Tag Archives: child poverty

Helping Parents Become Teachers

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Lebanon that we wanted to share with our sponsors and donors. Amidst all that has happened since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to hear that there have been some good things to come out of the harder times for children in our program — and their families:

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more.

Greetings from the FAID Family

“Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you on behalf of the FAID family for all the support we have received from you over the years, especially during the last two years. Running our school in an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic has been highly challenging.

A school cannot be run without staff. Withyour help and support, we have held onto our team and continued paying wages. However, the hyperinflation in Lebanon has reduced the buying power of the wages by a lot. One Lebanese pound is now worth less than one-tenth of what it was two years ago. But your support has enabled us to provide food parcels on three occasions for everyone – students, families, and staff – connected to the school.

Students are back in the classroom at FAID after an 18-month period at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 also offered a blessing by helping parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children.. Several lockdowns reduced our face to face teaching time severely. So, we needed to find another way to help our children and their parents develop their educational skills. Our staff made several videos on a particular topic each week. The video “OPPOSITES,” for example, explained all about up and down, in and out, high and low, etc. These videos, made for WhatsApp, were easy for parents to use.

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more, and most of all, reduced the emotional trauma that exists in families having children with special needs.

The value of continued support

Furthermore, providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help of Children Incorporated and their sponsors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible.

We would heartily appreciate your keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Our political and economic situation is extremely worrying. There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, electricity and sometimes food, and the prices are going up on a daily basis. We know we can depend on your continued support, and for that, we are tremendously grateful.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in Lebanon?

You can sponsor a child in Lebanon in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Lebanon that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Keeping Kids Active at Mariano Lake

The remote town of Crown Point is located in northwestern New Mexico, near the Arizona border and the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Many of the American Indian families in this area generate income by making and selling jewelry and pottery. A few families maintain small herds of livestock. Unemployment is high, and many parents rely upon public assistance as their only means to afford the cost of feeding and clothing their children.

Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

Our affiliated project, the Mariano Lake Community School, is located about 24 miles southwest of Crown Point. The school educates 130 children from Kindergarten to 6th grade — 98% of the students at the school are from low income families. Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

A long-time volunteer coordinator

“Our volunteer coordinator at Mariano Lake is Barbara. She has worked at the school for many years. Her title at the school is Home Living Specialist since she manages the school’s dormitory, and the kids keep her hopping,” explained our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“The dorm is currently caring for sixteen children, eleven girls and five boys. Barbara is big on keeping the kids occupied. They do a lot of reading and sight words to improve their literacy. She has one dorm aide, Ann, who helps her with our sponsorship program.”

The dorms at Mariano Lake offer children who often don’t have the support of their parents a safe place to sleep and learn.

“When I visited Barbara in 2019, she gave me a big envelope of progress reports, letters, and pictures of the kids getting school supplies, thanks to their sponsors,” said Renée.

Helping kids stay active

“Barbara said many of the children’s parents are working in Colorado or Texas, are deceased, or simply gone. Those kids without parents stay with relatives on weekends, holidays, and breaks. Due to unstable home environments, poverty, and emotional issues, some of the children have a difficult time with good behavior in the dorm. They get upset and act out. Barbara and Ann work hard to help the kids feel cared for and try to keep them busy so they don’t become bored and frustrated.”

“Barbara would like to do more activities for them, but funding is always a problem. She would like to be considered for Hope In Action funds for materials and supplies for the boys’ and girls’ dorms. Not just practical needs, but fun things too. I told her we would be happy to help when she submitted requests for funding. We at Children Incorporated understand the detrimental effects that poverty has on children, especially those living without their parents, and we want to do what we can to help keep children’s minds active so they can always be learning whether in school, at home, or in their dorms.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

A Long Way to Go for Resources

The Ojo Encino (pronounced “OH-ho en-SEE-no”) Day School lies in a remote area of north-central New Mexico. The closest landmark may well be the Continental Divide. Even the nearest post office — in Cuba, New Mexico — is almost 40 miles to the northwest.

Our affiliated project, the Ojo Encino Day School, offers impoverished children in this area nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education, as well as support with basic needs through our sponsorship program — all despite the closest stores being hours away.

