THE CHARIS PROJECT

Families protect children. We protect families.

Escondido, CA   |  http://www.thecharisproject.org

Mission

Families protect children. We protect families. Desperate families get stuck hurting their children. So many families even abandon their children to “orphanages” or traffickers, dooming them to a life of exploitation and abuse. They don’t have what they need to make their homes safe and loving. We strengthen desperate and hurting families, bringing them: *practical support in times of crisis, *education that helps them to raise their children to become strong healthy adults, and *financial tools to build a stable future together. This equips families with the wisdom and courage to make their home the place where their children grow to be the heroes they were born to be. WHEN YOU STRENGTHEN A FAMILY, THEIR CHILDREN’S FUTURE BECOMES BRIGHT.

Ruling year info

2010

CEO

Mr. Aaron Blue

Main address

306-N West El Norte Pkwy. #314

Escondido, CA 92026 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

80-0570774

NTEE code info

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.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

WHEN FAMILIES HURT CHILDREN SUFFER Nearly half of trafficked children were sold by their families and 80% of children in “orphanages” have living parents. When families fall deeply into crisis they often fall apart and the children suffer the most from neglect, abandonment, abuse, separation, and trafficking.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Stage 1: Family Rescue

Summary: FAMILY RESCUE has historically been our most impactful program with extremely at-risk families. We directly engage with families in immediate, extreme crisis. We meet them where they are, in their homes, with encouragement, counseling, medical care and transport, as well as food support

Problem: Families in extreme crisis are in imminent danger of collapse. These are higher risk situations compared to the majority of the already impoverished population we work with. These families are often single parent or the primary supporter is severely ill, injured or disabled in some way. We especially focus on pregnant or nursing mothers and families with severely disabled children.

Solution: We meet the families with compassion, and encouragement to give help and hope. Our team visits weekly, providing the sole source of stability in these families’ lives. By providing counseling, encouragement and practical help, we bring healing in their brokenness. We have seen first hand how a starving family can lose their will and hope to see light in the dark and find a pathway back to strength. We listen to them, walk with them, and let them know that they are not alone as we help them to walk again.

It typically requires six months or more to see them through their immediate crisis so the entire family can walk on their own… together.

To address the issue of established dependency, we require families to make substantive steps toward independence.

We make it clear that we will not be able to continue working with them if they are unwilling to take these important steps. This provides a qualifying mechanism so that we can concentrate our efforts on families who truly want healing. Although this can be a very painful decision, based on our results and track record of success, we believe that if we focus on the families who are willing to participate in their own healing, resources are used more effectively and results are substantially improved.

We have built a dedicated and faithful leadership team and we are set to expand this initiative to four teams, which will bring healing and hope to more than 250 families in crisis per year.

Population(s) Served
Families
Migrant workers

Education empowers families to care for and protect their own children. It gives them tools to help the whole family thrive.

Summary: FAMILY EDUCATION helps at risk families build the mental, emotional and relational structures that help them grow in love, strength and health.

Problem: Significant ignorance, harmful ingrained cultural norms, deep-rooted superstition and false beliefs work together to harm families and hinder their movement toward health and strength.

Solution: We provide community-based training, focusing on 3 high leverage areas:

● Raising strong, healthy, and secure children
● Encouraging positive affirming family dynamics
● Improving overall health and hygiene

Our teams work with a diverse mix of educational curriculums both internally developed as well as quality external sources that we customize. Our objective is to ensure that our curriculum and training is easily taught to non-literate families. We organize our courses around a six session, once a week, model, which provides adequate time for engagement, understanding, retention, and commitment.

Our local staff are our key trainers and have received extensive prior training. Each of our training staff have experienced the benefits of this powerful educational curriculum and have become invaluable assets because of their intimate knowledge of the culture as well as being able to provide critical insight by having grown up within the community. They can speak first hand from within the “bubble” of their community and can make the training exponentially more alive, with an immediate impact to the families we work with.

Typically, we have 15-30 family representatives in each training. This has allowed our teams to have a dramatic impact. We have also experienced from our training model of weekly sessions over several weeks, that it provides a basis for community building which leads to increased peace, mutuality and unity among these families. We have discovered that by gathering together to learn on a weekly basis, it provides a positive focused forum for building relational bonding and trust that in turn strengthens these families for life.

Population(s) Served
Families
Migrant workers

Our third step is empowerment toward sustainable health and strength. Here we employ creative financing programs to partner with families to empower them to create their own financial security.

Summary: FAMILY ENTERPRISE empowers families toward independent financial sustainability. Through specific training, equipping, and resourcing, we work to launch families toward a financially sustainable future with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Problem: Financial insecurity deeply compounds all other risk factors affecting the families we work with. Lack of understanding about finances, lack of access to legitimate financial infrastructure, and lack of sufficient capital all work together to restrict a family’s opportunity to establish a sustainable and secure financial future.

Solution: We provide financial education, establish legitimate financial infrastructure, and enable access to sufficient capital empowering families to step forward with confidence.

