"Where children are orphaned through a sudden disaster, natural or man-made, Operation Orphan will do all they can to ensure these children are identified, made safe and kept safe."
This is the ultimate goal of Operation Orphan's Crisis Response Team. The team will deploy to large-scale disasters when the affected country calls for international assistance, there is mass loss of life and therefore the high potential for orphaned children. We know that during these times the trafficking world kicks into action and many children who have been separated from, or who have ultimately lost their parents, are picked up and never seen again. They are trafficked all over the world into the sex / slave industry. Our goal is to stop this from occurring by getting to the children first!
By working as part of the coordinated response and with the local social services, we will help identify these children, provide a safe space for them to be in and, if their parents are not found, we will work out a secure and loving place for the long term. We know that this is a huge commitment! We know that we will be expanding our Operation Orphan family each time we step into these disasters, but this is a commitment we are willing to make.
This is a bold statement but we believe that if we are to find the orphans of this world and give them hope for a brighter future, Crisis Response must play its part. Below are the countries in which we have expanded our family by caring for children orphaned through disasters.
The Crisis Response Team (CRT) is the most crucial part of outworking this vision. The team go into potentially dangerous and extreme situations and while we ensure full training and readiness, the nature of the role is unpredictable. With a strong, flexible team who are each playing to his/her strengths, we can achieve so much. This is why the right team is critical.
We are delighted to have Alex Hayes (serving UKISAR team member) and Col Nick Makin OBE (recently retired as officer in charge of Army welfare) as independent and voluntary advisors and team selectors.
Our Crisis Response Operatives are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. We are currently recruiting so please click the button below for more information about how you could become part of the team.
CRT Antigua and Barbuda Hurricane
In August 2017 the island of Barbuda was devastatingly hit by Hurricane Irma. All of the island's inhabitants were evacuated to nearby Antigua. Here our team met with families and children living in government shelters. The team distributed 100 family water filters and 200 hand-made knitted blankets. These blankets provided warmth during the night and a beautiful bright edition to their make-shift homes.
CRT Sierra Leone Mudslide
In August 2017 our CRT was deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in response to the horrific mudslide and flooding. The team found a group of 100 people who were yet to be connected into the wider response and had received no aid, food or support. Included in this number were orphans and also heavily pregnant women. The team stepped in and alerted the other aid agencies of their presence. They also connected with social services and offered them 10 spaces in the Heaven Homes Children's Home which was created after the Ebola crisis.
CRT Nepal Earthquakes
In April 2015 Brad flew to Nepal between the earthquakes to see how Operation Orphan could help. He put out the 'jungle drums' that he wanted to help children orphaned by the earthquake and found Anita. Anita was pulled from her collapsed home; unfortunately her mum and sister could not be saved. Brad was able to ensure that she was safe and connected to trusted partners who would care for her. She has become one of the children we have continued to support.
CRT Sierra Leone Ebola
In November 2014 West Africa was hit with an Ebola epidemic. Though our friends in Sierra Leone, Operation Orphan was able to help support 50 children orphaned by the disease. These children had endured unthinkable trauma. Our partners at Heaven Homes welcomed these children in, gave them a home (something nobody else was willing to do) and have continued to care for them over the years. These children have become part of our family.