Dr. Philip Darke serves as President and CEO of Providence World, which exists to inspire and equip others to love orphans, widows, and at-risk communities as God loves them (Providenceworld.com). He lives with his wife, Becca, and five children in Folsom, California.
Phil showed us a nice picture of himself and his family, a nice-looking family to underscore the value of family and what it is like NOT to be an orphan. He used an analogy of the squeezing of a banana, which most people open from the top, but the gorilla opens by squeezing the bottom.
Apparently a different and better way to get at the banana. With orphan care, his organization thinks differently than "traditional care". Providence World intends to inspire others to love orphans and "at risk" children - a pursuit of excellence. He showed us a very nice slide show with his talk.
There are 150 million orphans around the world and the numbers grow each year. Forty percent have living family members. Our current approach is not taking care of the problem. We need a full spectrum solution - one that gets at the root causes. Analogy: One can't get in the river if you build a fence to keep him out. So preventive actions can keep kids from becoming orphans. Solutions are preventing poverty, strengthening families (fix broken families), and teaching identities (awareness) to women. Treat women better and not ditch out on them. Prevent human trafficking.
Phil suggested some pre-emptive practices:
1. Community integration
2. Education
3. Nutrition
4. Medical-dental care
5. Psycho-social care
6. Self-sustainability
7. National leadership
8.Spiritual formation.
Phil recommends his book which is titled "In Pursuit of Excellence" and there is also a pod cast available "Think Orphan" explaining their work in the field.
Phil has worked in Honduras for the past 15 years, doing assessments and training, education and coaching, mentoring by getting into family homes and helping them stay together. Rotarian Clayton Lee has worked on their project and they have a global grant to expand schools in Honduras. You can go to www.ProvidenceWorld.com or www.ThinkOrphan.com for more information.
President Greg Herrera thanked Dr. Darke for his informative lecture and good work in his ministry and mentioned that, in his honor, a book will be donated to the Carmichael library (Sacramento Public Library).  Phil left a free copy of his book for any of us to read and also donate to the Carmichael Library - a win-win situation.