Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

Then and Now

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Don’t you enjoy looking through old family photo albums? It’s heart warming seeing how children grow through the years—similar facial features, recognizable, yet they’re much taller.

In 2003, shortly after ICC Romania inaugurated its first children’s home, ICC’s volunteer extraordinaire, Dimitri Triantos, took a photo of some of our children holding a banner from Stichting Internationale Kinderhulp, our Dutch partner. Dimitri’s son, Lambro, recently visited the ICC Romania children’s village and captured a similar pose with the same children now eight years older!

Our children from Romania in 2003

Our children in 2003

It’s rewarding to witness the changes and growth in these children. As well, it’s a testimony to the type of program ICC operates, where children experience the love and security they need to grow and develop over time. ICC’s programs are all about longevity, the long-term, the sustaining effort. How else can children thrive?

The children from Romania in 2011

Our children in 2011

Thank-you for joining us in the long-term support of ICC children. Without you and other faithful partners, these pictures and this ministry simply would not exist.

ICC—It’s not charity… It’s family!

ICC Student Wins First Place in Speech Contest

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

For the past few years the local court in Poptún has conducted a contest for area schools. The court chooses a topic associated with the law, and schools send a student participant to give a talk on the chosen topic.  First, second and third place awards are given. This year one of ICC’s boys who attends ICAP won first place with his presentation on “Femicide” (killing women with or without a reason). This gave him the privilege of being a “judge for a day.”

The student from ICAP who won the speaking contest and the judge in who's court he was an observer

The Los Pinos student (on the right) who attends ICAP and who won the speaking contest. The first place prize was spending the day in court observing a judge at work. The judge in who's court he was an observer is on the left.

Monday, October 3, was his day to be at the court. He was a spectator for all the hearings that occurred that day. What a blessing it is that our ICC young people are learning and achieving skill in public speaking! And what a blessing that ICC Los Pinos continues to be as a refuge for children in desperate need of love and protection.

New Zealand ICC Chapter Established

Friday, July 29th, 2011

[This post was updated on 02 Aug 2011]

It is with pleasure that we welcome ICC New Zealand (ICC NZ) as the latest chapter within the ICC family. ICC NZ is now registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission.

Four trustees have graciously accepted appointments to the new chapter. They are Paul Devine, who has been appointed director; Margaret Saunders who has been appointed Secretary-Treasurer; Pastor Neil Thompson, who is responsible for marketing and Mr. Brent Ennor. ICC NZ has opened a bank account, and Pastor Thompson is working on the marketing material which will soon be ready for distribution. Once this material is prepared, the trustees plan to share the news about ICC NZ around the two Adventist conferences in New Zealand. They tell us that service to others is their motivation.

Here is more background information about the trustees of ICC NZ.

Margaret Saunders of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Margaret Saunders

Margaret and her husband, Owen, run a successful farming business in the South Island.  Owen is also chairman of the local Adventist Church School Board and chairman of the Bainfield Adventist Charitable Trust in Invercargill, that provides residential care for 50 people. The Trust also provides financial assistance for child and youth-orientated needs in New Zealand. Margaret has been on two ICC Cambodia mission trips, while Owen has been on three, all coordinated by ICC Australia.

Neil Thompson of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Neil Thompson

Pastor Neil Thompson is the New Zealand Union Conference Youth Leader based in Christchurch. Neil knew Merilyn Beveridge, former ICC Australia Director, from his work as a youth leader in Victoria, Australia. Neil is strongly committed to ICC and its mission and has also been on two mission trips to Cambodia, both of which were coordinated by ICC Australia.

Brent Ennor is a successful businessman based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Brent has a heart to help others less fortunate than himself. He has set up a trust called Mainland Christian Foundation. This is designed to assist South Island students to attend the church’s tertiary institution, Avondale College, in Australia and to assist local churches also.

Brent Ennor of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Brent Ennor

In addition Brent’s eldest son and daughter in-law are actively involved in areas of the third world. Jessica works for ADRA based in Sydney, Australia, after completing an undergraduate degree in International Development. Reuben was one of the photographers for the recent Asian Aid documentary and has just returned from Africa and Asia as part of consultancy on media for ADRA Australia. Reuben is a very talented, creative photographer. This exposure through his family has provided Brent an insight into third world countries and their needs.

