Abba Fund + Noonday Collection Equals a Fashionable Mission

Noonday Collection launched at 2010’s Together for Adoption Conference alongside the Abba Fund, where 10% of funds were donated to the Abba Fund.  Noonday Collection started as a fundraiser for the founder’s Rwandan adoption, but the mission of Noonday goes even further. Every item sold by Noonday Collection is fair trade and helps to create a pathway out of poverty for the person, family, and community behind the purchase. The company has purchased over $35,000 of product from artisans in only 7 months, enabling those artisans to produce and sell more items, put their kids in school, and even buy commodities for their families like chickens.   They have also given around $5,000 directly to adoptive families to help them raise money for their own adoptions.

“Some days I feel crazy that I started a business to raise money for our adoption. Couldn’t we have done a silent auction or something? But knowing that we can empower so many along the way, both here and in the countries where others are adopting from, has been one my greatest joys. And fashion is such a fun bridge for gospel sharing!” says Jessica Honegger, founder of Noonday Collection.  Noonday is now on the look for Ambassadors. These ambassadors buy into the company and receive a sample box, their own website, and free training. In return,  Ambassadors receive a 20% commission for every sale they make.

Are you informed, fashionable, motivated and fun loving? Then becoming a Noonday Collection Ambassador might be a good fit for you. Enough money came in from Noonday Collection sales in three months to cover the Honeggers’  adoption expenses. “Women respond to fashion, shopping with a conscious, and orphan care. We would love other adoptive families to get their adoption expenses covered while providing artisans in resource poor countries with economic opportunities,” says Jessica.  For more information, please email info@noondaycollection.com. 

Study Finds Orphanages Can Be a ‘Viable Option’

I read this in the USA Today the other day and I think it is important to make a few comments. The article reports:

Children who live in orphanages fare as well or better than those in family homes, reports a Duke University study that tracked more than 3,000 children in five Asian and African countries.

The study, released today, is touted as one of the most comprehensive ever done on orphans. Orphaned and abandoned children ages 6-12 were evaluated over a three-year period in 83 institutions and 311 families in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Tanzania. Those in institutions had significantly better health scores, lower prevalence of recent sickness and fewer emotional problems.

The study’s findings contrast with U.S. and international child-welfare policies that strongly favor family placement over institutional care for orphaned or abandoned children.

That last line is exactly the kind of sentiment that is dangerous. The research is not conclusive. It only says that orphanages might be better than certain in-country options like foster care and group homes – which may well be true. The dangerous aspect is that it gives the idea that orphanages are actually adequate or the best option for kids which is not true. In a day when international adoption numbers are on the decline and the number of orphans remains in the millions, we do not need encouragement to keep children institutionalized. We need to find ways to provide these children with permanency in a family, indigenouslly and internationally.

I highly recommend Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet’s paper ‘“International Adoption: The Human Rights Position,” for perspective on this issue.

International Adoptions on the Decline

The U.S. State Department recently released its official numbers for international adoptions in the 2009 fiscal year (Oct 2008 to Sept 2009.)  They show a steep 27 percent drop — only 12,753 international adoptions, down from 17,438 in 2008.  This number is more than 40 percent lower than the all-time peak of 22,884 in 2004.

What has led to such a decline?

There are many factors but decisions by foreign countries to limit, slow or completely halt foreign adoptions because of ethical issues are a major contributor. 

Chuck Johnson, chief operating officer of the National Council for Adoption, said the new figures dismayed him and other advocates of international adoption.

“This drop is not a result of fewer orphans or less interest from American families in adopting children from other countries,” he said. “All of us are very discouraged because we see the suffering taking place. We don’t know how to fix it without the U.S. government coming alongside.”

Read the AP article here.

Haiti Photos

My wife and I have a special place in our heart for the children of Haiti. While our oldest two adopted children were not born there they were born to Haitian immigrants living in the States and spoke Creole in their home. The needs in this country are staggering and I am thankful for folks like Aaron+Jaime, Steve+Maris, the Livesays that continually raise awareness to them.

I posted awhile back that it would be good for my soul to watch a video or look at photos each day from another part of the world to remind myself that this world is fallen and full of need. It is also a reminder that God is redeeming this world and has called us to be His hands and feet in bringing healing and hope to the nations.

Here are some photos of Haitian children by Debra Parker (visit her site if you would like to purchase any of the prints below)

Let them move your soul.

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