Tag Archives: world vision

introducing Childhood Lost (it’s worth losing sleep over)

childhood lost screen shot

for the past 9 months, The Youth Cartel has worked with the Youth Mobilization team at World Vision to create a new program for youth groups.

World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine is a flagship youth ministry program, engaging a few hundred thousand teenagers each year in learning about and making a tangible difference in hunger. if you’re not familiar with 30 Hour Famine, or have never tried it (or haven’t tried it in a long time), i highly encourage you to check it out. the FREE materials are re-created every year, and it’s really a stellar program. (by the way, The Youth Cartel also helps with the 30 Hour Famine blog, and it has fantastic posts from a variety of youth workers every week — you should check it out and follow.)

but in my consulting work with the Youth Mobilization team, we continued to return to the idea that World Vision does so much great work in additional areas of global need than hunger. human trafficking, clean water, malaria, AIDS, micro development, and so many other issues are strongly in World Vision’s wheelhouse, and they have effective and robust work all over the globe in every one of those. combine that with the fact that youth workers and teenagers are so much more aware, these days, of these other global issues. it just made sense for us to serve youth workers with a program in some of these other areas.

childhood lost bugintroducing: Childhood Lost, a FREE youth group program focused on child slavery

Childhood Lost is a 15 hour experience for your youth ministry (ideally, overnight friday or saturday). its aim is to make a tangible difference in the lives of children who are at risk of being trafficked. for our first year of Childhood Lost, we’re focusing on vulnerable children in bangladesh, as it’s one of the world’s hotspots for both children being trafficked into multiple forms of child slavery: sexual slavery, as well as forced labor.

Childhood Lost is fashioned in a unique way: it’s a combination of 2 hour experiential learning chunks, broken up by 1 hour vigils, where teenagers have an opportunity to “stand with” vulnerable children and those who have already been trafficked (there are a couple short periods of sleep built into the night as well; but those periods of sleep will be interrupted, much in the same way that a child’s sleep in a vulnerable context would be interrupted). the whole program is meticulously crafted and highly interactive, and i’m SUPER stoked about how well it turned out.

we’ve worked closely with the staff at World Vision who focus on vulnerable children, as well as with World Vision Bangladesh, to ensure that we’re serving real needs and representing the issues accurately. this first year, we have a fundraising goal of $300,000. those funds have a specific purpose: funding plans already created by World Vision Bangladesh (but not yet funded). our funds will go to help establish 11 “child friendly spaces,” which are something more than a drop-in center for children in highly vulnerable contexts (one of these, for example, is on the same street as several brothels, and offers a place for children to learn about their value and experience safety and peace outside of the walls of the brothels where they live with their mothers).

really, Childhood Lost is such a great opportunity to engage your teenagers in a real-life problem. they’ll learn. they’ll feel. they’ll be part of a solution.

check it out here, and sign up today! (did i mention it’s FREE?). also, stay up to date by liking the Childhood Lost facebook page (facebook.com/wvchildhoodlost), and following the Childhood Lost twitter feed (@WVChildhoodLost).

new leadership at 30 hour famine

i’ve been a fan of world vision’s 30 hour famine for a long, long time. in fact, i participated in what was then called the “planned famine” when i was a teenager myself. every year, 30 hour famine engages thousands of youth groups around the world in activism and education to provide food and other basic necessities to the millions of people around the world who suffer from hunger. 30 hour famine is one of those very tangible youth ministry experiences that doesn’t involve putting teenagers on planes and taking them on costly trips. and yet, it provides a great combination of expanded world view, understanding god’s heart for the poor (a pretty good place for us to meet god ourselves!), and developmentally helpful “getting my attention off of myself” that’s so rare in the everyday lives of teenagers.

in the years that YS had a partnership with world vision around a very cool program called One Life Revolution, i had regular contact with the famine team. and i was always impressed by their passion, their expertise, their desire to serve youth workers, and their hearts to see teenagers moved.

and — this is just one guy’s opinion — but i felt like famine went through a little slump in recent years. i have no interest in trying to guess why, other than that all efforts like this (just like all organizations) have natural life-cycles, and significant renewal is needed if the effort (or organization) is going to continue to experience vibrancy and truly serve and engage their “customers” (in this case, youth workers).

but i’m feeling downright bullish about the next chapter of the 30 hour famine, due to a couple conversations i’ve had in the last few months with the new leadership. in particular, leah swindon has come on board as the new national director. i’ve had two lengthy conversations and multiple email exchanges with leah (and michele tvedt, famine’s “youth leader advisor”), and i leave every conversation and email exchange with more energy then when i entered. they’re passionate about what they do, passionate about teenagers and youth leaders, and (this is probably the part that encourages me the most) open to ideas and change. any organization that stops saying “this is how we do things” and starts saying “we want to change” puts itself in a place where great things can happen.

