Story International is a Christian NGO, which like many other organisations used to run an orphanage, and "made every mistake in the book"
It describes its biggest mistake as being their approach to volunteers and teams. Story International used to host many short-term mission teams and saw first-hand the negative effects it had on the children when the volunteers came and then left. Recognising the need for change, they shifted their model towards family based care and stopped hosting these volunteer trips.
Today, the charity continues to strengthen its family-based care model and has set out to educate other Christians about the need to do things differently to improve the lives of vulnerable children. The support of mission teams is still welcomed and encouraged - but in ways that can help to support the local community and strengthen families. An example is the highly popular knitting classes, run by volunteers for one-parent families in Guatamala.This is one of a series of skill-based classes to support participants to make a living.
Read more about Story International's work in Guatamala and their journey from running a residential care institution to supporting family-based care.