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Hope Program Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about the Project 143 Orphan HOPE Program, we have answers.  Just click on the question or plus sign to reveal the answer to any of your questions.

HOSTING

The Project One Forty Three (Project 143) Orphan Host (HOPE) Program pairs orphan children to live with American host families, for a 4 - 8 week experience of a lifetime. Simply put, orphan hosting is opening your home for an orphan child to join your family for 4-8 weeks during a summer or winter break period. Orphan hosting is ideal for families with a heart for orphans. Hosting is an opportunity for an orphan to become part of a family, experiencing the power of belonging, connectedness, love and family. For most orphans the experience is life changing and for most host families too!!!

Benefits: Experience of living in a functional family, improved self esteem and confidence, exposure to a different culture, improved english fluency, unconditional love and support from their host family, and above all else - HOPE.

Most orphans have never experienced a functional, family environment and will likely repeat the same cycle unless they are exposed to a new model. It’s impossible to hope for different outcome if you have nothing new to model. Living in a family for even 4 - 8 weeks can be life changing. Just read some of these real life stories here if you have any questions about the benefits. A home where the host parents are dependable and present in the lives of the children highlights the proper role of parents. Living with a family demonstrates proper relationships with siblings and extended family members.

Additionally, to orphans, the idea that they are being chosen to visit America is a huge boost to their self-esteem and self-worth since they are often poorly regarded in their society. Participating in hosting activities and taking trips with the host family makes great memories for orphans who have few to none. Another benefit for international host children is developing better english fluency. Finally, hosting provides a critical opportunity for orphans hoping for permanent adoptive families.

Hosting dispels the myth that older children are too “damaged” to love.

Project 143 runs Host (HOPE) Programs with Latvia, Ukraine, Krygystan and Mexico is our newest country.

When we offer hosting from new countries in the future, we will announce those plans here on our website and through our social media outlets. Stay tuned!

Absolutely not. The orphans are granted visitor visas through the US Embassy in their country and are permitted travel for the period of time their visa is issued. At the end of the host program, all orphans must return to their country of origin. They are not citizens of this country, they are visitors, and cannot remain here past the time allotted by the two governments.

Formed in 2009, Project 143 received its 501(c)3 nonprofit status and was established in 2010. Our first Orphan Host (HOPE) Program was the summer of 2010 with eight orphans from Latvia. The P143 host numbers through the years are 2010 - 33, 2011 - 108, 2012 - 220, 2013 - 333, 2014 - 408, 2015 - 364, totaling 1466 kids hosted so far. Hopefully, it will be many, many more.

Typically, summer hosting is 4-10 weeks and begins mid-June or mid-July, depending on participation in the short or long program. We typically offer the option to host families for participation in a short or long program. Winter hosting is typically mid-December to mid-January and is 4 - 5 weeks in length.

We want each child to have time to fully acclimate to their host experience, which includes having to adjust to a new time zone, new foods, cultural differences and new relationships with a host family. If a program is too short, they cannot fully bond with their host family and experience the life changing benefits of the Host (HOPE) Program.

Host (HOPE) donations are between $2,950 - $3,250 per child depending upon program length. The 6 -10 week program donations are $3,250. Donations can be paid all at once or broken into a schedule of four payments which are detailed in the Host (HOPE) Program Application. Please note that all host donations paid to Project One Forty Three are considered tax deductible and CANNOT be refunded for any reason. Any attempt to refund host donations by the host program is a violation of our non-profit agreement and jeopardizes the program's IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status. Receipts for tax purposes will be provided.

Host (HOPE) donations are similar to a mission trip overseas. Host (HOPE) donations cover the costs to secure a passport, visa costs, translation of documents, in-country transport to visa interviews (if required), in-country transport from orphanage to airport, airline tickets to the US, medical insurance while on the host program, a portion of the traveling chaperones expenses and training costs for new host families.

Project 143 arranges all travel itineraries for the children and their chaperones. Typically, the children arrive into airports such as New York, Atlanta and Chicago without additional add-on fees. If additional air travel is needed beyond the initial airports, that will be the responsibility of the host family. Or, if we have 10 or more children going to the same area, we can add cities during any HOPE Program.

This is a very common question. There is no perfect scenario when speaking of orphans, their lives already have losses most of us cannot comprehend. Without hosting, orphans over the age of 6 or ones with handicaps or ones in a sibling set have almost 0% chance of finding a loving home. However, with hosting, these same orphans have about a 65-70% chance for adoption. Hosting affords a second chance to orphans who will likely never have another opportunity at finding a family. While it is difficult to send them back to their orphanages in the short-term - they go back changed, enriched and connected to their HOPE Family - even if separated by distance. This connection is real and provides hope. Most HOPE Families become incredible advocates for their host kids, dramatically improving the odds for these kids to find forever families. Just read some of the Inspiring Host (HOPE) Stories on this website to understand how advocacy dramatically changes the odds for these kids.