30 hour famine is partnering with The Youth Cartel on The Summit, and maybe some other stuff. and i’m pleased about that. but, honestly, hand to heart, i would choose no partnership but a vibrant season of fresh development and hopeful growth for 30 hour famine over the opposite (partnership, but with a 30 hour famine that is anemic and same ‘ol, same ‘ol).

i read leah’s 30 hour famine blog post about her new start after these conversations; and i can confirm that it’s not spin, not fake promises. she’s the real deal, and i’m truly pumped to both be partnering with them, and to see what will develop in famine-land over the next year or two.

i’d encourage you to follow the 30 hour famine blog.
like‘ them on FB.
follow them on twitter.
and, if you’ve never engaged with the 30 hour famine program (it’s free!), click here to learn more.

haiti bound

my life has been a bit of a blur in the last couple weeks, with two junior high winter retreats at forest home, a youth ministry event for the salvation army, and a couple days of consulting with the 30-hour famine team at world vision. yesterday, i spent the day in orange county at my coaching dealio with john townsend. and last night i packed for back-to-back trips to destin, FL, for a ciy youth ministry gathering, then on to haiti. now, i’m sitting in the houston airport, and can hardly believe this trip is upon me.

today and tomorrow i’ll be with youth workers in florida; then tomorrow night i fly from there to miami, where i’ll overnight with a few of the team before meeting up with the rest of the team on thursday to fly to the dominican republic. and on friday, we drive into haiti.

i hope to be able to get online tonite or tomorrow to post more about our actual plans (though i know our plans will likely shift when we get there!). but for now, two things:

1. please join our facebook group, and follow the posts from our team. consider signing up for prayer updates via email also. we’ll all be posting daily from haiti.

2. check out this video, put together by the organization we’re going with: adventures in missions.

the yac school

a few years ago, through our one life revolution partnership with world vision, we helped raise funds to build the mike yaconelli memorial basic school, in zambia. tic and i got to go over for a dedication ceremony (along with karla yaconelli, that is). amazing place.

well, a friend from world vision was by it last week, and took these pics. so cool to see it’s still thriving and in good shape:



brace yourself

our friends at world vision wanted to do something fun in their booth at the national youth workers convention this fall. and they asked if tic and i would pose for pics that they’d blow up into lifesize cut-outs, that people could take pictures with. we thought it was a lame idea. if anyone wants a picture with us, we’re there, live, and in person. but we said we’d do it if they’d allow us to do something a bit more weird.

so, in the spirit of the freakish and fun website manbabies (where photos of dads and their children are doctored to switch the heads of the dad and baby), we came up with the idea of tic and i holding babies of each other. we shot the pics recently, and our media guy at ys mocked them up to show the world vision art peeps what we had in mind (they’ll have to make them look better than these rough drafts). yes, they’re a bit scary.

so, here’s me holding baby tic; and tic carelessly holding baby marko…

stop by the world vision booth at the nywc to see the full-size final versions!

support “team oestreicher”

jeannie, liesl, max and i are all walking, next saturday, in a wonderful walk-a-thon called “walk their walk”. it was conceived by a friend of ours in san diego who went on one of the trips to africa i got to be a part of with world vision a few years ago. she’d seen the difference that schooling and clean water makes in a community in africa, and wanted to make a difference in one of the communities we’d visited: twachiyanda, in zambia.

last year, the first year of walk their walk, we raised money to complete a school in the community, and this year, we’re hoping to raise enough support to pay for two clean water wells. it’s a completely volunteer run event, with no expenses whatsoever; so 100% of the funds raised go directly to the well project.

we’re all walking 12 miles in solidarity with children in zambia. 12 miles is an average distance children in zambia walk to get to school.

here’s the info my family put together for our fundraising page:

Thank you for visiting our 2008 walktheirwalk fundraising page. Please consider sponsoring our family as we walk 12-miles on Saturday, September 13, 2008 to raise funds necessary to build fresh water wells in Twachiyanda, a community in Zambia.

Zambia is an arid country and the community of Twachiyanda is located in one of the driest places within Zambia. 40% of people living in Twachiyanda lack sustainable access to safe water supplies. The people of Twachiyanda, mainly the women and young girls, must walk five to six miles to collect water for their families, and in many cases the water they collect is contaminated. When people have compromised immune systems as a result of HIV and AIDS, drinking contaminated water could be a death sentence. Our personal goal is to be apart of the life saving solution of providing fresh water to an entire community of people. Will you help us make this happen? Some personal thoughts from each of us:

Hey everyone! Max here.
I’m supporting walktheirwalk because I think that children in Africa should have healthy living conditions like we do. Now this won’t fix everything, but it’s getting somewhere. And clean water does a lot for health. I will try to walk 12 miles. Will you support me? Thank you!

Hi. It’s Liesl. I first heard of the need in Zambia for clean water 5 years ago. I’ve been involved in raising money for this cause since then. Last year I participated in WalkTheirWalk. It was cool how much money we raised so we could help rebuild their school. This year i’d like to walk the full 12 miles and help raise enough money to build two clean water wells. Please sponsor me! Thank you and peace out!

Hi. It’s Jeannie. I loved being involved in this walk last year. I loved walking with the people of Zambia, working with them toward health and sustainability. As Liesl mentioned, this effort has been part of our family’s life for several years. Will you join us? Will you join these beautiful people in Zambia and walk with them? Your support is very appreciated. Thanks.

marko here. i’ve been to zambia twice, including once to twachiyanda; and i’ve seen the difference that clean water wells make to a community. literally, it is the difference between life and death. without these “boreholes”, villagers walk miles to a dirty water source daily, either carrying their children, or leaving them without supervision. and the water they retrieve from these arduous daily treks is full of diseases. i’ve also seen the joy of a community with a well. the picture on the side is me with a village elder, celebrating the opening of a new clean water well. please consider supporting our family as we support this amazing cause. thanks so much!

Please support us by making a tax-deductible donation on our web page. Donating is simple and completely secure. World Vision will use these gifts to build fresh water borehole wells in Twachiyanda. YOU can be the difference in a child’s life and future!

would you consider supporting our family in this walk?
click through here to our support page, where you can make a secure, tax-deductible donation.
or, click through here to see more information about walk their walk and the project this year.