As we begin 2019, we're full of gratitude for a year of amazing opportunities.
Chandra began "Parent talks" weekly Bible studies , seeing women in the township turn to the Word for comfort, guidance, and hope in the midst of challenging situations.
These opportunities, and countless more, are because of our sending team: our friends and family who believe in us enough to send us here with monthly support and prayer. There are not enough ways to say thank you to this amazing group of people. We so love what we get to do, and they make it all possible.
Nutrition programs, after-school care, tutoring, job skills training, emergency relief. Fighting to make the next generation less marginalized than this one. This is the hard work of those who care for orphans and vulnerable children.
But what about tools to manage their work? How can they evaluate whether they are making a difference? What about financial management, budgeting, and cost accounting? This overhead--the necessary indirect labor--can complicate caring for South Africa's neediest children.
That's where the James 1:27 Trust steps in.
Collaborating with Microsoft
In October, Mike and Rudi, the CEO of the James 1:27 Trust, met together with training representatives from Microsoft and several other organizations at Microsoft's Southern African headquarters in Johannesburg, exploring how we can partner with Microsoft to help nonprofits in Southern Africa.
The Trust has been working to build systems that empower care for 15 years, and now we have a formidable ally. Already, Microsoft is allowing the Trust to use its Azure platform to build solutions for orphan care, donating resources that would normally cost a company about sixteen thousand dollars a year.
Now, one of Microsoft's "MVPs" is working directly with us so that we can deliver our solutions more quickly. Exciting things are coming!
Empowering Care Together
This year, through Mike's work at James, we've empowered care by building databases to manage child and family care, migrating email from outdated, expensive systems to Microsoft's free state-of-the-art service, moving years of organizational history to Microsoft's cloud backup, and dozens of ad hoc moments that would normally cost an average of $30/hour.
All of this is possible because of our friends and family who keep us on the ground in South Africa with your prayer and financial support. Together, we are empowering care!