I work for Heaven’s Family’s Orphan’s Tear Ministry in Myanmar (Burma). In 2016 I moved to this Southeast Asian nation with my wife, Sandie, to help return institutionalized children (“orphans”) to biological, kin or foster families.
Since then, we set up an NGO called Kinnected Myanmar to support local Residential Care Institutions (commonly referred to as orphanages, but in Myanmar most children housed in them are not orphans) and their foreign donors to safely reintegrate children back into families or other family-based care.
I help train and manage several indigenous social workers, who then work with the RCI directors and care staff, children and donors towards the goal of reintegrating children back with families—where safe to do so and in the best interest of the child. To accomplish this, our staff conducts child and family assessments, and gathers information from village leaders, local authorities, orphanage directors and donor records.
By assessing families within a child’s home village, we seek to support and strengthen the local communities. In order to prevent other children from being separated from families in the future, we raise awareness about many issues that children face while living in long-term institutional care.
Safely returning children to families is slow, difficult and costly, but we are driven by the deep conviction that our Heavenly Father desires children to be raised by families, not institutions that deprive them of the love and emotional development all children need.