At the center of Family Enterprise is the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). This model has been globally validated. Under The Charis Project’s leadership, it is being implemented in Mae Sot for the first time. By providing enterprise training, coaching, and infrastructure to these groups of families (7-15 in a group) we launch and successfully manage micro savings and loan co-ops.

These co-ops provide the structure, security, and transparency for communities to work together to save money and to provide enterprise capital within the co-op at rates far below the black-market lenders rates. Instead of going to corrupt money lenders, the service fees on the loans are distributed among the co-op members so all the funds stay within the community. In addition, these co-ops provide The Charis Project with a credit reporting system. It enables us to evaluate families for additional entrepreneurial enterprise empowerment.

We are piloting new and creative methods to enable families to launch or scale entrepreneurial micro enterprise. Our first approach is a rent-to-own program for capital equipment. We rent equipment (a sewing machine, motorcycle repair equipment, street food cart, etc.) on a contract that ends when 110% of our cost has been paid, at which time the equipment becomes the sole property of the renter.

Additionally, we are focused on making modest equity investments in growth family enterprises that are ready to expand and have positive cash flow in businesses such as a village grocery store. Each family enterprise client will pay us in partner shares of the business instead of interest payments until such time that they are able to purchase back our equity.

Population(s) Served
Families
Migrant workers

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Village Savings and Loan Associations started and maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Economically disadvantaged people, Migrant workers

Related Program

Stage 3: Family Enterprise Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

For migrant workers with no access to banking services we train them to organize community administrated Savings and Loan groups. These numbers are new groups/year. Groups save year after year.

Number of training events conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Parents, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Step 2: Family Education Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each time a class gathered for instruction is a training event.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Families protect children. We protect families.

The Charis Project model of intervention not only prevents the disintegration of families, it also heals and strengthens families to welcome home children who have already been separated.

The Charis Project has developed and continues to refine a proven model that disrupts child trafficking and orphaning at its source. The most vulnerable children come from families in crisis. We rescue and heal those families, giving them a fighting chance to protect and nurture their own children in their own home.

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. Family Rescue: Weekly visits to families in crisis providing emergency nutrition supplies, counsel, encouragement, and more.
2. Family Education: Empowering parents and strengthening families by providing the tools needed to grow strong and resourceful.
3. Family Enterprise: Helping families to save and plan for the future, training communities to establish and maintain Village Saving and Loan Associations, and becoming partners with them in business enterprises.

We have a highly competent team of seasoned and innovative field professionals who produce measurable and scalable results in families, addressing the root factors of the crisis of child trafficking and orphaning.

Our indigenous staff understands the culture and the needs of the local community, having come from those communities themselves.

We have the organizational infrastructure in place to allow us to scale our programs to multiply our impact up to 5 times with the existing core structures.

In 2020:
FAMILY EDUCATION PROGRAM (FED) - Education that empowers families to stay together
Taught classes covering topics such as pregnancy, early childhood development, positive parenting, and safe/unsafe touch impacting 7,315 beneficiaries.

FAMILY ENTERPRISE PROGRAM (FEP) - Financial literacy for families in poverty
• Educated 271 people in our basic business training
• Provided household management training for 651 people
• Launched 12 new Village Savings and Loan Associations
• Equipped 26 active VSLAs

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT AND RESCUE (FEN) - Hope for the hopeless Encouragement, resources, and counseling to families in crisis
• Supported 48 families in crisis
• Delivered 937 nutrition packages to migrant and hill tribe families

SPECIAL COVID RELIEF INITIATIVES
• Placed 27 water filters in communities, churches, and migrant schools benefitting 1500 people
• Provided house to house hand washing and counter-infection training to 5,218 households including over 25,000 beneficiaries
• Distributed seeds to 3,000 households including Thai families, Burmese families, and hill-tribe families
• Provided 80 families in a completely locked-down community with clean drinking water and a water filter system
• Gave 7,000 families a two-week ration of food as well as masks in cooperation with another local organization

By the end of 2020 we:
-Launched Higher Ground Soccer program on Christmas Day serving 500 at-risk Hill Tribe children and youth to protect them from falling into amphetamine addiction
-Developed 922 financial stewardship and micro-business trainee families
-Shared out $40,539 in savings and profit to VSLA member families
-Launched our pilot Family Coaching Project

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Migrant and hill tribe families in the Thailand/Myanmar border region.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Case management notes, other,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We changed the contents of our nutrition boxes to more dry goods and less fresh foods based on client feedback about what was most useful and what they had the capacity to store long term without refrigeration.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have always based our services on client feedback. No program is started without it responding to an expressed and felt need within the communities we serve. We regularly connect with community members to assess how well our programs are meeting needs, and what we can do differently to better serve these struggling families.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

THE CHARIS PROJECT
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE CHARIS PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 11/12/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Aaron Blue

The Charis Project

Term: 2018 - 2021

Aaron Blue

The Charis Project

Carrien Blue

The Charis Project

Stephen Speiker

Brent Wall

Karen Mahooti

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/12/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data