Project 143 is presently conducting Host (HOPE) Programs in Latvia, Ukraine and now Ethiopia. While we value the lives of all orphans domestic and international, conducting HOPE Programs requires substantial planning, coordination with government agencies and volunteer teamwork. Project 143 operates HOPE Programs in the places where it can most effectively coordinate its' limited resources. Project 143 is always looking to expand the number of orphan children we can help. We invite participation from other regions, domestic and abroad. Please direct your inquiries for future additional host programs to [email protected]

Yes. Chaperones, are given guardianship for children while they are hosted. The international host children are accompanied by chaperones who travel to/from America with the children. Children are required to speak to chaperones and call back to their orphanages each week. Families are required to complete host reports weekly and provide a host summary at the end of the host period.

Project 143 provides medical insurance for every host child. A medical deductible may be necessary if an emergency arises.

Project 143 asks host families to also be willing to host a chaperone in their home for at least 3 days. This provides an opportunity for translation and assistance with host children, as well as an opportunity to learn about your host child's culture. If you are unwilling to host a chaperone, an additional fee will be incurred.

All HOPE Program hosting donations paid to Project One Forty are considered tax deductible donations and CANNOT be refunded for any reason. Any attempt to refund host fees by the host program is a violation of our non-profit agreement and jeopardizes the program's IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status. Receipts for tax purposes will be provided. If you are dissatisfied with the services of Project One Forty Three for any reason, please contact any representative. They will attempt to correct any issue within their control and make your HOPE program experience a great one.

Yes. As long as the orphanage and the child are willing to participate in the Project 143 Orphan Host (HOPE) Program, yes, our program allows for a child to be hosted more than once.

HOST FAMILY REQUIREMENTS

The primary requirement is your desire to be good host parents. Married couples may apply to host, but must be at least 25 years old. There is no upper age limit. Host families are expected to complete an Application to Host, which can be found here.

A homestudy is NOT required to host. A homestudy is a term used in the adoption community. All host parents must complete clearance and background checks. A home and neighborhood safety visit is conducted by a Licensed Social Worker. Social workers will engage potential host parents in discussion about their desire to host a child or children and will examine the general environment for any hazards or issues that might not be suitable to accommodate a host child.

There is no disqualifier based on the size of your family. Our host families consist of large families, single parents, empty-nesters and more.

You can practice any religion or not practice a religion. We are, however, a faith-based organization operated, in large part, by Christians.

We are so sorry but hosting is open only to US based families, because the children are provided Visas to visit the US only. We are open to families anywhere in the USA. We’ve even had a host family from North Pole, Alaska!

Host parents are required to take care of the visiting children as their own; feed, bathe, clothe, as well as complete a dental visit, among other basic necessities.

No. As long as each host child has their own bed, they may share a room with a child of the same gender.

During the course of the host program, in rare circumstances, it is sometimes in the best interest of the host child or host family to move a host child to another home. We do NOT take this decision lightly or without just cause. Otherwise, it goes against our message of showing unconditional love to a host child and parenting them in a way that allows them to correct mistakes. In all cases, permission must first be given by Project 143 to move a host child to a pre-approved backup family.

The requirements for our backup families are the same for any other host family except that there are no host fees. Our backup families MUST have completed the Project 143 application, background checks and completed a home safety visit.

Project 143 asks host families to also be willing to host a chaperone in their home for at least 3 days. This provides an opportunity for translation and assistance with host children, as well as an opportunity to learn about your host child's culture. If you are unwilling to host a chaperone, an additional fee will be incurred.

No. Adoption discussions with host children are not allowed. While we are always hopeful that all orphan children will find their forever families, the Project 143 Host (HOPE) Program is NOT an Adoption Program, therefore rules of the overseeing agencies preclude such discussions.

ABOUT THE ORPHANS

Information includes a brief biography and some medical information. Due to country laws and to protect the privacy of children, information may be limited. Detailed background and medical information would be made available to adoptive families through an accredited adoption agency upon their application to adopt.

Yes. The children are interviewed and photographed by two or three representatives from Project 143 who visit each orphanage personally. If there is ever a reason a child wasn’t met in person, it’s typically written in their online biography.

Orphan hosting typically focuses on children ranging in age from 7-15, sibling sets and special needs orphans. There are sometimes children younger than 7, but they are usually part of a sibling set. These particular orphans have virtually no chance at finding a family without a host program. Project 143 is truly offering a lifeline to these remarkable orphans, giving them what may be their only (and perhaps last) chance at finding a family.

Yes, about as healthy as you'd expect a child from an orphanage to be. Any known medical conditions will be documented prior to hosting.

