1. Who is Kinship United?
Kinship United is a non-profit Christian mission, dedicated to the rescue and care of orphans and widows in the developing world. Our mission is to restore the lives of orphans in partnership with churches, corporations, organizations, and who have a passion for helping needy, parentless children. We provide holistic care to orphans in the context of a family environment; through our effective Kinship Church Home model, they are raised to be Disciples of Christ and leaders in their generation.
2. What are the principles that guide our Orphan Care operations?
1. Family reunification and Kinship Care: It is in the best interest of an orphaned child to stay in a family, either with a remaining parent or extended family members, who can care for them. When there is no biological family willing to care for the child, the community of a Kinship Church Home, located in or close to the village where the child grew up, provides the best environment for care.
2. Orphans and widows together: It is best for children to have emotional and physical needs met by adults who love them. Where appropriate, the Kinship Church Home pastor and his wife share this job with local widows in the community, so that at least every 5 children have one adult caregivers.
3. Healing and restoration: Children with trauma or attachment issues can find healing through emotional bonding with a caregiver, especially a widow, and through the therapeutic experience of joining in worship services. We do not promote individual child sponsorships, as that can impede the attachment process to caregivers. Rather, we encourage whole home sponsorship.
4. Accountability and transparency: A Kinship Church Home provides the best care for children when the caregivers are completely open and transparent with other church leaders and staff, and those who contribute financially.
5. Cooperation, not competition: Kinship United can help more children more efficiently when we cooperate and coordinate with other ministries in the field, emphasizing local needs, local resources, and local ownership of outcomes.
3. How are contributions and resources used?
1. Government agencies, sponsors, the medical community, and other agencies require an enormous amount of documentation in caring for orphans. Kinship United has developed comprehensive methodologies and software to facilitate these required processes.
2. Our goal in all countries is to train nationals to do the work necessary to create and maintain records. This gives older children job skills. It is a wonderful way to get people in a position that serves the Lord while they are learning job skills that may start them on a life-long career. To do this, Kinship United has both domestic and international personnel who train locals at the local level in the competencies necessary to make the overall operation as self-sufficient as possible. The by-product of the training is that we can sometimes complete the work at a significantly reduced cost.
3. We have developed software solutions to make it easier to utilize non-English speaking nationals to gather critical medical, demographic and epidemiological information in the field and send it back to the USA.
4. Kinship United supports individuals and teams that go into the field to train indigenous persons in the skills needed to maintain the infrastructures required to care for the children and support the work of the churches
4. Does Kinship United have a religious affiliation?
As a Christian organization, Kinship United is non-denominational and works with many different churches and denominations. The organization is grounded in the scripture verse of James 1:27, which reads: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Our emphasis is on working with organizations that plant churches to be used both as a church and a home.
5. What are some of the ways sponsors help orphans and widows through Kinship United
Orphans live completely dependent upon our ability to serve their needs (i.e. housing, schooling, food, loving care, etc.)…just like your family! You can help them by contributing your time, talents, and resources. Sponsors help the most in these areas:
1. Whole-Home sponsorship – (Kinship United is not a “child sponsorship” organization.) We look to individuals, groups and institutions to help fund the cost of raising the children.
2. Programs and special projects – By choosing areas of need such as the building or funding of projects related to septic systems, wells, vehicles, kitchens, emergency medical funds, bunk beds, etc., you affect the most basic issues of the boys and girls in the Kinship Church Home(s) you help.
3. General operating funds – Without faithful donors or grants to cover our operation costs, our growth will stagnate. Our core system and infrastructure depend on it. This is the hardest money for Kinship United to raise. We send 100% of all designated funds directly to children’s programs and homes. That is made possible by mature givers who know the importance of tight controls and accountability that is maintained through the General Operating Fund. Operating expenses is not the most glamorous place to give, so we want to acknowledge the people and organizations who contribute their time, talent and resources so that others are blessed with a chance to serve the orphans and widows in specific ways.
4. Prayer – Kinship United has a formal prayer list for orphans that may be obtained by request. In addition, we ask that you pray for the church pastors, field personnel and villagers whose response to the Holy Spirit brings a childhood to a child who might not have had one otherwise.
6. What is a Kinship Church Home?
Most people think of an orphanage as some sprawling, dingy, isolated institution. Kinship United supports a quite different model. Based on pilot programs developed in Cambodia, Kinship Church Homes follow a strict model where the children’s home is designed for multiple uses. The buildings are designed with the children’s safety as our primary concern. Sleeping and privacy quarters for the children and caretakers are separate from public areas used for church services, music, or worship. In addition, the facility may serve the local village in other ways such as serving as a community training center. In some cases, the homes have been used as temporary medical treatment centers for surrounding villages.
7. What is Whole-Home Sponsorship?
As the name implies, it is support of a complete family of orphaned children and their caregivers that are part of one particular Kinship Church Home. The contributors agree to work together over the years to supply funds, prayer and arm’s length nurturing for the whole Kinship Church Home
8. How much of the money I give gets to the actual Kinship Church Home?
It is vital that you understand and are confident that 100% of the money you send is going directly to the Kinship Church Home you are supporting. None of it goes to cover overhead costs; your contributions are purely dedicated to your group’s Kinship Church Home. Kinship United is committed to giving you the opportunity to see the extraordinary return on one of the greatest investments you will ever make. To make this possible, we work with other generous contributors and foundations that provide support for Kinship United.
