Giving Children a Voice and a Choice

For many orphaned or impoverished children, decisions are made for them. The Friendship Model empowers children to make an individual choice about their future and removes the stigma of the child as a victim in need of help.

“God has answered my prayers today!”
A HopeChest Friend Story

At the Mt. Elgone CarePoint launch in rural Kenya, one of the CarePoint staff noticed an excited and emotional 11-year-old girl named Altipute, clutching the profile photo card of her chosen Friend.

Altipute shared, “Since I was born, I’ve never had a dad. He has made many very bad choices and he is not in my life. I don’t have a father-figure in my life that I trust. I chose this man right here,” pointing to the picture of her new Friend. “I chose him to be my HopeChest Friend because he is a man who I want to speak into my life, as a dad might. I’m so very happy because this is an answer to prayer. I have been asking God for a long time to have a father-figure I can look up to, someone that would pray for me, someone I can trust and who cares about me. God has answered my prayers today!”

Altipute’s story demonstrates the power of the Friendship Model, an innovative approach that we hope to lead in the ministry world, so more children can experience a voice and choice within child sponsorship.

We’re Doing Things Differently

Unlike traditional child sponsorship models, the Friendship Model reframes our perspective on child sponsorship by reducing the perpetuation of paternalism. It also helps frame the perspective that financial support has a broader impact on the community and is not focused on only the individual child.

This aligns with HopeChest’s model of holistic community transformation, and strategically leverages a community’s assets to support the community’s vulnerable children.

The Friendship Model in Action

Find a Friendship Model CarePoint to join.

Sign up to be a
HopeChest Friend.

Enjoy the anticipation for a child at the CarePoint to select you.

Build a long-term, meaningful friendship with your new HopeChest Friend!

Providing Dignity and Agency for the Child

In September 2018, the Friendship Model was born from a conversation with HopeChest Country Director of Moldova, Serghei Mihailov, who explained that in Moldova sponsorship has a negative connotation, meaning that a child feels owned by their sponsor. Serghei suggested that, to provide dignity and agency for the child, the child might choose a “HopeChest Friend” to build a relationship with from among those who sign
up to support the CarePoint.

Children’s HopeChest has been operating with a traditional sponsorship model for 25 years. To celebrate our quarter-century anniversary, we have switched things up by launching the Friendship Model.