Restore a Child is a charity that I support. Their mission is restoring children to life and health, teaching them to learn and lead with love, restoring harmony and justice in their communities and the world. Restore a Child helps to provide children in desperate need with the basic essentials necessary for them to live healthy, fulfilled lives.
They are currently working in fifteen countries; Bolivia, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The story of Restore a Child is really the story of it's founder, Norma Nashed. Norma was born in Ramallah, Palestine but was raised in Jordan. Throughout her childhood she experienced extreme poverty as an orphan. She believes this has prepared her heart to be sensitive to the needs of economically-disadvantaged children and those orphaned due to HIV/AIDS and living on the streets in Africa and elsewhere.
The idea of caring for needy children began while she was fighting cancer. Norma stated in an interview with Alita Byrd, "In 1998 when I first got cancer my life was empty – I wanted my life to be one of meaning and significance. So I left my job where I had worked for 12 years, and started a ministry to help suffering, starving and sick children, with a focus on orphans.
Leaving my job allowed me time to reflect on what is important in life. I found that there are more than 150 million orphan children in the world, and five million children die every year due to hunger, or close to 14,000 every day. In the 21st century this is unacceptable. I realized I had a job to do to save children.
That was 14 years ago and I still work in a small den in my apartment without pay. God is the Provider and He promised to take care of me. Sacrificing my life gave me purpose, meaning and significance – I wouldn't exchange that for anything this world might offer.
The first few years I used my own savings and then my family and a few friends helped. Later it became necessary for me to start fundraising. So I designed my own simple flyers and brochures and sent them to friends. I was interviewed on television and several newspaper and magazine articles appeared featuring the charity. Awareness of Restore a Child increased. Restore a Child depends on donations from individuals and small grants from a couple of foundations.
In 2012 we hired a part-time employee to help me.
I must admit being that raised poor and living in developing countries made me aware of the need to be wise and alert when choosing partners for projects abroad. So we work with trusted missionaries and friends, and we partner with already established orphanages and schools to be cost-effective and use all resources to the maximum benefit of children".
Norma's vision was big, and now her organization is providing basic care for over 4,000 children. Her newest project is in Haiti, in partnership with Upward Bound Ministries. They are building a model village that includes a Restore a Child Academy, an academic and vocational training school and several homes for orphan girls.
In addition to securing land for building the school, they have secured another plot of agricultural land with fruit trees next to the model village where they are already growing produce for a sustainable food supply.
The building project is beginning in 2013. Restore a Child is looking for individual and corporate sponsors to help with the construction of this model village.
There are many ways to help support Restore a Child. One unique way to donate is through their Gift Catalog. Their are options as low as $10.00. Donors can choose which projects they wish to support, including such things as providing cooked meals at school for six hundred children in Nairobi, Kenya and helping orphans from one of the seven Restore a Child orphanages in Indonesia benefit from a work-study program where they learn how to grow their own food.
If you would like to be a part of a great charity with as low an overhead as I have seen, learn more about Restore a Child at their website. When founder and president Norma Nashed was asked about the many other charities helping children around the world, and how Restore a Child is unique, she answered, "there are a lot of charities out there competing for funds in the name of children. But Restore a Child is unique in that as president I do not draw any salary or benefits. I even donated all my retirement funds and savings, in addition to working long hours – sometimes 18 hours a day – to run the organization. What organization have you heard of where the president or CEO works that hard for 14 years without pay? I believe this is a big factor in our growth. When donors invest in Restore a Child, they can be assured their funds don’t go mostly to cover salaries and overhead".
According to UNICEF statistics 5 million children die each year because of starvation, let alone lack of water and medical care. What happened to human compassion? What are we going to do to change this picture?