My name is Brandon Stiver, and I have worked in the non-profit and global child welfare sector in both residential and family based models for over ten years, primarily in East Africa. In addition to my work in the sector, I also teach on Children at Risk at the university level. I'm the Community of Practice Director at 1MLLIONHOME, which means that I get to work with the best child welfare organizations out there as they seek to help more children and families with better practice and care. We focus on collaborative reintegration programs that get kids back into family and help organizations repurpose their long-term residential facilities (orphanages) into family based sites.
Of all the children that I've interacted and worked with, children with disability are the most in need of extra support systems.
In countries where government capacity is limited and entitled social services don't really exist, non-profits are regularly tasked to meet the needs of vulnerable community members. Children that have gone through adversity like being orphaned or separated from their families are at particular risk and in need of services and support from the non-profit sector. The greater a child's disadvantage, the greater their need for services. Of all the children that I've interacted and worked with, children with disability are the most in need of extra support systems. The children that Ekisa gets to work with and support are some of the most fortunate special needs children throughout East Africa, because they receive excellent support as compared to most children in the Global South where there is a glaring, and painful, lack of services and support for children with disability. Plainly speaking, we need more organizations like Ekisa to reach other precious children with disability outside of Jinja.
It is with this understanding that I'm excited for Ekisa's new Training and Equipping Department. This is a model that multiplies the necessary skills and vocation to reach those kids, building off of the excellent practices that Ekisa has established over the years. In all of the organizations that I get to work with, none of them exhibit as much excellence as Ekisa when it comes to children with special needs. I've learned from them, our other partner organizations have learned from them and through this new department, many other organizations will more effectively meet the needs of children with disability around the world. This fills a critical need for at risk children and I gladly endorse and support this integral work coming out of Ekisa.
Community of Practice Director