Open Home Foundation International is a non-denominational Christian organisation that works to ensure children everywhere can belong to a family where they are safe and loved, receive good health care and a good education and know that God loves them.

OHFI’s history

Ewen and Gillian Laurenson established Open Home Foundation (OHF) in Wellington New Zealand in 1977 to provide care and protection services for children and young people at risk of neglect and abuse. Services included social work, foster care, kinship care, counselling and parent education. Subsequently OHF launched and grew in 14 centres around New Zealand.

In 1991 Open Home Foundation International (OHFI) set in motion when people from Manipur in Northeast India requested OHF New Zealand’s (OHFNZ) assistance with the care of impoverished children.

Early 2000, OHFI and OHFNZ became distinct operations after more countries began asking for assistance. OHFI has its origins in OHFNZ and linked through a common history. Today they are independent charitable trusts with their own boards and governance, working in India, Romania and in a number of African countries.

The current OHFI board

Chairman Ewen Laurenson Board Members: Alice Winter Grant Brenton
Executive Director Francois Joubert Chris Olsen John Wilkinson
Treasurer Bill Jorgensen Daniel Kleinsman Paul Alsford
Administrator Ben Hoffman Jill Devlin Richard McLeod

OHFI bases its mission on its vision

– Children everywhere will enjoy their God-given right to belong to a family where they know they are precious, safe and loved.

– Families, especially poor and broken families, will be surrounded by a network of love which will empower them to develop strong and nurturing relationships with their children.

– Wherever possible children will grow with their own
immediate or wider family where there is commitment to their nurture, security and wellbeing.

– Children not able to live within their own family networks will be found a committed and loving family with a non-relative family, while still maintaining links with their family of origin.

– Children will receive health care, which ensures their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, and an education, which enables their potential and giftedness to flower as they grow into adulthood.

– Children will be proud of their cultural inheritance and able to fully participate within it, especially being fluent in their oral and
written language.

– Children will grow in the love of God as reflected in the lives and teachings of those who care for them, so they know in the depth of their being they are loved by God and His people.

– Children will be proud of who they are and able to stand tall in their families, in their culture, in their communities, in God.

Meet Our People