A Note from John

One of the challenges in helping an orphanage is not just financing the lives of the children (although that is certainly a big hurdle), but the dynamic to deal with the trauma that the orphanage children go through.

The children at the orphanage have in one way or another been abandoned by their parents.  Some have parents who have died from AIDS and some children are HIV Positive.  Some have been abandoned because of starvation or their family having no money. It is not unusual to find children at the front gate in the morning, after being left there by parents who had no funds to feed their children any longer. A common question that a new child at the orphanage will ask is, “Will we eat every day here?”

Blessings For El-Shaddaih, Inc. (BESI) recognized early on that the key to changing lives in Africa, and especially in Malawi, isn’t just food. It is important to educate the kids in order to break the cycle of poverty in the family, country and the lives of the children. Education is the largest part of our budget at BESI. It costs about $16,000 per month to cover all the school-aged children. Last year, the budget was $9,000 per month for the months they are in school. Because of the growth of the orphanage, that number has grown just as the number of children at the orphanage has grown (we are up to 210 children!).

Blessings, the Director of the Orphanage, recently contacted me and was so excited because three of the boys have passed their high school requirements with high grades and qualify for college. Fifteen years ago, she recalled taking the boys from their village and the trauma that they had been through. After the death of the boys’ father, their uncle took everything away from them that was left by the father. Their mother ended up dying as well. Blessings wondered how she could ever help them heal from their past.

But our Lord is a big God. He can do whatever He wants. He has turned these orphans into excellent students. They will go far. The cycle of poverty will be broken in their family. These kids are not just smart kids. They are smart Christian kids who can change the world, one person at a time. The boys’ time at the El-Shaddaih Orphanage has proven to be invaluable.

BESI and the El-Shaddaih Orphanage have decided to build a second school building to keep more of the kids on campus to be educated, instead of paying tuition and room and board to send them out to independent schools. Thus, the one-time cost of a building will reduce our education budget every year from now on.

This second school building is under construction now. We made a decision to keep the kids home this Fall and use the $16,000 (that would normally be spent on tuition) to help pay for a new building. With the help of the children, we can get the building done much faster this way.  Therefore, time is important. I ask you to consider partnering with us to help pay for the building. Our remaining cost to be covered is $30,000.

Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, in advance, for any help you can provide. Contact me with any questions you may have. I have included my contact information below.

John Sklenar

Blessings for El-Shaddaih Inc. Founder


[email protected]



Join us in helping El-Shaddaih Orphanage. Your gift will have a huge impact on the over 100 children who live there. To find out how you can make a difference, visit our "Get Involved" tab or send an inquiry on our Contact page.