Sept 3, 2012
THANK YOU PARTNERS!
See the Power of Partnership and Twice Sown Seed in action:
Acres of Love
The Acres of Love story begins in a suburb in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Ryan and Gerda Audagnotti were busy raising their own four children far from the death and despair of the AIDS epidemic. However, as Christians, they were moved by the plight of the South African children who were being abandoned in ever increasing numbers as one or both of their parents succumbed to the rampant disease.
In early 1998, the native South African couple heeded God's call to help these children. They applied for an orphanage license and converted an investment property they owned into "Acres of Love," a home focused on providing the highest quality of care for abandoned South African children and those infected with HIV/AIDS.
From the beginning, the Audagnotti's goal was to provide these children with much more than the basic living necessities offered by institutional orphanage facilities.
"Our mandate from God was not to just provide a bowl of food and a blanket for these children," explains Gerda. "Our mandate was to provide each child with hope and a future. We were to do for them exactly what we would do for our own children."
Today, Acres of Love follows this same overriding mandate at all of the homes in operation. Each home is located in a carefully selected neighborhood where the children are distanced from the hopeless poverty from which they were rescued and where they have access to the highest quality medical services and educational facilities.
In a country offering little hope for these abandoned children, Acres of Love pushes through the tide of despair seeking to save as many children as possible...one child at a time.
Mr. Ryan Audagnotti, Chairman and Mrs. Gerda Audagnotti, CEO & Vice-Chairperson.
The mission of Acres of Love is to provide the most vulnerable affected and infected infants and children with the highest possible quality of care and with love, a strong early childhood development foundation, a community-based safety net and hope.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF ABANDONED CHILDREN
More than 350 infants and children have spent time in an Acres of Love home over the organization's first 10 years of operation. The large majority of these children have been placed in adoptive or long-term foster homes. Some have been reunited with their families.
In addition, a significant number of children are established as being HIV-positive and therefore, are still with Acres and unlikely to be adopted. These children require long-term care and likely will remain at Acres throughout their childhood and teenage years.
With medical advances in the treatment of HIV, Acres is committed to the belief that the future is bright and full of promise for the HIV-positive children in its care. Many are expected to continue their education and flourish in their adulthood endeavors, perhaps even becoming leaders who can make a meaningful difference for the people of South Africa.
To provide each child with the level of care they need, Acres of Love works with top medical professionals, committed partners, and compassionate volunteers. Under the "Forever Homes" model the organization adopted in 2004-2005, Acres is dedicated to providing:
• Residential care in a normalized family home with "house parents" supported by specialists, caregivers and volunteers
• Comprehensive health care, including HIV/AIDS testing, antiretroviral treatment and on-going treatment for HIV/AIDS-positive infants and children
• Direct personal care including love, nurturing, support, spiritual guidance, culturally appropriate activities, mentoring, recreational activities, nutritional meals and clothing
• Education including uniforms, school supplies, educational games, mentoring and tutoring, participation in extra-curricular as well as other educational activities
• Recreation including outings, culturally appropriate activities, sports and volunteer-supervised community activities.
• Case planning including coordination and transition to foster care inpartnership with the Department of Social Services
• Adoption and other permanency planning activities in partnership with the Department of Social Services and approved adoption agencies
• Age-appropriate early childhood development activities including games, hygiene, team cooperation and developmentally-appropriate activities
• All other activities necessary to provide a stable, nurturing, structured and normalized home environment that provides guidance, support, love, exceptional care and hope
• Education and training to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in the community at-large and among families of children in care