Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another boring paper? Help an orphan and learn stuff. We can help!

Forgotten Voices is proud to announce a new project: The Research Voice. Essentially, we are posting challenging questions faced by Forgotten Voices and our partners. We have divided them into research areas so students can quickly identify a potential topic that they can use for a research paper that they need to complete.

They simply submit their well thought out research, we consider it, and look for ways to use the material to further our mission.

It's an awesome way for students to contribute in a meaningful way, learn about the world, and take a potentially meaningless topic and transform it into a life enhancing tool for Forgotten Voices.

Check it out at: Student Research Ideas

So... where did this come from? Here's the background for interested parties.

Over the last 3 years, I've talked with a lot of high school and college students. I keep thinking about my message to students.... orphan care is complicated and we don't just need people with big hearts, but we need people who are wrestling with the different layers of the challenges. We need healthy heads and hearts. My message was we need you to stay in school to help us address the very real challenges occurring right now in southern Africa.

Over and over, students kept telling me that in addition to money, they would love to find a way to plug in to our work in Africa without feeling like they need to drop out of school. As I searched around the non-profit industry, I kept coming back to this idea I had of using research time that students have to address real issues our partners are facing in Africa, as well as questions our volunteers have in the USA.

We have teamed with our partners in Africa to identify critical questions that they are facing in various interests of study. Our list will grow, but for now, we have 9 categories. We hope have 15 by the end of September. Check it out at

So - our partners in Africa and our amazing intern, Paul, have identified challenges that need work. The questions are pretty deep and may be used by students to fulfill classroom assignments they are given.

As a former student, I know what it's like to have an assignment without a meaningful topic that I could relate to in real life. This tool can help. Students can select a question, research a response, help themselves, and help us fulfill our mission of empowering orphans.

There is no guarantee the papers will be acted on, but all will be read and considered here and in Africa. I'm building a research team to look through all submitted papers.

We are really excited about sharing this new opportunity and I wanted to specifically invite you all to participate in this initial trial run. Just a suggestion if you find a fit in one of your classes.

If you have ideas/suggestions/questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I can't find anyone else doing something like this and I hope this pans out for the students, our partners, and Forgotten Voices. At the very least, it will be a good attempt to bridge the gap that exists between the ideas of study and the practical results of our work. I see more and more that we need students to engage in the challenges of this world...not just complain about them and certainly not just drop out of school to help without understanding.

I do hope you all are well!

All the best,
Ryan Keith
President, Forgotten Voices International

Note from Ryan Keith
Forgotten Voices: Empowering Orphans
717.506.0633 |

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