9. Who are Whole-Home Sponsors?
Whole-Home Sponsors are individuals, groups, churches and organizations that have committed to the financial, prayer, and nurturing of a Kinship Church Home. Typical sponsor groups are made up of people with similar interests or geographically-based affinities, such as those who might attend a certain church or belong to a club or small group. The group might also include family members or neighbors. Contact us to learn more about our Whole-Home Sponsorship program.
10. What are the steps involved in establishing and leading a Whole-Home Sponsorship program?
The first step is to contact us at Kinship United. We can go over a couple of options with you, as well as provide you with materials to share with your friends and family! Among the options for sponsoring children on a regular basis, the two most common options are “sole” sponsorship of a whole home and “shared” sponsorship of a home.
1. A sponsor could be the sole sponsor for a home – From land purchase to a completed church home, an individual or organization could do it all. In this case, you or your group buy land, build, staff, rescue children and fund the entire project. Cost: $60,000 start-up plus travel and teams cost and an ongoing management cost of $2,400 per month. Kinship United assists in the contacts and management of the process.
2. Shared Sponsorship Effort – You or your group concentrate on orphans and widows care. In this case, Kinship United will work with partners to find the funds to build a new Kinship Church Home or upgrade an existing Kinship Church Home. With our partners, Kinship United supports the initial infrastructure until the home can support the typical maximum capacity of 40 children. Once children are brought in, you or your group step in. The Lord calls for His people to care for other people; this is discipleship, not sponsorship. It quickly becomes a situation where your life is changed through the lives you change.
Multiple families might join each other to care for a Kinship Church Home. The cost ranges from $500 to $1800 per month. Short- term trips for small projects help cement the relationship and allow for special projects like fans in the church, concrete pads for play areas, land mine barriers, lighting, screens for windows and doors, agriculture projects, eye glasses, inoculations, English lessons, vocational training, and more!
11. What does my monthly contribution provide?
Remember, 100% of the money you send is going directly to the Kinship Church Home you are supporting – no exceptions! Your monthly support provides:
1. Food for the children and caregivers
2. Education, including school fees and supplies
3. Operational costs related to the home, including repairs, maintenance, etc.
4. Routine medical and dental care
5. Bible education
6. Vocational training
12. How would I find and established Whole-Home Sponsorship group of people who are seeking other participants to join their group?
There are groups that have a shortfall on a monthly basis until they establish a full contingent of givers and participants that cover the total commitment for their Kinship Church Home. We will help you find a group that fits your desires to serve. Contact the Kinship United office toll-free at 877-577-1070 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. Is my gift tax-deductible?
Yes, your gifts to Kinship United are tax-deductible. Kinship United is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization recognized by the IRS. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Whether or not your gifts are deductible on your tax return may depend on your financial situation and the tax forms you use.
14. Why isn’t Kinship United involved in foreign adoption?
In the areas of the world where the incidence of orphans is high, the value of life and human rights are low. Poverty is rampant and corruption is common. This combination of circumstances sets the stage for the unthinkable practice of child trafficking. In many of the countries in which we work, the selling of babies for “adoption” to US citizens is a multimillion-dollar business.
According to one of Cambodia’s largest human rights organizations, the League for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Licadho), the moneymaking potential in foreign adoptions is so great that it has inspired a network of unofficial ”recruiters” who scour neighborhoods in search of young children. These recruiters often manipulate birth mothers with lies or false promises, in addition to cash, in order to get them to turn over their children.
For Kinship United to be effective, we have to be above reproach about caring for true orphans. In order to keep children in their native land and growing up in their own culture, it is important that we give long-term care where needed, and when possible, reunite families
15. What if I sponsor a Home and then my financial situation changes?
We understand that circumstances arise and, sometimes, changes in your financial situation are out of your control. In this case, contact your Advisor to press the “pause” button on your monthly giving. You’ll still be a part of your group and you can press the “play” button to resume your giving when you’re ready.
If you need to stop supporting the home all together, we will look for another small group.
16. Where do the kids come from?
Kinship United rescues and cares for orphans in some of the most desperate places on earth. War, genocide, natural disasters, and disease claims millions of lives, often leaving children behind with no one to care for them. We rescue children from refugee camps, garbage dumps, the streets, disaster areas, – and worse. We provide them with emergency care and stability while we try to reunite them with their families. When there is no family, we welcome them into a Kinship Church Home where we provide permanent care in a family environment.
17. How are the caregivers recruited?
The pastor of the church and his wife usually live in the Kinship Church Homes as home parents. We also welcome widows from the community to be caregivers in Kinship Church Home families. We cannot take credit for this idea. Throughout the Bible, we see orphans and widows together and the church caring for them. It just makes sense. The orphans and widows need each other. They have experienced similar loss, grief, and needs. They help each other recover and heal.
18. How is religious training accomplished?
We offer daily Bible teaching to our orphans, the caregivers, and the local community. In many of the homes, Bible study is done before breakfast every day. In the early evening, there is always a time of worship. Many homes have an array of musical instruments; the kids love to assemble worship and praise bands!
19. Can we see pictures?
You can always visit your Kinship Church Home’s website on www.kinshipunited.org, look up the country and home, and see pictures of the kids and caregivers, as well as family photos. This is a great way to understand better the children’s everyday lives
20. Can we visit a Kinship Church Home?
Yes, you can! Kinship United has traditionally organized several mission groups a year which visit the areas where we are rescuing orphans. We strongly recommend that you travel in one of those groups for safety and logistics reasons, though private trips can be arranged. Keep in mind that any persons having direct contact with the children are required to fill out an application and to submit to a background check. Please allow plenty of time for this process to be completed.