Opening a Branch of Solace for the Children
What is the best possible environment for a child to grow and develop? We all know that within a loving family supported by a caring community is best. A child can overcome almost anything if these two essential ingredients are present. It’s the same with the visiting Solace children. Children arrive with medical conditions ranging from slight to extremely serious in our medical programs: Summer Program and Extended Program. This makes it critical to have community surrounding a child and their host family who understands the special circumstances.
This means that the best situation for Solace for the children is to be a part of an established Solace Branch. So what does it take to establish a Solace for the Children Branch? In a nutshell, this requires a group of 5 strong volunteer leaders willing to put time into fund-raising for Solace for the Children, making strong contacts within the medical and business communities, and recruiting host families. The key volunteer in this process is the Branch Coordinator. This person is a good organizer and enjoys active involvement with volunteers with a wide variety of skills. And don’t worry; this organizational process is carefully spelled out for potential Solace Communities.
Once leaders are in place, a minimum of $35,000 should be raised within the new community to support the first group of children invited into the community. With funds in place and leaders established in their roles, a community is ready to welcome their first group of Solace Summer Program Children! What an exciting time for the hosts, for the leaders and for the greater community! The children are with you for six weeks of medical treatment and relationship building. While this can happen any time of year, traditionally it is scheduled for the summer months when most families have more flexible time.
What happens once the children arrive is part of the miracle of Solace for the Children. You begin to see bridges form between Afghans and Americans; among people within your community from a wide variety of backgrounds and traditions all coming together for a common purpose – Building peace on a foundation of health! If you watch the children you will see more bridges emerge. These children are chosen from provinces all across Afghanistan and represent varying views and family traditions. Often they arrive without experience in dealing with different ways of thinking and living. As they play together and heal together and celebrate the joy of childhood together, these children become brothers and sisters, fellow Afghan citizens bound by their love for Afghanistan and growing to deeply care about each other in spite of, and because of their difference!
So how do you host a Solace child? You contact your local Solace Branch Coordinator or you set the stage for a loving, healing experience in your own community! We would love to have you find out more about how to join the Solace for the Children family!