In the summer of 2015, New International created a ministry focused on ending extreme poverty. We hired a director, formed a multi-national team, and together they began researching best practices for engaging with those in poor communities.
Through their research, the concepts behind Direct Give were born. The concept is beautiful in its simplicity: empower families in extreme poverty to make the best decisions for themselves alongside training and direct financial subsidies. The goal is to support and build economies to be self-sustaining in the long run.
The team determined to fund these international subsidies using Child Sponsorship as a funding model. Pairing individuals in North America with children in Kenya was a familiar concept for churches and donors.
When the program launched in 2016, the results were immediate. The Child Sponsorship team’s research showed, conservatively, a 30% reduction in poverty in the first two years of the program. Families throughout Kenya were using the Direct Give funding wisely, stimulating their local economies, and being generous by helping their neighbors who were in need. In one such instance, a single mother supported her small neighborhood during a severe drought, ensuring that every child received food and water for the day.
The Child Sponsorship team discovered an unexpected phenomenon as the program expanded in size and its scope of influence in the Kenyan communities. Although the original approach was based on empowering the individual child who was being sponsored, entire families were being positively affected. After more research, the team realized a more family-centric approach was necessary.
With that focus came the shift to Family Partners. Family Partners gives us all the opportunity to empower entire families, ensure the care of all children, give fathers more involvement, and expand the care we provide to the communities in rural Kenya.