As AVFP began to evolve in 2005 and after an initial survey by AVFP volunteers in Amilo Village, it was realized not only was there a great need to feed the children, but also the overwhelming number of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) who lacked family support and funds for education. This need was reported by the local elders and chief due to the devastating aids epidemic.
Realizing that education has the power to change lives and bring hope to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, AVFP initiated one of their first programs of education scholarships for OVC; Jane’s African Orphan & Vulnerable Children’s Mission. The original name of this mission was founded after Sandy’s mother Jane E. Rader, who through her love and care for others, showed the importance of sharing God’s love with a special heart for missions and children. By the beginning of 2006 AVFP had raised enough funds to educate and support twelve of the most vulnerable children within the community.
During this time of educational support and in getting to better know the community and extended families of our OVC, we began to see the many immediate needs that also had to be addressed if any of them were to succeed in school. Due to extreme poverty, most OVC lacked food, appropriate housing, and/ or emotional support, on top of dealing with many health issues. This began AVFP’s wholistic approach with our OVC and family/caregivers through agricultural training, a housing building project, assistance with heath needs, economic empowerment and ongoing emotional and spiritual guidance.
Since the initiation of this program we have not only completed the educational support and met the needs of our first twelve students through high school, but have also grown in the number of students supported in high school and university through full and partial scholarships.