International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

THE CHARIS PROJECT

  • Escondido, CA
  • www.thecharisproject.org

Mission Statement

The best place for a child to grow up is in a strong loving family. Families are a child's best protection against exploitation and abuse. Unfortunately, where people are displaced and social disintegration is endemic, many children are left with strangers; at clinics, children's homes, or other boarding institutions in the Thailand/Burma border.

This is why at The Charis Project our primary goal is to focusing directly on support for families. We still provide temporary care for children whose families are in crisis, but our goal is always restoration and unification.

We not only work to provide for a family's physical needs, but their mental, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. For families to be fully restored, healing and strengthening must take place in hearts and minds, as well as bodies. We work for total restoration of each person in the family unit and the larger community as well.

The Charis Project provides the following solutions to the Thai/Burma area. Community Engagement Teams comprised of native Thai and Burmese members that work within their own communities to teach classes on childbirth and child development, and to assess families for needs that The Charis Project can provide a solution to (e.g. nutrition, employment, education). We also have an organic teaching farm that provides sustainable farming techniques and methods to local farmers. A family resource center that offers classes to the entire community at no cost.

Ultimately our mission is to keep families together in a holistically ethical and healing environment.

Main Programs

  1. Community Engagement Teams
  2. Family Resource Center
  3. Childrens Extended Family Home

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Service Areas

Self-reported

International

North Western Thailand
Home to many indigenous hill tribes who are not ethnically Thai and live mostly in subsistence farming villages. We also work in Mae Sot which is a district in western Thailand that shares a border with Burma to the west. It is notable as a trade hub and for its substantial population of Burmese migrants and refugees.

ruling year

2010

CEO since 2012

Self-reported

Mr. Aaron Blue

Keywords

Self-reported

community development, refugees, entrepreneurial orphan care, clean energy, microfinance

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EIN

80-0570774

 Number

6799364000

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Family Services (P40)

Christian (X20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Charis Project has directly housed, fed, sheltered, and educated more than 60 orphaned, abandoned, or at-risk children since 2008.

We continue to supplement the income of the orphanage in Tak province as it transitions from donor dependent to financially self sustaining through entrepreneurial businesses established in the community.

We've built a team of five local women that engage with their community to identify families at risk of falling apart and provide resources, counseling, and referrals.

We provided community leadership training, entrepreneurial and business skills training, and positive child care training to an estimated 200-300 villagers in 3 villages and 5 migrant worker camps in Tak Province, Thailand.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Community Engagement Teams

We’ve created teams of locals that understand first hand where these families are coming from and their circumstances, because they’ve been there too and have shared their pain, their struggles, and their difficulties. These teams go out and find the families who are on the edge of falling apart in order to bring them food, bring them encouragement, bring them community, friendship, counseling, and access to resources

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Budget

22,000

Program 2

Family Resource Center

Our Family Resource Center is called Thit Yeik, which in Burmese means the shade of the tree. Under the shade tree is where people take shelter from the sun, shelter from the storm, and gather together for learning, and community. Thit Yeik is the hub of both our Family Support Teams and our Community Education Classes.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$23,300

Program 3

Childrens Extended Family Home

All children deserve a stable family to grow up in.

Children’s homes are never a permanent solution, merely a stopgap to fill a pressing need. We believe the objective of every children’s home should be to place children in stable families, either by strengthening their birth families, or establishing long term foster care for them.

The Charis Home, high in the mountains of northern Thailand, is a safe place for kids to stay until their families become stable enough to care for them again.

Families do not relinquish custody of their children when bringing them to the Charis Center. We work hard to keep the kids connected to what family they have. They go visit during school holidays if there is somewhere to go and their families participate in the life of the home as they are able.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Asian/Pacific Islander

Budget

$15,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We have two basic goals.

    Keeping Families together. When families fall apart, children suffer. Extreme poverty and social disintegration lead to the breakdown of families in ways such as child abandonment, abuse, and neglect. But children need a strong loving family in order to thrive. Our programs are all focused on providing the resources needed to keep families together.


  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We not only work to provide for a family's physical needs, but their mental, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. For families to be fully restored, healing and strengthening must take place in hearts and minds, as well as bodies. We work for total restoration of each person in the family unit and the larger community as well.

