Host Dr. Laura Horvath is delighted to have Katie Milazzo and Lucy Matsumoto on the Optimistic Voices Podcast for this two-part episode.
Lucy is the new Executive Board President of All for One Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on work with orphans and vulnerable children. Lucy has been involved with nonprofit for more than 35 years and was blessed to have been part of a grassroots movement that changed the paradigm for children with disabilities in the field of play that became an international movement. She was delighted to find All for One and get engaged with their work on behalf of children around the world. Also with us today is Katie Milazzo, Acting Director of the Child Prosperity Centre, an AFO supported program in Sierra Leone. Katie is originally from Illinois in the US, but has worked in Sierra Leone on and off since 2013, most recently returning in 2021 after completing her masters in Humanitarian Law at the National University of Ireland - Galway. Katie focuses her leadership on staff capacity building and community training, ultimately working towards self-sustainability and community growth.
All across the world, organizations that have once supported an orphanage, have shifted or are shifting their model of care from residential programs that house children in institutions like orphanages or children’s homes; to programs that reintegrate children into family, and strengthen those families so that they can care well for their own children, through case management and family strengthening training. For a lot of us, this has been challenging, but also fairly self-contained. HCW, for example, supported a residential children’s home for 16 years in Bo, Sierra Leone, before transitioning to become a reintegration and transition support services center. While that transition was not easy, and was certainly complex, we only had the one site to focus on, which allowed us to move step by step through the transition journey without worrying about other programs or orphanages.
What happens, though, when your US-based organization partners with programs in 23 different countries? And to complicate matters further, in some places you support orphanages, in other places you are less directly involved?
For Part A of the episode, Katie and Lucy discuss the background and development of the Child Prosperity Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.