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An Architect for Algodon: Raisa's Story

Raisa lives in a tiny house in the impoverished Dominican community of Algodon.  Like most of her neighbors, Raisa's home is made of palm wood and covered with a corrugated tin roof.  Like most families around her, Raisa's roof sometimes leaks. And like all the residents of Algodon, Raisa prays for safety during the hurricane and flood season. 

Teen Uses Her Birthday to Feed Children in Need

What did you do for your fourteenth birthday party? Most of us probably spent the day opening presents and eating cake with friends. But who would have thought of packaging meals for children halfway across the world? That’s exactly what fourteen-year-old Annika decided to do for her birthday party. “For someone who hasn't done this [package meals], it might not seem like the best birthday,” says Annika. “But at the end of this, you have a really good feeling. You don't have a bunch of useless stuff. I mean, this is doing real good.”

Your Best Photos of 2012

We admit it, these aren't really the "best"—partners like you took way too many incredible photos in 2012 for us to pick just six.  But these are some of our favorite photos that Venture participants and partners took, and they celebrate some of the achievements you made in 2012.  Enjoy!

"Even an Orphan Can Reach A Place of Honor": Mary's Story

When you first meet fourteen-year-old Mary, it takes her a while to warm up.  She's shy and soft-spoken, and only shares once she knows a person well.  So you'd be surprised when she quietly tells you she wants to become a pilot one day.  "I see very few people in this field," she explains, "and most of them are men."  Mary is determined to be one of the first female Ugandan pilots. 

You are Giving Angella a New Story

When you grow up in a family of seven children in rural Malawi, and your father leaves your mother for a new wife, you have few options for survival. Most of Angella’s older sisters chose to put their hope in men—dating different guys they hoped would support them and their family. Her sisters didn't have many other options—they had no access to education, and little other hope of supporting themselves. But instead of finding their escape from poverty, most of them ended up pregnant and abandoned, and Angella’s mother soon had more mouths to feed.

You’re Transforming Lives from the Inside Out

It’s not hard to see the difference you make in the day-to-day lives of the children we serve together.  Through your partnership, you are providing food, education, and basic necessities for thousands of children. But underneath these outward signs of change and success, a deeper transformation is happening. In each of our countries, staff members are teaching children about God and His love for them. Though the children do not have to be Christians to receive care, they are encouraged to learn, ask questions, and discover their faith for themselves.  

Challenging Cultural Expectations Of Special Needs Children

Grecious Chipofya was told he would never walk. When he was born and his mother saw his deformed legs, she had little choice but to believe the doctors who pronounced this grim statement over him. His family loved and cared for him, which is rare for a handicapped child in Malawi, where a lack of education about disabilities often leads to misunderstanding, confusion, and ultimately neglect. Although they loved him, Grecious' family didn't have the resources to understand his challenges and help him overcome them.

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