    How do we do this? By empowering the local community through the following programs:
    1. Community Engagement Team
    2. Nutrition Support to Pregnant and Nursing Mothers
    3. Family Resource Center
    4. Education Classes
    5. Childrens Extended Family Home
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We have serial entrepreneurs on our board of directors who have started and sold many very profitable companies.

    We have an indigenous staff that understands the culture and the needs of the local community.

    Our method of generating start up business ideas is to ask questions and act on ideas generated within the community themselves.

    Our CEO is an innovative, forward thinking leader who constantly asks how something can be done better and more efficiently.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We have started utilizing program management methods to track project progress against our yearly goals and financial budgets. As we complete this fiscal year and move into the next we will start to roll out reporting metrics to transparently communicate progress to our Board of Directors, Donors, and the public.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Our Children's Extended Family Home has reduced their need for outside support by more than half in the last 3 years since we started working toward self sufficiency.

    Our Community Engagement Team currently consists of five team members and we would like to see this number grow as well as encourage them to work independently within their villages.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

North Western Thailand
Home to many indigenous hill tribes who are not ethnically Thai and live mostly in subsistence farming villages. We also work in Mae Sot which is a district in western Thailand that shares a border with Burma to the west. It is notable as a trade hub and for its substantial population of Burmese migrants and refugees.

Additional Documents

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

 

External Reviews

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Financials

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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2012 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

THE CHARIS PROJECT

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2012 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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CEO

Mr. Aaron Blue

BIO

As CEO of The Charis Project Aaron Blue brings 18 years of development and ministry experience in India, Nepal, Mexico, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Navajo Nation, inner city Vancouver and San Diego, both working with other organizations and launching new programs. Aaron holds a B.A. of Philosophy from University of California San Diego. He studied Theology at a graduate level at Regent College and continues to present theology papers at the annual SVS conference. The combination of his academic background and practical experience in ministry and development lends him a unique and useful perspective in applied theology. Aaron and his wife and 6 children live in Thailand where Aaron directs the local activities of The Charis Project, as well as serving as the local administrative director for two Thai foundations, COC Thailand and Haven Foundation in Mae Sot.

STATEMENT FROM THE CEO

"he best place for a child to grow up is in a strong loving family within a healthy community. This is a child's best protection against exploitation and abuse.

Extreme poverty causes many parents to consider leaving their child(ren) in the care of others when times get desperate. In this community child rearing culture, it is not unusual for children to stay with other family members during their formative years when parents have need. When families have the support of their community and extended family, this can be a good solution, the children remain in a family setting.

Unfortunately, where people are displaced and social disintegration is endemic, many children are left with strangers; at clinics, children's homes, or other boarding institutions.

Some consider orphanages and children's homes the answer to the problem of family breakdown and child abandonment. What most people don't know is that an institutional setting is not good for a child's mental and emotional development.

The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, in the addendum containing Guideline for the Alternative Care of Children contains the following:

B14. Removal of a child from the care of the family should be seen as a measure of last resort and should, whenever possible, be temporary and for the shortest possible duration. Removal decisions should be regularly reviewed and the child's return to parental care, once the original causes of removal have been resolved or have disappeared, should be in the best interests of the child, in keeping with the assessment foreseen in paragraph 49 below.

15. Financial and material poverty, or conditions directly and uniquely imputable to such poverty, should never be the only justification for the removal of a child from parental care, for receiving a child into alternative care, or for preventing his/her reintegration, but should be seen as a signal for the need to provide appropriate support to the family.

All the research, and there is a lot of research, indicates that for a child to thrive they need a family, and if their family is in trouble the best solution is to support the whole family.

This is why at The Charis Project our primary goal has shifted from providing quality, self sustaining institutional care that helps the community, to focusing directly on support for families. We still provide temporary care for children whose families are in crisis, but our goal is always restoration and unification.

We not only work to provide for a family's physical needs, but their mental, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. For families to be fully restored, healing and strengthening must take place in hearts and minds, as well as bodies. We work for total restoration of each person in the family unit and the larger community as well."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Doug Wall

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff, Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity