by Karen Menehan

Q: How does touch impact the lives of orphans?

A: The number of orphans around the world is astounding. There are so many children and so few caregivers. These children don’t have someone to run to their aid when they’re in need. They don’t have someone to hug them and hold them when they’re under stress.

Children need to know someone out there cares for them. Using touch through even simply holding a sick child’s hand, when they are considered untouchable, communicates that they matter. Without meeting this fundamental need, all else is lost and there is no hope of a viable future. It is our moral duty to help these children know they matter.

Q: How does Liddle Kidz help orphanages meet children’s physical and emotional needs?

A: Liddle Kidz Foundation Global uses the power of touch to reach the world’s most vulnerable children with experiences of appropriate nurturing touch that they often lack. We recognize orphans have many physical needs, and because these are the most immediate, they are the most urgent. However, dealing with the effects of finding themselves alone and without parents is clearly a major emotional trauma.

Our experience has shown that orphanages find it a challenge to meet the emotional and developmental requirements of children, including personalized care and attention. The goal of LKF is to provide infants and children with nurturing touch while working directly with their caregivers to provide education and support. This is what makes LKF programs both sustainable and replicable.

Our foundation has the ability to provide caregivers with the tools that will ensure infants are cradled with nurturing arms, toddlers will be provided with stimulation and interaction that establishes a foundation for healthy brain development, and adolescents will gain self-confidence and self-esteem that is essential for becoming a productive, compassionate citizen of our global community.

It is through these outreach journeys that we strive to make a difference in the lives and futures of these children and their caregivers.

Q: Is there an upcoming trip you would like to tell our readers about?

A: The Liddle Kidz Foundation plans overseas outreach journeys every year. Each year there is an application process and review prior to selection of the team. The teams are comprised of members who together have a wealth of information to create the richest experienced team and provide the best care possible.

Having knowledge in providing infant and pediatric massage is a major component of our outreach journey and would benefit team members to have this information prior to traveling with the group.

In 2011, we are working on outreach missions to Thailand, Vietnam and Ghana. To learn more about our global work and to apply for volunteer positions, please visit www.LiddleKidz.org

Q: May people donate directly to Liddle Kidz?

A: The Liddle Kidz Foundation is recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization, so all donations made to our work are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

To make charitable donations, please visit our website at www.LiddleKidz.org. Online you’ll find full details for making donations and our donation programs.

Karen Menehan in MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief.

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