Madison West Towne-Middleton Rotary Club
                         At Work in the World
                    The Orphan Train Project
                             Children of TLC Orphanage, South Africa
What is the Orphan Train Project?
The Orphan Train Project is made possible by the Madison West Towne-Middleton Rotary Foundation, Inc.  It seeks to assist children living in foreign orphanages in a variety of ways, and has been doing so for twenty-two years.  Over the past two decades, more than fifty children’s homes, in ten different countries, have been helped. Some of the assistance has been for a number of years. However, help has sometimes been given once, with a single goal in mind.
The Orphan Train Project matches foreign orphanages to service clubs, schools, businesses, churches, other organizations and individuals, in hopes of forming an ongoing relationship. Groups or individual donors, who climb aboard the Orphan Train, are referred to as “conductors.” An Orphan Train Conductor receives (a) a profile of their orphanage; (b) a list of current needs and approximate costs and (c) the attention of an Orphan Train Intermediary, usually in the other country, who typically handles translations, transfer of funds, and receipting, with an accounting and photographs. 
Each year, working with Mooseheart, the famed “Child City and School,” in Illinois, the Orphan Train Project sponsors one or more “Glenn Koepp Scholars,” who are brought to the States for multiple days of training at Mooseheart, followed by several days in Wisconsin. To date, these scholars have come from Bulgaria, Romania, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Granada, India, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda and India. In Wisconsin, the visitors are shown other models of childcare and given opportunities to present their orphanage to various audiences. Approximately forty people have attended classes at Mooseheart, and more than double that number have participated in three-day seminars held in overseas locations. To date, these overseas educational opportunities have been held in Tanzania, Bulgaria and Romania.
Travel with a Purpose
Many conductor groups have traveled abroad to visit “heir” orphanages and to volunteer on site.
Assistance Given by Conductors
Aid by Conductors has included a regular supply of milk to a home that lasted several years, scholarships, vision screening, livestock, a solar system, a staircase, books, an electrical system upgrade, washing machines, fencing, security items, clothing, shoes, medicines, mattresses, furniture, computers, seeds, entertainment systems, sporting goods, a sponsored art competition, etc.
Learn More
If you wish to learn more about the Orphan Train Project, schedule a speaker or get involved, contact Ed Fink (Chair) at or 608-833-1134.
Those simply wishing to donate to the Foundation should make their checks payable to the Madison West Towne-Middleton Rotary Foundation, Inc. (Note on the memo line of the check “Suggested Orphan Project.”) Checks should be mailed to the Foundation at P.O. Box 620312, Middleton, WI 53562-0312 (Attn. Orphan Train Project).