Launched in 2010, by two UCLA graduates, the organization envisioned using the power of the internet in the age of social media to provide a unified solution to many of the challenges orphanages face while providing resources and opportunities to orphans in the developing world.
Kitechild's programs support orphanages that adopt a hands-on approach to child care as opposed to the traditional large institutional format. The organization aims to help its members overcome some of the challenges facing orphanages and threatening the well-being and healthy development of each child. The challenges include:
- The cost of supplying energy. Kitechild's sustainable micro-projects promote development of renewable sources of energy and the reduction of energy consumption.
- Orphanages are severely understaffed: the average ration is 15 children per adult, (the ideal is 5 child per adult). Kitechild works with field partners to facilitate training in best practices.
- The lack of transparency in running and managing homes makes it difficult for donors and benefactors to see where their funds are being allocated and how they can create long-term change. Kitechild requires in-depth project proposals and media feedback so donors can see the direct impact of their of their contributions.
- Orphanage directors lack knowledge of how to attract support and exposure to their efforts or they lack the time to do it. Kitechild uses free mediums like social media networks and the Kitechild Network to promote the efforts of its orphanage members to potential donors, volunteers, and corporate sponsors.
The following programs address these challenges:
- Online Sustainable Projects: uses existing networks to obtain funding for sustainable micro-projects featured on their homepage. They work closely with orphanage partners to develop these projects, then use online promotion and marketing to fund them. Projects focus on: food security, income generation, self-sufficiency, and community caretaker training.
- Inspiration Series: aims to expose at-risk foster youth in local LA County to potential careers in the arts through unique interactive events.
- Leather Bands for Learning: partnering with Lucky Flirts Jewelry, every bracelet purchased raises money to contribute to the educational costs of the orphans in the Kitechild Network, (tuition, uniforms, books).
Kitechild's blog is fully of impact stories, which I highly recommend reading. Potential donors are able to review profiles on each orphanage in the network, so contributions can be directed to specific orphanages and projects.
For more information on this great organization, please visit Kitechild's website.