“We need to teach our children to dream
Because with dreams they have something to look forward to.
And only when they have something to look forward to,
Do they have a reason to respect natural, spirtual and human law.”
- Patrick Atkinson, Founder & Executive Director
The GOD’S CHILD Project (GCP) is an educational development organization dedicated to “breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation.” Since its founding in 1991 by Patrick Atkinson, it has grown to more than 12 distinct programs in five different countries.
Today, The GOD’S CHILD Project cares for and educates 5,000 orphaned, abandoned, and poverty-stricken boys and girls in addition to providing health and community-based services for 8,700 widowed, abandoned, and single mothers and their dependents in Guatemala, El Salvador, Malawi, and India.
The GOD’S CHILD Project is dedicated to sustainable and permanent changes. Through clinics, schools, social work, micro-finance, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation, and human trafficking advocacy, The GOD'S CHILD Project is able to get to the underlying causes of poverty instead of merely treating the symptoms. Children who were once homeless and abandoned are now professional adults with families of their own because of the chance that GOD’S CHILD gave them.
We are not a hand-out program. Children earn much of what they receive through their participation in the program and in their schools, and have the opportunity to earn an additional scholarship which supplements, or even surpasses, their family’s income. Rewarding the children for academic excellence gives the other family members (i.e. the mother or parents) a vested interest in the academic progress of their child.
WE, The GOD’S CHILD Community, are benefactors, friends, volunteers, and children joined together to assist God’s poorest children in their educational, social, physical, and spiritual growth. We view education as a practical way to help poor children escape from an otherwise painful life.
WE, The Adults, accept our youth as gifts from God given to be our teachers, students, and children. We believe in the need to stand by their side until they are prepared to meet life and triumph in the eyes of God, their community, and themselves.
WE, The Children, are the pride and reason why The GOD’S CHILD Project exists. We have the responsibility to behave honorably and to respect legitimate national, spiritual, and environmental law. We recognize the opportunities and help we have received from others, and will try each day to help someone with a need greater than our own.
The History of The GOD’S CHILD Project Mission Statement
The GOD’S CHILD Project Mission Statement was written by Founder and Executive Director Patrick Atkinson in 1993. The project was struggling to pay the bills associated with caring for and educating the growing number of children under its care. Atkinson became ill when his long hours finally caught up with him. Unable to afford private medical care, volunteers cared for him in the project’s small rented house in Antigua, Guatemala. As his weight dropped, the older children started quitting the program, convinced Atkinson was going to die and that when this happened; they would have to drop out of school anyway. Atkinson overheard two of the older boys telling a project volunteer this and resolved to recover and expand the program.
Six months later, he wrote his commitment to share the responsibility for the quickly growing GOD’S CHILD Project with all parties who had a hand in its creation, support, and purpose. Later that same year, his prose was accepted as the project’s Mission Statement.
Though each charity associated with The GOD’S CHILD Project is separate and distinct, all of the independent charities networked under The GOD’S CHILD Project image are invited to use The GOD’S CHILD Project’s Mission Statement as their own. Many have. A few have elected to write their own.