Although situated outside of the Navajo Indian Reservation’s boundaries, this area is still very much part of the United States’ “Navajo Country.” The children who attend Ojo Encino live with their families in traditional Navajo hogans scattered throughout the spectacular but inhospitable desert. Winters here are harsh, and summers are hot and dry. Because of widespread, debilitating unemployment, area families struggle to afford even the most basic necessities as they grapple with the socioeconomic effects of poverty. Our affiliated project, the Ojo Encino Day School, offers impoverished children in this area nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education, as well as support with basic needs through our sponsorship program — all despite the closest stores being hours away.

Making Trips to Albuquerque

“In the Fall of 2019, I met with our coordinator, Nora, at Ojo Encino Day School,” explained Shelley Oxenham, Children Incorporated U.S. Projects Specialist.

“Nora is the school secretary, athletic director and volleyball coach — she is a busy lady! She does most of her Children Incorporated work at home in the evenings and weekends. Although there is no staff available to help her with the Children Incorporated program at the school, she does have a helper with her shopping trips.”

“Nora does most of her shopping at Walmart in Albuquerque, a three-and-a-half-hour round trip drive. She purchases clothes and shoes for the students and sometimes she purchases snacks,” said Shelley.

Challenges for Families and Children

Nora pictured with Shelley Oxenham

“She told me that most of the families get enough food stamp assistance to cover a month’s worth of groceries — but even the closest well-stocked grocery store is approximately an hour and forty-five minutes away. There is a very small grocery store in Cuba, about a thirty-minute drive, but the food is very expensive, and it is often outdated or spoiled; it is a last resort for food.”

“The majority of families live in homes equipped with water and electricity — only a few on the northwest side of the region are without water. Most children live with their parents; there are very few students in the school who are being raised by grandparents.  At most of our U.S. schools, we are hearing of more and more grandparents raising grandchildren (or even great-grandchildren) so this was quite the exception, and I was glad to hear it,” said Shelley.

***

 How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in the United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Supplying Vitamins During COVID-19

Located just southeast of Mexico, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. Its spectacular mountains boast a wealth of natural resources and stunning biodiversity. For centuries, this land served as the core territory of the Mayan civilization.

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Following two centuries of Spanish colonization, Guatemala gained its independence in the early nineteenth century, only to endure another 150 years of political instability and civil unrest. Additionally, this area is prone to devastating natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes which cause mudslides and flooding. Despite recent economic growth and successful democratic elections, Guatemala still struggles with widespread poverty, illiteracy, crime and high rates of unemployment and underemployment.

Located in one of Guatemala City’s impoverished neighborhoods, our affiliated project, the Juan Apostol School, offers support to children in need. Founded in 1964, the school strives to provide students with a well-rounded education while also offering other vital resources — including vitamin supplements which kids need to remain healthy and able to attend school.

Why Vitamins?

According to the website HealthyKids.com, “Vitamin means ‘vital for life’. Vitamins and minerals are compounds necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies. We need vitamins and minerals to help us grow, to see correctly, to form bones, muscles, skin and organs, as well as to help us battle infections.”

Two of our sponsored children hold their supply of vitamins thanks to our partner, Altar’d State

Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to severe problems. The best way to ensure your child receives enough vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development is to provide a wide variety of fresh foods from the five food groups including whole grain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes, and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Unfortunately, for many children living in poverty around the world, having access to fresh food at all times is not always an option, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in countries like Guatemala, where many families were not receiving support as they quarantined and were forced out of work.

Altar’d State offers their support

In the last months, thanks to a contribution by our partner, Altar’d State, to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, we were able to provide funds to the Juan Apostol School in Guatemala for a three-month supply of vitamins containing vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc for all 102 children enrolled in our program. And, because our volunteer coordinator was purchasing these items in bulk for the benefit of children, the local pharmacy provided a four-month supply of vitamins at the cost of just a three-month supply!

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has allowed us to further support kids in our program beyond sponsorship.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Guatemala?

You can sponsor a child in Guatemala in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Guatemala that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sound Preparation for the Future

Located in the periphery of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, our affiliated project, the Maria Immaculata Children’s Education Centre, supports students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The Centre is located in an area just outside the city that has grown tremendously in population in the last few years, offering support to children of low-income families that otherwise would have to attend overcrowded public schools.

