Breaking the cycle of poverty through education.
What We Do
U4O is a charitable organization established to raise awareness, unite communities, and mobilize people towards creatively and tangibly investing in the lives of abandoned and neglected children.
We find & fund
We build relationships
We unite communities
We mobilize people
Education 4 Change
We’ve made it a priority to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to the children we serve. Being able to speak English gives them a leg up in their education and provides future job security. Our program is provided free to the kids and they have a real hunger to learn; in Nicaragua, we have more than sixty students learning English! But we need your help to pay the salaries of our local teachers, purchase the materials they need for their classrooms, and ultimately expand the program to serve even more kids in struggling communities.
Play 4 Change
One of the simplest—yet perhaps most impactful—programs we provide to abandoned children is through our monthly Service Trips. During day trips to orphanages in Tijuana, we always deliver necessary food and supplies, but our main focus is to just play with the kids! Those who join us always say the same thing: the trip impacts them at least as much as it did the kids. The change in perspective and the warmth received from the children stay with volunteers long after we’ve returned to our comfort zones and busy schedules. Consider joining us for this special experience you’ll want to repeat again and again!
Healing 4 Change
Many of the vulnerable children we serve have been through traumatic life experiences and need professional help in order to begin to heal. Some of the kids have been abandoned, abused, and have witnessed things no child should ever see. These types of traumas can create life-altering damage if not addressed by a trained professional. Your support of Healing 4 Change allows U4O to bring in local licensed therapists and counselors to come alongside the kids and help them heal from the inside out. We believe it’s not enough to merely place the educational tools in the hands of these children; they must be supported, so they are able to move forward into brighter futures.
Nutrition 4 Change
Low household income presents a multitude of issues for families and children, with access to healthy food being one of the most impactful as it intersects with a number of other problems. Ensuring proper nutrition and providing access to clean drinking water is a foundational way to support health and encourage progress towards independence in the children’s futures beyond school. To better support these needs, we launched Nutrition 4 Change to create a meaningful difference. When you donate to this fund, you provide a child or their family members with access to foods that promote health and vitality.
Shelter 4 Change
The students we support in Miramar, Nicaragua, and their families live in poverty, with many facing daily challenges to obtain basic needs like food and shelter. Their homes are often constructed of crude materials and consist of whatever they can find and fashion into a home. Conditions out of their control, such as hurricanes, can strike without warning, leaving them with little to nothing that they can rebuild with. Shelter 4 Change provides these kinds of materials, meeting the most basic and crucial needs of the children and their families in this area. In Mexico we work alongside our partner orphanage to carry out practical brick and mortar projects that raise the standard of living for the children under our care.
What is the difference between the five programs?
Education 4 Change provides English as a Second Language instruction and qualified teachers who help children struggling to succeed in school.
Play 4 Change focuses on consistent relationships centered around fun and intentional play that allows us to connect with children regardless of any language barriers.
Healing 4 Change is really about mental and emotional health as our trained child psychologists help children heal from wounds inflicted by traumatic life experiences.
Nutrition 4 Change makes healthy foods, specifically fresh produce and protein, accessible to the children we serve in order to promote their health and vitality.
Shelter 4 Change funds practical brick and mortar projects that raise the standard of living for the children under our care. The Miramar Transformation Center building project in Nicaragua is part of this initiative.
Are all five programs offered in both Nicaragua and Mexico?
Yes, all five of our pillar programs are offered in both Nicaragua and Mexico, though they look a bit different in each country based on the local community and their unique needs.
Is U4O involved with any other projects or countries?
We are actively pursuing opportunities in other countries in Latin America and the Middle East as we seek to serve even more children worldwide.
Can I buy U4O merch?
How do I join a volunteer service trip?
We’re so glad you asked! Please visit our Volunteer page to register for an upcoming trip.
Are the children U4O works with orphans?
Most of the children we serve in Mexico are not technically orphans, but have been abandoned or surrendered by their natural parents or have been removed from the care of their parents by the government. One this happens, children rarely return to their families and most remain in the child care system until they age out at 18. In Nicaragua, most students in our program often live with only one parent or another relative or guardian. Though not orphans, their community is “off the grid” and receives little to no government assistance or programs. Our intervention is crucial to their future opportunities.
Does U4O help with adoption?
Unfortunately, we do not. As a charity focused on educational and mental health, we are not qualified nor have connections to assist with adoption or foster placement. We do, however, encourage you to sponsor a child in need to provide for their educational needs and mental health care.
What is Education 4 Change?
We’ve made it a priority to break the cycle of poverty through education. We provide English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to the children we serve and also employ qualified teachers who help the kids keep up with their public education.
What is Play 4 Change?
This is our simplest—yet perhaps most impactful—program! During day trips to Mexico, our volunteers spend time playing and interacting with the children. We believe in relational consistency and encourage our volunteers to make regular trips with us.
What is Healing 4 Change?
Many of the children we serve have had traumatic experiences including abandonment and abuse. These types of traumas can create life-altering damage if not addressed by a trained professional. We employ licensed counselors to work with the children in our care.
What is Nutrition 4 Change?
Ensuring proper nutrition is a foundational way to support health and encourage progress towards independence in the children’s futures beyond school. We regularly donate shelf-stable food and provide monetary assistance towards the purchase of fresh produce and protein.
What is Shelter 4 Change?
Over the years, this program has provided for critical infrastructure needs from solar panels to window screens and also basic building supplies to rebuild homes damaged in the wake of hurricanes. The Miramar Transformation Center multi-purpose building project is also part of this initiative and will house educational classrooms, counseling offices, and space for other services.
What are my donations used for?
Your monetary donations help support and provide for the children in our programs, along with funding for our initiatives. Monetary donations also help pay for our team and operational overhead. Physical donations of food, toiletries, and other items are used directly by the children we serve and the people who care for and shelter them.
Can I deduct my U4O donations on my taxes? What do I need from U4O to do that?
Yes, you can! You will receive an email confirming your donation, and every January we send out year-end statements that serve as the tax receipt for your charitable donations total for the previous tax year. If you need a copy of your statement, contact our team at any time by sending an email to [email protected].
What does my child sponsorship pay for?
Your monthly sponsorship contribution provides for your sponsored child’s educational, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Specifically, your sponsored child will be offered English instruction, mental health counseling, and targeted support. Additional needs-based services might include select medical, nutrition and shelter support. When a child is fully sponsored, that monthly support amount ensures we can fully care for the child’s needs.
Is U4O a faith-based organization?
Unity 4 Orphans has roots in the Christian faith and our founder is an ordained minister. While we hold fast to those values, we are not a religious organization, rather we are recognized by the IRS as a Public Charity. Our service trips are attended by people of all faiths and many of our volunteers and supporters have differing religious views.