TEDx TAMU – Gaston Warner
Gaston Warner, CEO of ZOE talks about how we can do less for orphans to make room for them to do more.
Gaston was employed by Duke University to come alongside non-profits. He worked with over 60 organizations assisting with synergy, strategy, and connecting with the University. He thought he’d seen it all when he was introduced to a radically different approach to orphan empowerment, designed by African social workers, which was achieving far more than he thought possible.
“Life has been a great adventure. From a calling into ministry at age 14, through college, seminary, business training, and working with churches/mission-focused non-profits around the world for almost 30 years, I have enjoyed opportunities to learn and grow professionally. My marriage of 25 years to Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner, who serves as associate professor, and previously academic dean and executive vice-dean for Duke University Divinity School, our six year-old daughter Clare, and living on a ranch with chickens, horses, cows, and bees has added depth and breadth to life.
Life took an unexpected turn when a friend introduced me to a small mission implementing a three-year empowerment model designed by a group of Rwandan social workers. Frustrated by the cycle of relief and dependency, they designed a community and group based approach whereby orphans crushed by poverty, trafficking, hunger and abuse, are able to work together inside their own community to pull one another sustainably out of extreme poverty, with a success rate of approximately 85%. ZOE is more effective in measurable ways than anything I had seen or even imagined. What a privilege to stand behind these amazing orphans as they change themselves and the world.” – Gaston Warner