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OVC Kenya Advocates

Program Details

How are children chosen for OVC Kenya?

Each child in the OVC program is hand-picked by the local leadership of his/her school and church. The neediness of every child is verified by OVC personnel, and funding will be applied based on individual situations. Through regular visits, interviews, and assessments, OVC personnel monitor his/her growth and progress.

How long is a child a part of the program?

OVC Kenya is a long-term discipleship program. The goal is for each child to be supported upon enrollment in elementary school until the completion of college.

Unfortunately, rare circumstances may require a child to be exited from the OVC program. Such conditions include: distant relocation of family, improvement of a family’s financial situation, inconsistent school and/or church attendance, or inappropriate lifestyle choices.

Becoming an Advocate

How do I become an advocate?

If you would like to become an advocate, please fill out our application below. You will be contacted with available partnership possibilities.

What is my commitment?

The commitment to support a child is one that is both relational and financial. In order for both you and your partner child to reap the full benefits of the program, we ask that you commit to support this child for two years. The consistency of your love and support will enable this child to reach developmental milestones that will impact his/her future for good.

What does my partnership provide for a child?

Your monthly support provides a child with school tuition, uniforms, and meals. It also contributes to the spiritual, academic, physical, emotional, and social formation that are a part the school programs.

Giving Support

How much does it cost to support a child partner?
  • Elementary | $30 monthly | 3k to 8th grade
  • Secondary | $50 monthly | 9th-12th grade
  • University | $100 monthly | 2-4 year degree
How do I make my monthly payments?

Financial support will be accepted online through SecureGive or by check. (Checks can be mailed or dropped in the campus offering boxes). When you give, please denote in the memo line that the support is for OVC Kenya.

Please do not include your OVC Kenya support in your regular church giving. For tracking purposes, all OVC funds are to be submitted as separate transactions.

When are payments due?

Payment is due by the first of each month. You can also choose to give annually.

Can I send money directly to my child partner?

All gifts and donations must be approved and processed through Grace Church. Funds will be transferred to the OVC offices in Kenya and utilized at the discretion of Kenyan partners. No support should be directly coordinated through the advocate and child partner.

What happens when my child partner is promoted to the next level of school?

When possible, an advocate should support a partner child through the entire process of his/her education. If the financial commitment seems to exceed the abilities of your own family, please consider inviting your community group or another family to partner with you in providing support. Both you and your partner child will be blessed by the fruit that comes from a long-term commitment.

Writing Letters

How do I send a letter to my child partner?
Advocate letters are delivered in-country by our Kenya mission trip teams throughout the year. We ask that letters be delivered to the church well in advance of a mission trip to allow time for processing, packaging, and delivery to the team prior to departure.

 

You will receive a schedule of trips and the corresponding deadline for delivering your letters to the church, along with reminders leading up to the due date.
What should I write about in my letters?

Suggested Letter-Writing Topics:

  • Family experiences and traditions
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Church involvement and events
  • Favorite Bible verses
  • Encouragement about child’s growth, schooling, or hobbies
  • Prayer requests
  • Current family events (i.e. travels, birthdays, etc.)
Are there things I should avoid writing about?
When writing to your child partners, please avoid writing about or sending pictures that contain the following:
  • Promises or hints of you visiting Kenya
• Phrases that may imply an invitation to America (i.e. “I hope to see you in the US someday.”)
• Offers for financial assistance beyond monthly committed support
• Mentions of things the child may not have experience with or access to (i.e. technology, cars, houses, American seasons or holidays, etc.)
  • Alcohol consumption or use of illegal drugs
  • Inappropriate or immodest clothing
  • Crude/inappropriate language or slang

 

Note:
• Grace Church may return letters to the advocate when inappropriate content is included
• If an advocate is has the opportunity to travel to visit their child partner, child liaisons at Grace Church will oversee the initial communication
• No monetary support should be directly coordinated through the advocate and child partner
What can I send?
  • We ask that you send gifts only for the child’s birthday (once a year). Be intentional in selecting gifts that are small in size, inexpensive, and thoughtful. Examples include postcards, stationery, bookmarks, sticker sheets, maps, foldable posters, and hair ribbons.
  • Letters and gifts should easily fit in an envelope no larger than 9×11 (without bending or excessive stuffing/folding). Please plan accordingly; we don’t want to omit anything you send.
  • Letters, coloring pages, photos, etc. are acceptable, but please keep these to a minimum of five (5) pieces/sheets per package. If received by the deadline, they can be front and back!
Why should I only give occasional, small gifts?

Gift-giving in the U.S. greatly differs from the customs in Kenya. For the American, gifts are a way for someone to express love and care for a friend or family member. Gifts are given during holidays, especially on birthdays and at Christmas. However, many Americans give gifts randomly throughout the year as a way to express appreciation towards the recipient.

In Kenya, most do not have the financial resources to give gifts regularly or even on holidays. Love and appreciation are expressed through time spent in homes and meals shared together. Gifts are sometimes presented by overnight guests who wish to honor their host but still take the form of food or other practical items.

It is our desire to honor these cultural differences and to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21). Frequent and excessive gifts can develop habits of dependency and entitlement for your partner child and their family.