We started Stand by Me in 1995 to meet the needs of 60 orphaned kids in Lebanon

David Spurdle, a teacher from Hornchurch, visited Lebanon and saw some kids who needed help. He didn’t know how he was going to do it, but he committed to caring for 60 orphaned boys, so he founded Kids Alive UK that later became Stand by Me. Since then, we’ve rescued over 10,000 kids across 11 countries. This is our story so far.

1983 - Lebanon

In the middle of the Lebanese civil war, David visited the Near East Boys' Home in Beirut to rebuild a sewer system


David returned to the boys' home many times and his relationship with the boys grew stronger


David took early retirement from teaching and founded Kids Alive UK (now Stand by Me) in the shed at the bottom of his garden, finding a sponsor for each boy

1996 - Dominican Republic

We established our first educational programme by adopting the Eva Russell School which was educating 50 children in a chicken shed


The construction of a purpose-built building to house the Eva Russell School began. UK volunteer teams built additional classrooms every year


Launched our first ever disaster relief when Hurricane George hit the country. Containers full with clothing and food were sent to help the victims

1998 - Myanmar

We heard of 14 orphaned kids living in a shed, facing persecution. We adopted them and built them a family home for adoptive parents to look after them

2000 - Romania

Established the House of Hope Children's Home when we rescued 4 baby girls from state orphanages. Today our family of 4 has become 10 young ladies

2000 - Kenya

We purchased a 50 acre site and established the Karundas Children’s Centre to care for 50 young girls and boys in crisis. 

2003 - Myanmar

An ethnic uprising resulted in an orphan crisis, compelling us to adopt a further 800 children. Despite the challenges, it was one of the best decisions we’ve made

2005 - Romania

The Denisa Day Care Centre was opened to meet the physical, medical, emotional and spiritual needs of 50 disadvantaged children

2005 - Colombia

We adopted 50 of the poorest children in Colombia, and provided them with a quality education and a hot meal each day

2005 - Myanmar

We purchased the purpose-built Lois School, to allow Ciang, an amazing head teacher, to educate 500 of poorest children in Myanmar

2005 - India

We adopted the Agape Children’s Home in India, caring for children who had been orphaned or abandoned as a result of insurgency and ethnic cleansing

2006 - Ethiopia

We adopted the Bethany School in a town in Ethiopia, where 220 students were crammed into two mud classrooms with no resources


We met orphaned and abandoned children living on the streets of Ethiopia, so we established a loving family home with adoptive parents

2008 - Kenya

The Hall Mead Academy was opened to provide nursery and primary school education for poor children from the neighbourhood

2009 - Ethiopia

Land was acquired for the Bethany School, so we began building a school campus. Today 450 children are receiving a free education, meals and health care

2008 - Myanmar

Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar killing 100,000 people. We provided aid for over 7,000 people for 6 months - our biggest disaster relief appeal to date


To house and care for Cyclone Nargis orphans, the Bethel Children’s Village was built comprising of four children’s homes


The GCEC School opened its doors to provide an excellent education to over 300 children in Tahan

2010 - Colombia

We purchased and renovated a derelict building to improve the facilities of our school and increase the number of pupils to 240

2010 - Ethiopia

We started a medical programme, to help kids and parents to receive treatment. Over 60 UK medical professionals have visited to enhance the health of our children


Established a HIV Food Programme providing children and carers with food supplies and counselling, giving them dignity and helping them to fight infection


We built the Bethany Children’s Home to provide a loving family environment for orphaned and abandoned children

2011 - Nepal

We adopted the a children’s home, providing a loving home for children from remote villages with no access to school


We provided 290 of the poorest children, many from the lowest castes considered 'untouchable', with educational scholarships

2012 - Myanmar

The Alin Children’s Village was completed, allowing us to care for many of our orphaned and abandoned children


To provide education to the poorest children in Northern Myanmar, the Sophia Academy was opened and today is allowing 200 children to escape from poverty

2013 - Ethiopia

The Abdi Academy opened for 240 children providing education, family support, medical care, and nutritious meals. In time, 500 children will attend


To eradicate child labour, we began giving small business grants to our children's carers, helping them earn an income and become self-sufficient

2015 - Nepal

We delivered relief to remote villages devastated by the Earthquake and began building earthquake resistant homes for families made homeless

2017 - Myanmar

We built and opened a new children's village in Shan State. The two homes now provide a loving and comfortable environment for 20 children who were previously living without care

2017 - Colombia

We relaunched our school in Colombia and reopened as a care centre to support families through counselling, training and housing support

2017 - Nepal

We built and opened a school in the remote mountains to give children a great education and help the community with education on trafficking


Ahmad Ayoubi, one of the first Stand by Me kids from Lebanon, stepped into David Spurdle's shoes and became Executive Director of Stand by Me

2018 - Ethiopia

The first class of Grade 8 students at the Abdi Academy took their national exams. Every one of the 22 students passed their exam and progressed to High School. 

2019 - Colombia

We sent our first team to Colombia, including doctors and teachers who spent 10 days running clinics for our children as well as a fun summer camp. 


Stand by Me turned 25! We hosted an online event to celebrate all that we had achieved together in rescuing kids around the world thanks to God's faithfulness. 

2020 - 2021

To provide vital food for families struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic, Stand by Me launched an appeal. The food parcels were a lifeline for families around the world. 

2021 - Myanmar

Due to an outbreak of civil unrest throughout Myanmar, Stand by Me has been delivering food parcels to ensure families and children are safe and fed.

2022- Kenya

We adopted the Open Arms Project in Kenya and welcomed 330 children into our care to provide them with education, food, healthcare, community support and a bright future. 

We’ve been rescuing kids based on a few core principles since 1995.

Stand by... almost there...