Paul Devine of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Paul Devine

Paul Devine became involved with ICC a few years ago when Pastor Neil heard that Merilyn and Don Beveridge where traveling to South New Zealand and were looking for someone willing to accept the responsibility of starting an ICC chapter in that country. Neil was Paul’s church pastor at the time, and he suggested to him that this might be a challenge he would enjoy. Pastor Neil arranged a meeting between Merilyn and Paul. Since that meeting, plans have been underway to start a New Zealand chapter for ICC.

Paul and his wife Shirley worked for 6 years in the Western Pacific Union Mission based on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands. As part of Paul’s work as the WPUM Education Director, he traveled through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati visiting schools and staying in the villages with the local population. As part of his role he also traveled through Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. Later as a principal of a boarding school in New Zealand, Paul also traveled through parts of Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.

All four of the trustees have bought into the way ICC operates its orphanages, which they see as a model that offers children the example of how a family was designed to operate. They also strongly believe in the micro-finance programs initiated in various Asia/Pacific countries where ICC has children’s villages.

New Zealand is a very small country, with a population of around 4.5 million. There is a Seventh-day Adventist Church membership of approximately 11,000. Operating a charity within guidelines of the New Zealand government can be a challenge. According to Paul Devine, “For a donor to receive tax deductibility, 50% or more must be spent in New Zealand. As we intend that all our money is to go overseas, minus administration costs, you can see we have a problem. As a result we plan to work with ADRA NZ on some joint development projects.

Paul says that after ICC NZ has developed a track record over several years, “the system” allows them to approach a member of parliament and ask them to sponsor ICC NZ when new entities are being considered for tax deductibility purposes. If approved then all donations would be tax deductible. This is their medium-term target.

It is a blessing to have ICC New Zealand join the ICC family! We look forward to watching and supporting the development of this chapter.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve

International Development Director ICC

Agriculture—Reaping the Benefits

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The agriculture programs at ICC’s children’s villages are busy with activity this summer. One such program is at the Fountain of Life Children’s Village. Recently we received an update about their first harvest of plantains. Felix, the project director, reports that “In one month we’ll be harvesting continuously, and we’ll be able to sell some of the harvest—not in great quantity, but we will no longer be buying and we’ll start getting some income.”

Plantains that are part of the first harvest from our farm at the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

The First of the First. The first plantains to be harvested at the ICC Nicaragua farm.

Agriculture is such a vital part of our ICC children’s villages. It benefits the children in so many positive ways by providing a balanced diet, practical work experience, and income from the sale of extra produce. However, there are subtle benefits as well.

This child from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua helps to harvest a bunch of plantains almost as big as he is!

This child from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua helps to harvest a bunch of plantains almost as big as he is!

Imagine a young child being rescued from life on the streets. He has no concept of the safety and security of a home and family, and begging food may be how he survives. Now, place that same child in an ICC village and give him love, security and nutritious meals.

Take him to the garden and patiently teach him about the ways of plants. Let him prepare the soil for planting, sow seeds, and wait expectantly for sunshine and rain. Watch him search day-by-day for the first tiny leaf to poke through the soil. Help him care for the tender plant and harvest the first fruits of diligent labor.

Then teach him about his Heavenly Father who loves and cares for him and who has a plan for him to grow and develop and bear fruit. With such therapy, an orphan child cannot help but gain a positive sense of belonging. And when that occurs, the orphan is no longer really an orphan and can grow to his or her full potential just like a well cared for plant in the garden.

You can see from these pictures that the plantain crop is well cared for in Nicaragua. The children have much for which to be thankful, and because you care, we are able to care. Your investment in the children’s programs of ICC enables agriculture programs like the one in Nicaragua to flourish.

On behalf of the children, thank-you for your continued support,

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

Violent Storm Damages Las Palmas Crops

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We’ve received some disturbing news from Mario Lora, ICC’s business and farm manager at the Las Palmas Campus in the Dominican Republic. On Friday, May 27 an isolated and violent storm swept through the Las Palmas campus and caused extensive damage to the farm crops which had been growing in such abundance.

Weather forecasts had not predicted the storm, and it hit the campus unexpectedly and with terrific force. According to Mario, “Its radius of action was practically in our locality and towards the mountains. In fact, the nearby city of Bonao had no damage.

“We understand that it affected an area of about 10 square kilometers with us in the center. We haven’t heard anything about it on the news, and everyone who comes here is surprised when they see the destruction.

“In fact, one of the engineers in charge of the greenhouse project, when he came here was stunned because he didn’t know this had happened, and he was investigating a lot to see what happened. It was quick, only lasting about 20 to 25 minutes as a strong storm, and then the rain lasted for a long time afterward. There was no warning to prepare.”

Plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm destroyed by a focused storm.

Some of the destroyed plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm

About 2/3 of the plantain crop was damaged by the heavy winds and rain that accompanied the storm. Many of the trees were laden with plantains and according to Mario, “With a few exceptions, all trees that had stalks (bunches) of plantains fell to the ground. The stalks varied a lot, from ones that were just flowering to those that were ready to harvest.

Of the trees that didn’t have stalks, only a few fell to the ground, but a very small percentage. We think that about 2,500 plantain trees fell over. Each stalk has about 30 to 40 plantains, which at the current market price are worth between 5 and 7 pesos, so each stalk is worth about 150 pesos [$4.05]. When we multiply that by 2,500 trees, it comes out to a loss of about 375,000 pesos [$10,135]. Also, we were left with about 1,250 trees which will start flowering in the next three months.”

The loss of the trees means more than the loss of the crop. A tree can produce several crops, plus they produce other “children” – small trees that grow up to the next generation. Mario, the staff and children at Las Palmas have quickly started the process of rehabilitating trees that can be salvaged and planting new trees.

Mario states that, “when we plant a new crop it takes about 8 or 9 months to start producing.” One piece of good news is that the project already has enough seeds to do the replanting and together with rehabilitating the damaged trees, the project should be able to expand the crop. This will have to wait until the rains allow the workers to prepare the land.

Plantains are a staple crop at the children’s village. This loss will certainly impact the project. Mario continues. “Of the production that we had projected, we consume almost the entire crop. What was happening at this moment was that as the plantains would get ripe we would cut them for use in the homes. They were not all ready to cut at the same time. In fact, many times we have had to cut them before they were really ready because of the needs in the homes.”

One of the other important crops at Las Palmas is Yucca. Mario estimated that perhaps 30% to 40% was affected. Since Yucca are tubers, it’s difficult to say at this time what the effect of the storm may be. However, there was significant damage to the plants themselves and the tubers may rot or not develop normally.

Garden vegetables were also hit hard, and according to Mario, “everything we had was ruined.” The house father and children of house 4 on the Las Palmas campus had put forth dedicated effort to supply the homes with vegetables. Mario estimates that this was valued at the equivalent of $135 per week so over the next 8 weeks as they wait for new crops to mature, they’ll need to spend about $1,080 to replace what was lost.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm

There are some bright spots in all this discouraging news. All the children and staff escaped unharmed. Praise God for that! Also, the sweet potato, corn and pineapple crops were not damaged. As well, there is something telling about how Mario describes the attitude of the staff and children on campus. “What has impressed me the most in all this,” he states, “is the good spirit that exists among the employees and the kids. We can see complete unity in order to reestablish, with God’s help and our efforts, what has been damaged. We have courage to continue on as long as the Lord gives us the strength.”

We’re pleased to report that when the Versacare Foundation heard about this tragedy, they immediately provided a donation of $10,000 to help with this food emergency. What a blessing this is! Additional funds are needed, and if you would like to help, please mark your donation “Las Palmas Farm and Food Fund.” It will directly assist with this need.

Thank you for your generous support.

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

Another Shipment of Supplies for Romania

Friday, May 20th, 2011

IKN (ICC Netherlands) has sent another transport this week to Romania. Every year they send two full trucks with relief goods to the ICC Romania children’s village. This time the truck was filled with items like paint, 43 new children bicycles, adult and children’s clothing, CAT work clothing, and two big water tanks for catching rain water.

Paint for Romania

The paint recently shipped to ICC's Romanian project

Rain water collection tanks for ICC's Romanian project.

The rain water collection tanks for ICC's Romanian project.

Also included was roofing material. The ICC Romania Children’s village has a “lighthouse project” that provides assistance in the surrounding village. Around 40% of the people of this village live in extreme poverty. The roofing material will be used to put new roofs on 10 homes. This will be done this summer by a group of ADRA Netherlands volunteers.

Loading the roofing materials onto the truck hauling the shipment of supplies to ICC's project in Romania.

Loading the roofing materials onto the truck

Thanks for reading!

Lambro Triantos
Director IKN/ICC Netherlands

IKN on the Road

Friday, April 1st, 2011

On Monday, the 28th of March, Dimitri and Lambro Triantos (from IKN or ICC the Netherlands) visited some companies. There are many companies who donate products which IKN sends to the ICC Children’s Villages.

