Twenty years ago a small, obscure act of compassion launched what would one day become a movement of compassion by people on two continents.
In a dusty town in the North West Province of South Africa, children were rummaging on the city garbage dump for food. A few people from a local church decided to cook a pot of food and feed these children. From this compassionate response, the organization, Orchard: Africa, was born.
For the first ten years Orchard: Africa grew from being a church led feeding project for thirty children to becoming a multi-programmed response to the poverty and AIDS cycle in rural Africa.
The second ten years of our existence saw Orchard: Africa grow beyond being a church mission program to becoming a fully fledged, registered non profit in it's own right. Orchard: Africa moved beyond the town of Mafikeng and extended its reach to three more villages in the North West Province. During this time, churches and foundations from the United States started partnering with us to help us provide a compassionate response to the orphan crises in the villages where we served.
Over the past two decades of work in rural Africa we have developed a model of response that has made a meaningful impact and a real difference to the outworking that the AIDS pandemic is having in rural village communities.
A few years ago it became apparent to the leaders of Orchard: Africa that this model was scalable and easy to duplicate. There were two ways we could go with this; we could continue to implement this model in village after village or we could help existing rural churches duplicate this model in their own communities. We chose the latter. The premise behind this choice was that we did not only want to see the fruit of our own efforts but wanted to tap into and help other leaders produce fruit thereby experiencing exponential growth.
We had an excellent model with which to have a meaningful impact across the continent and we wanted to see not only our tree bearing fruit, but rather an entire orchard of trees bearing fruit. As a result of this choice the African Orchard Project was launched in 2009. The aim of this project is to see many villages served, hundreds of church leaders empowered and thousands of children and youth reached.
Creating sustainable change in rural African villages.
I have been so privileged to lead this organization to where it is today and I give thanks to God for His continued grace as I lead us into the next phase of our mission. I invite you to join forces with us in this movement of compassion that is directed toward the most vulnerable amongst us.