Using an innovative and distinctive empowerment model, ZOE is helping tens of thousands of African orphans and vulnerable children living in desperate conditions pull themselves and their siblings permanently out of the cycle of poverty. With proven success in four countries, ZOE is poised and ready to help many, many more children in need.
The ZOE empowerment model was developed by a team of Rwandans, in conversation with the orphans themselves. Employing all indigenous staff, and enlisting strong support from pastors, leaders, and government officials in the community, ZOE brings 50 - 100 children together to form mutually supportive and self-governing Working Groups. Throughout a three year commitment, ZOE provides guidance and resources as these Working Groups hold regular meetings to identify their needs, create goals and devise the best approach to make their dreams a reality.
After three years or less these children, who were at the very bottom of society, have diversified and growing businesses, an understanding of God’s love for them, crops for self-sustenance and profit, siblings re-enrolled in school, vocational skills, knowledge of their legal rights, improved health and hygiene, safe housing, a supportive community, and the dignity of being able to provide for themselves and their siblings. One graduate of the program summarized his transformation, “We used to be a problem in this community, and now we are a solution!”
ZOE has many ways for churches and individuals to engage in this work: VBS mission moments; Hope Walk where American youth interact via video conference with African youth; ZOE’s alternative giving program; and ZOE’s most robust connection called Hope Companions where Working Group(s) are partnered with Western sponsors during their three year journey. The partnership commitment is $7,500 per year for three years. ZOE provides an interactive blog for group updates, mission trip options, and ideas for engaging the entire congregation.
Churches across the NTC have partnered with ZOE in powerful ways! You can learn more about ZOE by visiting www.zoehelps.org. For information about partnering with a group of orphans, contact Gaston Warner at 919-414-4167.
ZOE is a United Methodist mission and GBGM Advance Special #982023.