meet. From the fragile families working for pennies in the Quito Dump to street boys in the Manila Children’s Home to victims of the Nepal earthquakes, we’ve stretched ourselves across 10 countries and three continents to provide hope and help.

As we approach the halfway point in 2015, we are facing a budget shortfall of $150,000. We simply don’t have enough funds to help all the people, especially the children, who we set out to help this year. Yet, we are not discouraged because we’ve seen incredible generosity among ER supporters time and again as we’ve made needs known.

Dan McCann, an ER volunteer and supporter, outlined our challenge this way:

“It’s no secret that children bear the brunt of poverty. From abuse to abandonment to hunger to human trafficking, children are just plain vulnerable. I’ve personally witnessed kids in the Quito Dump go from dirty, sick and hungry to clean, healthy and thriving. I’ve seen Filipino street kids who are embraced and loved at the Manila Children’s Home be restored and reunited with their families. 

“I’ve also visited some of the bleakest slums in Africa – where kids are living in deplorable conditions, and Nepal – where girls are being lured into human trafficking. The good news is ER and its partners are giving these kids hope for the future. But there is much more to do, which is why I’m personally invested in ER’s growth.”

Zambiza girl face painted
ER’s Extreme Teams bring nutrition, education, recreation, health and Christmas to kids in poverty.

Dan and I are inviting you to join us in helping ER change the destinies of a generation of children. We can turn their lives from desperate and dire to hopeful and inspired.

Would you consider making a generous donation to ER in the next 30 days to help us meet these needs? With your help, we can rescue many more kids this year.

To help, please visit ER’s secure Website: www.extremeresponse.org/take-action/make-a-donation. Or, you can send a donation to Extreme Response International at P.O. Box 345, Snellville, GA 30078-0345 in the U.S. and Extreme Response Canada at P.O. Box 1013, Simcoe, ON N3Y 5B3. Please designate your donation “Mid-Year Gift”.

During the next 30 days, we’ll post updates on our Facebook page so you can see how these needs are being met. Thank you for caring about at-risk kids and for supporting Extreme Response!

Please contact me to discuss any of our programs, projects or relationships. I would love to share the way we are changing lives and how you can make a difference!

Serving Together,

Jerry

Jerry Carnill, Extreme ResponseJerry Carnill co-founded Extreme Response in 1997 and now serves as President and CEO. Contact Jerry at jcarnill@extremeresponse.org.

Jericho Goes Back to School

Jericho family

Sponsorship Program Rescues Filipino Youngster from a Life of Begging on the Streets

NapacorIn the suburbs just south of Manila, Philippines, lies Napacor, a community of shanties with no electricity or running water. Ironically, Napacor is built around an electricity tower and is named for the power company that owns it.

ER partner IT Tender (http://tender.iteams.ca) runs a “drop-in” community center adjacent to Napacor and serves the community’s approximately 70 families with the goal of empowering children to become educated and responsible leaders.

One of those children, Jericho, has been part of IT Tender’s weekly Night Life program since it was launched in 2013. Night Life allows children living in local squatter communities to visit the drop-in center, bathe and Jerichoenjoy a hot, healthy meal.

IT Tender staffers were aware that Jericho wasn’t attending school. They also knew he was begging on jeepneys, the ubiquitous buses of Manila’s public transportation system, and using a lovely singing voice to boost his cause. (This YouTube video, posted by a jeepney passenger, has garnered more than 200,000 views: http://youtu.be/awMQm4Fp9PA) IT Tender discourages children from begging, but couldn’t help being impressed by Jericho’s resourcefulness – he begged, he explained, so he could buy clothes that his family couldn’t otherwise afford.

IT Tender uses Night Life to refer children on to another one of its programs, Sponsor-A-Child Now (SACN). SACN helps children like Jericho return to school by covering the costs of uniforms, supplies, transportation and lunches, and providing extracurricular activities such as educational field trips and family retreats.

This year, thanks to a new sponsor, Jericho was able to enter the SACN program and enroll in grade 6. He graduated from elementary school in April, is no longer begging and dreams of becoming a doctor. As long as he remains committed to the program, his sponsorship is expected to continue through his high school years.

“I am grateful because I was chosen to be a sponsored child,” Jericho recently told IT Tender staff. “I hope I will learn so much from you and the program. May God bless you.”

Learn more about IT Tender at http://www.extremeresponse.org/our-partners/asia#b2. If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to school, your support can be set up through Extreme Response by contacting IT Tender’s John Coffey at john.coffey@iteams.ca.

Donated iPads Open Up New Worlds for Kids with Disabilities

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Cyndi Maloy“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said”.                              ~Author Unknown

By Cyndi Maloy, ER Latin America Writer

Most of us never think about what a gift it is to be able to communicate using our words. That’s not possible for some of the children with disabilities at For His Children (FHC), an ER partner working with at-risk and abandoned children in Ecuador. These sweet kiddos are trapped inside their bodies, knowing what they want to say, but not being able to do so.

IMAG0154Recently, a group of 17 university students from Northeastern University in Boston came to volunteer with FHC and brought with them iPads designed to open up the world of communication for these precious children. Each iPad is loaded with programs specifically tailored to that child’s abilities. Within an hour of receiving the iPads, these special kids were using their devices to communicate for the very first time.

In addition to teaching the children how to use the iPads, the students taught the caregivers to use them, allowing them to communicate directly with the children using something besides “yes” and “no” questions.

As the photos with this story demonstrate, technology plus caring hearts can open worlds that were once closed. Kudus to FHC and Northeastern University, and thanks for letting ER be a small part of making life better for these special children.

IMAG0126For His Children works in Quito and Latacunga, Ecuador. The organization serves homeless children, providing care in a loving and supportive environment, striving to unite them with their biological or adoptive family, and advocating on their behalf to others. Learn more about the work of For His Children at: http://tinyurl.com/ooyqhhy.