Yes. A family that desires to host is able to select the orphan they would like to host through a password protected online photolisting. This photolisting provides a recent photo and a brief biography that describes the child’s personality, likes, dislikes and hopes for the future.

No. However, we do encourage every family to learn some basic words/phrases in your host child's native language. This not only impresses the children, but helps with some basic needs. We also hope you will emphasize the importance of learning English. This is an important aspect of our program. To help with communication, explore online websites prior to your host child’s arrival. These sites provide both translation and help with pronunciation. Charades work as well!

Examples to learn: Yes, No, Are you hungry?, Are you thirsty?, Time for bath, Time for bed, Are you ok?, etc.

YES, if approved by the orphanage. Continue to make contact, if you are able, through phone calls, Skype, emails, letters or small care packages. If you’d like to send self-addressed envelopes with the children, you will need to secure proper postage from the post office. Our phone cards will NOT WORK from other countries, when calling to the USA. Import fees may be placed on packages and orphanages do not have the money to pay these fees to retrieve packages.

Because of lack of seasonings and variety, many have a bland palate, so nothing too sweet, too salty or too spicy.

Breakfast: fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, juice, milk or hot tea, cheese slices similar to Provolone with sliced meats like ham, turkey, bologna or summer sausage. Try potato pancakes, oatmeal or cereal, but don’t expect milk to be poured over the first few times.

Lunch/Dinner: spaghetti noodles with ketchup, ramen, cheese pizza, hot dogs, fries, cheese sandwich, chicken and raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and onions. Breads are generally served at all meals.

Take them shopping with you and let them pick out some things. Ketchup is the condiment of choice. Whole pieces of meat that need to be cut with knives are going to be unusual, most meats in orphanages are hand cranked through a grinder. In most orphanages, the kids are served a plate with minimal food and are not allowed to serve themselves. Encourage seconds, as that is not usually an option in an orphanage.

Decision-making and empowerment to choose will be a new experience for them. Place foods in front of kids and encourage them to try. Once they are accustomed to your home, you can allow them to make selections.

Fruit is always a good option. Also, their idea of salad is chopped raw cucumbers, tomatoes and onions mixed with sour cream. Cooked vegetables are served room temperature and not warm. Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with some ranch dressing is popular. Offer as many new things as you can, you might be surprised how much your child enjoys new foods. Encourage and allow the child to help some nights to cook.

Additional information is covered on Host Parent Training.

You can travel within the US with your host child, but cannot travel outside the US as their visitor visa allows for only one entry and one exit from the United States of America. No guns, or gun related activities are permissible; all firearms must be locked away. The children are allowed to swim, but all host parents should carefully monitor them. Some may ‘think’ they can swim but they cannot or are very poor swimmers. They must wear safety gear for bicycles and skateboards. Children are not allowed to drive motorized vehicles. Feel free to contact Project 143 if there are further questions.

Most of our host families fundraise their host fees so we have many ideas. Contact us!

Some children may come with a few things, but most will come with nothing. Start with donations from friends, church family or look through thrift shops. The kids aren't expecting clothing with tags on it. Make the shoe store employees size the children if you are buying new. They'll need to wear these shoes the next 6-12 months. The children that arrive with clothing will likely have things that do not fit them well. Most children don’t want to wear what is brought with them, as it was packed by an orphanage caregiver, not themselves. Please do not force them to wear these things. Upon arrival, clean all the child’s clothing and place it together neatly in one area, so it isn’t lost. You will need to return all items brought with the child regardless of the style or level of wear/tear. Insure clothing is appropriate and it’s ok to say no to some things, just as with your own children. Be consistent from the beginning and if a particular style is not acceptable in your household, you have the power to require that of your host child.

Each host child may return with ONE checked bag and ONE backpack.

Most have not attended church, but some may have experience in the Orthodox Church. Continue to include them in all typical family activities, including church attendance. Feel free to invite the chaperones in your area to visit church as well.

We would like you to schedule a dental exam and eye exam for each host child. Many practitioners will agree to provide services free of charge or for reduced fees. Plan appointments early in the program, so if glasses are needed, they will be done in time for the child to take home. And, if a lot of dental work is suggested, you have time to schedule appointments or look for a dentist to donate services.

In many areas of the country, LensCrafters and Sears, national chains, will offer a free eye exam and a pair of eyeglasses if needed. LensCrafters program is called Gift of Sight and can be location dependent. You will need to call in advance to find out what documentation is needed from Project 143 in order to be seen. Consider asking your own eye doctor or dentist if they are willing to donate any services. We are not allowed to take children for any medical checkups or treatments unless prior approval is obtained from the lead chaperone. Emergencies are a different situation; handle them immediately and alert Project 143 if one occurs. If your child gets a cold or is “sick”, let us know immediately.

