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The Abandoned Child Resource and Education Foundation

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The A.C.R.E. Story

The Abandoned Child Resource and Education Foundation (A.C.R.E.), was founded by two abandoned Colombia children who were adopted by an American couple in 1981 and 1986.. Dana and David were born in Bogota, Colombia, where thousands of children are abandoned every year to live and die in squalor. Through the efforts of F.A.N.A. (Fundacion para la assistance por los ninos abandidos), an organization that helps care for abandoned children in Bogota as well as find them adoptive parents, Dana and David were adopted by two loving parents from Cedarhurst, New York.

Dana and David's parents have provided them with all the love, support and opportunities that have allowed them to grow and prosper into successful and happy adults. Being appreciative of all that their parents have provided for them, as well as aware of the plight of so many other abandoned children in Colombia, Dana and David feel it not only their responsibility but their privilege to be able to give back to F.A.N.A. and help other distressed childen of Colombia.

Giving Back

As both graduates of Vanderbilt University with advanced degrees from Columbia University and the University of Southern California, respectively, Dana and David decided that the time was right for giving back. In gratitude of their opportunities, they established the A.C.R.E. Foundation to offer resources, education, and better opportunities to those children who are not adopted, and instead left to grow up in an orphanage. Currnently, there are more than 1 Million abandoned children in Columbia. A staggering 99.9% of those children are never adopted. Most abandoned children who are not adopted or who are not taken care of by agencies like F.A.N.A, are left to fend for themselves on the streets. They often resort to stealing, drug trafficking and prostitution in order to survive. A.C.R.E. hopes to help F.A.N.A and organizations like it, to supply shelter, healthcare, education and emotional support to these children. Right now F.A.N.A, can only help a small fraction of abandoned children. Other agencies offer even less in terms of capacity and quality of care. A.C.R.E hopes to see that one day all children of Columbia can be cared for, in an efficient, repsectful and loving way. The A.C.R.E goals are realizable but the support of dedicated, thoughtful, and capable people is needed. Just a little help can make a difference, and just a little help by a lot of people can make the world of difference, if even for one child. Find out how to contribute and/or find our how to volunteer your services! Click here to help out.

Read About our mission to FANA FANA, the Fundacion para la asistencia para los ninos abandidos, was the organization from which David and Dana Smiles were adopted. The loving support of the FANA family made the transition to adoption seamless, comfortable, and fulfilling for both David and Dana. FANA has facilitated over a ten thousand successful adoptions, but adoption is not always an option for most abandoned children. The FANA facility in Bogota, Columbia has become a beacon for many children and other agencies like it, because of the quality of care that is offered at the facility. Unfortunately, FANA can only do so much with the resources available to them. A.C.R.E hopes to not just help FANA take care of more children but to help other agencies be as caring and effective as FANA.

Stay up to date on fund-raising events We'll be hosting the annual ACRE gala on December 5/6th to celebrate our founding, accomplishments thus far, and our plans for the immediate and long-term. With a Colombian theme, meaning firy dancing and endless salsa music, we can guarantee a good time of dinner dancing and plenty of drinks. This will also be a great networking event for all who attend as there will be leaders from all industries and professions attending the celebration. Register soon, as space is filling up fast. Click here to register

Learn your facts about the abandoned children of Colombia 1 Million abandoned children roam the streets of Colombia. 306 abandoned children were adopted into a US home during 2008. 999, 694 are left with no home, no family, no education, and little hope, if any, for the future. 150 children are able to be cared for at FANA Public assistance programs have failed to address this growing concern, and the Colombian government is too overwhelmed with problems of drug trafficking, corruption, extreme violence and poverty to address the issue successfully. The Hague Convention was designed with the intent to prevent the sale, abduction, and trafficking of children. However, for the abandoned child, it is making it harder and taking a longer amount of time to arrive at their new home, which also means longer, drawn out periods of time for the child in the orphanage.

Never been to Colombia? Book your trip today! We have compiled a detailed trip for those looking to visit Colombia in short periods (less than 1 week) and those with the ability to visit longer. Our trip will take you directly to Bogota, Colombia where you will be greeted by FANA personnel and taken directly to your hotel. If you book early enough, you may have a chance to stay in Aunt Betty's house , which is usually (exclusively for those adopted through FANA). Either way, you will be invited to the FANA facility the following day, and you willl have your first meeting with Mercedes, the mother. You should explore the facilities, talk to as many children as possible, and try to understand the situtation down in Colombia. If time allows you should take a trip to "XX" another orphanage, and see for yourself the help that's needed.. When you return, tell us how you want to help the ACRE Foundation provide resources and educational opportunities to those abandoned children of Colombia. We look forward to your return!

Adoption Laws Changing, but for the better? The Hague Convention was designed with the intent to prevent the sale, abduction, and trafficking of children. However, for the abandoned child, it is making it harder and taking longer amount of time to come home. That means more time in the institution or under someone elses care, and less time with the family in which they belong.

Colombian Adoption to US Statistics

1999 231
2000 245
2001 265
2002 335
2003 272
2004 285
2005 287
2006 344
2007 309
2008 306

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