Here is an overview of their visit on that day:

At 10:00 a.m. Dimitri and Lambro Triantos visited Enza Zaden in Enkhuizen. The company donated over 350 containers for planting seeds. These containers will be distributed later this year to the ICC Children’s Villages in Romania and the Dominican Republic.

Dimitiri Triantos collects seeds trays for our Romanian children's village

The seed trays donated for ICC Romania by Enza Zaden

At 11:30 a.m. Dimitri and Lambro visited the company N.A.G. in Westknollendam. Robin Visser, director of the company, which specializes in gutter systems, decided a few weeks ago to support the bakery in Romania by supplying roof gutters for the bakery. His father, Herman Visser, and a colleague will travel to Romania this summer to install the roof gutters themselves.

Dimitri and Lambro got a tour through the company and were introduced to an ingenious system called Roof Alerts. Anyone who is interested in roofs, should go to http://www.roofalerts.com.

Robin Visser, Dimitri Triantos and Visser tour the Roof Alerts plant

Robin Visser (left) and Herman Visser (right) of N.A.G. give Dimitri Triantos (center) a tour of the N.A.G. plant where the roof gutters for ICC Romania are being made

Rehamij in Bergambacht was the final stop for the day. Dimitri and Lambro arrived there at 2:30 p.m. They were received by Jason van Rijen. The company specializes in selling work clothes. IKN received a number of boxes with CAT clothing. The clothing will be used for mission trip volunteers and the team of ICC Romania.

CAT Diesel Clothing for ICC Romania

Jason van Rijen of Rehamij shows off one piece of the CAT clothing that was donated to ICC Romania

Jason van Rijen of Rehamij and Lambro Triantos

Lambro Triantos thanks Jason van Rijen (left) of Rehamij for the CAT clothing donated by Rehamij for ICC Romania

Thanks for reading!
Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

House Parents – Difference Makers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

It should be obvious; however, it bears mentioning. Effective, loving house parents are critical in making the mission of ICC successful. ICC’s Director of Children’s Services, Sharon Fleck, recently saw this in action when she visited ICC’s project in Romania. For a variety of reasons, it has been a challenge to find and keep house parents at that particular project. When house parents have left in the past, social aunts have had to help fill the void.  Though the children receive good care from the aunts, a special bond takes place when the children have consistent care and  nurture from loving house parents.

House parents from House Three of ICC's Romanian children's village

The house parents from House Three of ICC's Romanian children's village

We are very thankful that the homes at ICC Romania all have quality house parents now.  The children are happy, and it is evident that they truly enjoy spending time with their house parents. One little boy especially finds great joy in doing sweet things for his house mom.

To all house parents in the ICC family we offer our heartfelt appreciation for all you do to care for “His Kids.”

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

First Fruits at DEWS Sweet Home

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Rick and Sharon Fleck have recently visited ICC’s DEWS Sweet Home in India. You may recall in a previous posting that extensive flooding swamped our children’s village as can be seen in this picture. There was great concern about the welfare of our campus gardens. However, God was merciful and the project recently harvested some of the produce.

Rick sent a report that included this photo of Kumari, our children’s services director. She is displaying the first fruits of the string bean crop. These beans were given as a special offering in church. This was to make a public declaration that we owe everything to God. Our ICC India family is very happy that they were able to give this special gift to God.

Kumari shows the beans from the first harvest of ICC India's garden after recent heavy flooding.

Kumari, ICC India's children's services director, shows the beans from the first harvest of ICC India's garden after recent heavy flooding.

The older boys and house fathers at Sweet Home are the ones mainly responsible for working in the gardens. Together they have put forth the effort to make the gardens productive and beautiful once again. What a blessing that the gardens have recuperated after the devastating floods.

The ICC India gardens during the recent flooding

The flooded garden.

Lily Kaligithi
Director
ICC India/DEWS Sweet Home

IKN New Year’s Reception

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

On Tuesday the 11th of January IKN organized a New Year’s Reception. Around 65 sponsors, volunteers and IKN board members were present at the Festino Party centre in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands.

Live music was performed during the reception

Musicians played live music during IKN's New Year's reception

During the evening five new child sponsors signed up after watching a documentary which was recently made in Romania.

IKN's New Year's reception at Festino Party centre in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands.

IKN's New Year's reception at Festino Party centre in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands

The main goals for the IKN office in 2011 are to raise funds for the food and educational programs of several ICC Children Village’s, support the bakery project in Romania, the building of a secondary school and a water project in Congo, and sent three relief transports to Romania and the Dominican Republic.


Lambro Triantos
Director IKN/ICC Netherlands