It’s possible. We inquire during the interview, but sometimes find that children arrive with medication. Upon arrival, your child's chaperone will give you any medication and instructions. Additionally, we ask host parents to check their host child’s belongings to make certain there is no evidence of medication being given to a child. If evidence of any medication is found, contact Project 143 immediately.

Every child’s personality is different. Some acclimate quickly to new environments, while others can take a couple weeks to relax, let their guard down and begin to bond to family members.

While it would seem logical that a child in an environment with so many children could easily make friends, sometimes there are those who have difficulty with social cues and playing with another child. Remember that some are merely surviving in an orphanage, not necessarily experiencing healthy relationships with other children, especially in an environment that lends itself to competition between children.

Every orphanage is different, some are smaller and some are larger, some are government operated and others are private. Some have better environments than others, but an orphanage can never substitute for the role of a family.

Though there may be a large number of children in an orphanage, it may still be a hard place to make friends, simply because there can be so much survival behavior taking place. For most orphans it is even harder to make friends at school with other kids who have families.

Even in the best circumstances, there are rarely sufficient number of adults guiding them and teaching them proper behavior. While every orphanage is different, some have large age ranges where older children simply take advantage of younger ones. And of course, some children in the orphanages can just be mean. The orphanage environment is often one that is physical and survival oriented. This can include, hitting, stealing things from other children and getting one another in trouble with orphanage staff. It is not unusual to learn about older kids hitting smaller ones, or even caregivers hitting as well.

Orphans don’t typically "own" anything. Most, if not all of their possessions are "community" property. If they ever do get something, it would not be unusual for the item to be taken by an older kid or claimed as community property. Many only have one set of clothes issued per week and some have to wear those clothes to bed as well as keep them on the next day. There are often too few toothbrushes and insufficient toothpaste. Bigger children may take all the combs and brushes so others can’t comb their hair. Sleeping arrangements vary as well, but it is typical for barracks styled sleeping environments with a large number of beds in a single room. Naturally, this arrangement does not lend itself to the most restful sleep.

Food in an orphanage consists of whatever is being served; never seconds and many say they are always hungry.

Because these children have no parental support or interaction with their schools, there is little accountability for school performance.

As noted above, some don't like school because the other kids at school are mean because they are from the local orphanage.

Certainly, it’s not the type of environment that anyone would wish for their own child. Just try to picture your child in those circumstances.

Project 143 tends to shy away from this due to the children's best interest. It may be strange for the children to have to change families because of new rules, new routine, new expectations, new siblings and other new relationships. To truly consider it, Project 143 would need to speak with both families, understand the reason for split hosting and come to an understanding if it benefits the children. Each situation is different and we evaluate them that way.

No, as much as possible, we want to keep sibling sets intact.

Hosting from two separate countries requires special permission from Project 143. Age, gender and specific situations are taken into consideration.

ABOUT ADOPTION
* Project One Forty Three is NOT an adoption agency and plays no role in the process of adopting children.

Maybe. While some of the children participating in the Project 143 Orphan Host (HOPE) Program are eligible for adoption, some are not. Project 143 will gladly connect you to adoption agencies able to answer all your questions about possible adoption of your host children. Project 143 runs the Orphan Host (HOPE) Program which plays no role in the adoption process for children. This must be done by accredited adoption agencies. Project 143 has established relationships with some wonderful adoption agencies which are very familiar with our Project 143 Orphan Host (HOPE) Program, and as such, can better answer your questions about those children.

No. Host (HOPE) Families need only open their home to a child for 4 - 5 weeks. Hosting alone accomplishes remarkable changes in the life of an orphan, including, but not limited to: offering a model of a functional family, increasing self-esteem, creating childhood memories, allowing for much needed dental and eye exams and introduction to your friends, family and community.

And it is very common that Host (HOPE) Families stay connected with their host kids, typically becoming their advocates for finding permanent families. And regardless of whether a permanent adoptive family is found, Host (HOPE) Families and their host kids frequently form an important bond that the kids cherish.

Project 143 has built relationships with certain adoption agencies that are strong advocates for orphan hosting and the Project 143 Orphan Host (HOPE) Program. These agencies are familiar with our program and as such are in a good position to answer questions about adoption of hosted children. Project 143 is NOT an adoption agency, plays no role in the adoption of children, other than being supportive and helpful wherever we can to Host families.

No. While some children who participate in the Project 143 Orphan Host (HOPE) Program are eligible for adoption, this is not a requirement for participation. Some children are not eligible for adoption at present. While Project 143 does its' best to obtain adoption eligibility information, this information is provided for informational purposes and cannot be relied upon as official. Official adoption eligibility information can only be obtained through an accredited adoption agency.

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