“At Maria Immaculata, children receive a solid education, as well as resources that provide sound preparation for their future,” explained Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

“At Maria Immaculata, children receive a solid education, as well as resources that provide sound preparation for their future,” explained Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

A chance to get out of poverty

“Many of the children’s parents are street vendors or service workers who make very little money. They live in nearby slums — some are coping with health concerns such as HIV or raising children as single parents.”

“Maria Immaculata provides children with an education and a place to live at their boarding home. With the education they receive from the youngest age up until high school graduation, these children will have a chance at employment or higher education when they leave the school — something that will help them and their families get out of poverty,” said Luis.

“And recently, Kenya has adjusted its education system to a newly devised academic plan. Formerly, a child would go from K-8th grade in Primary School, and 9th-12th into Secondary School.”

Children at Maria Immaculata benefit from the many resources the Centre offers.

“Now, students attend Primary School from K-6th, Middle School, or what is referred to as Lower Secondary School, from 7th-9th grades, and Upper Secondary in 10th, 11th, and 12th. This will allow an introduction to formal skills training or technical programs in the upper secondary so that children will have training for job opportunities earlier in life,” explained Luis.

“The Centre is also working towards improving its infrastructure in the near future. The school buildings are adequate, although they need basic maintenance repairs at this moment, such as new paint.”

“The school administrators are planning an upgrade to their Biology and Science labs and are considering the implementation of a solar system as an energy supply for the entire Centre,” said Luis.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Kenya?

You can sponsor a child in Kenya in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Kenya that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Providing Stability in New Mexico

The town of Bloomfield, where our affiliated project, the Hanaa Dli Community School/Huerfano Dorm, is located, is known as New Mexico’s “tableland” — a desert crisscrossed by gullies and washes in the United States’ Navajo Nation. Families in this community live in traditional Navajo hogans, made of logs and mud, in remote areas that make a daily commute for children to the closest schools not viable. Additionally, poverty, unemployment, and a sense of hopelessness pervade Navajo life. Were it not for Hanaa Dli Community School and the Huerfano Dormitory, as well as the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, so many children living in poverty would not have the opportunity to receive an education — or have stability and consistency in their lives.

It was amazing to hear them talk about how important sponsorship was to them and see how much of a difference our sponsors make in their lives,” said Shelley.

Visiting Navajo Nation

“Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renee Kube, and I visited Hanaa Dli Community School/Huerfano Dorm together early in the late fall of 2019,” explained U.S. Project Specialist, Shelley Oxenham.

“We met with our then-new coordinator, Steven, for a brief meeting before visiting with all of the dorm students. Steven is the home’s living specialist in the dormitory. He said that many of the kids are dealing with a lot of trauma, and he believes our sponsorship program offers a form of stability to them.”

“He is hoping that the benefits of having a sponsor will influence the parents’ decision to keep the students at the dorm where they can get consistent care. Children Incorporated helps provide the students with school clothes, dorm supplies, and educational supplies,” said Shelley.

The entrance to the school decorated for the Fall season

“We asked if there are things needed above and beyond sponsorship, and he said they could use more computers, tablets, and art supplies for the dorm. Our Hope In Action Fund exists for just that reason, and we were happy to suggest he apply for funds so we could purchase these items for our sponsored children. Steven did just that, and since the visit, Children Incorporated has been able to provide Hope In Action funding to purchase computer tablets, hygiene items, school supplies and warm clothing for children at the dorm.”

Getting to meet our sponsored children

“The dorm is for students in first through twelfth grade. The students in our program stay at the dorm during the school week and are bused to and from their schools each day — a short commute considering how far away they live from their schools and the dorm,” explained Shelley.

“Most students attend school in nearby Bloomfield. That day, the staff decided to keep the students out of school for the morning so that they could be there for our visit. This was a nice change because, in past visits, the students have not been there because they are at school.”

“We sat with the girls who room in the girls’ dorm — they told us how much they love the new things they receive from their sponsors and how much it helped them. It was amazing to hear them talk about how important sponsorship was to them and see how much of a difference our sponsors make in their lives,” said Shelley.

***

How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in the United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD