Tag Archives: child poverty

Professionals Giving Back in Ethiopia

Our affiliated project, the Rainbow ‘Erdata’ Center, or simply the Rainbow Center, operates from a small office in the Bole area of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.  The Center’s administrators, including our volunteer coordinator, Wini, work with children from slums in and around the city. Today, we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about how sponsorship support has helped kids who attend the Rainbow Center during their school years — and into adulthood.

Today, we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about how sponsorship support has helped kids who attend the Rainbow Center during their school years — and into adulthood.

“This small community center is run by the government and provides children from impoverished neighborhoods with resources — including those provided by the Children Incorporated sponsorship program,” explained Luis.

“Support from sponsors ensures that children have funds for tuition at local schools, as well as to purchase books and school supplies. At times, food bags are also distributed, depending on the requested needs of the sponsored children’s parents.”

Without this support, many of the children would turn to the streets and become beggars or day to day workers earning meager wages. Because they are able to stay in school, thanks to their sponsors, many children in our program have graduated and gone into higher education,” said Luis.

An association of graduates

Wini’s assistant, Fatima, goes over paperwork with Luis during a visit to the Rainbow Center in Ethiopia.

“Some of the students that have graduated went on to form a small association of graduates, now that they all have permanent jobs in established companies, thanks to some technical training or university education.”

“There are accountants, graphic designers, engineers, and nurses in the group, among other professions.  Although they do not make as much money in these professions as they would in similar jobs in the United States, because of the country’s structure, they do live now much favorably than before and are able to take care of themselves and their families,” said Luis.

Learning the value of giving back

“Furthermore, the support provided to them from their sponsors has also instilled in them the desire to help others.”

“Each member of the graduate groups sets aside a bit of their salary to help elderly members of the community,” said Luis.

“On my last trip to Ethiopia, I had a chance to meet some of the group members, and they expressed their thanks for the sponsorship support they received. They stated that without the support, they would not be able to study, graduate, and get a profession. They all look happy and reflected on the years of support with gratitude for the opportunity to change their lives.”

“One of them, an engineer working for an IT company, does also provide IT support to some of the children now participating in our sponsorship program at the Rainbow Center. Others help organize meetings, coordinate the distribution of food and school supplies, and help identify children in the local neighborhoods to enroll in our program. Wini informed me that her work is better and more efficient now, with the help of these graduates.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Ethiopia?

You can sponsor a child in Ethiopia 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 Ethiopia that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

A Focus on Children’s Health and Well-Being

Near one of the largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya, is our affiliated project, the St. John’s Community Centre. Serving roughly 450 school-age children, the Centre not only supports them in their education but assists them, and their families, in their overall development — especially when it comes to their health.

“The goal is for these programs is to help support the development of the entire community — not just the students who attend the school.”

“As a primary and secondary school, Children Incorporated supports a large number of these students — nearly half of them are enrolled in our sponsorship program,” explained our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

“The Centre focuses on preparing children for their futures after graduation by offering them practical training instruction. The students learn basic curriculum as well as skills that will help them acquire jobs if they are not able to go on to higher education due to cost restrictions.”

Helping children with more than just education

“Additionally, the administrators at St. John’s are very concerned for the health and well-being of the children as well as their families, “said Luis.

St. John’s serves a large number of children near one of the largest slums in Nairobi. 

“Through their on-site medical center, they provide assistance to HIV positive parents and children, as well as programs focused on early motherhood, dropout prevention, small business entrepreneurship, and youth empowerment. The goal is for these programs is to help support the development of the entire community — not just the students who attend the school.”

“Unfortunately, without resources from the government, operating these programs is very difficult, but St. John has partnered with numerous non-profit organizations, local and international, such as Children Incorporated, to accomplish their goals,” said Luis.

Our special funds at work

“For example, we provide nearly 2000 mosquito nets to all Children Incorporated affiliated projects in Kenya every year, including to families at St. John’s, thanks to our Mosquito Net Fund. This is important, as it assists in the prevention of malaria, dengue, and other mosquito-borne illnesses, which are  prevalent among this population.”

“We have also been able to provide one pair of new shoes to each child at the beginning of the school year over the last few years, thanks to donations to our Shoes and Socks Fund. We also provide school lunches for over 200 children every day thanks to our International Feeding Program so that the children get proper nourishment. Through their monthly contributions, our sponsors ensure that students have books, school supplies, uniforms and their school tuition payments are made. Thanks to their sponsors, the school’s attendance is better, and students in our program are receiving higher grades than those without sponsors,” said Luis.

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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

A Garden for Learning and Nutrition

Located more than 200 miles outside of Addis Ababa, Kids Hope Ethiopia supports children in our program in the rural town of Kersa.

“Kids Hope is an impressive project — and one in which our sponsorship should be proud to support.”

The Kids Hope Center itself has two locations within Kersa. One site has an agricultural area and a dining hall. The other location has a few sports fields and a salon/classroom, classes, meetings, and trainings.

“Kids Hope supports children who attend the Center’s afterschool and return home each day, while also serving children from further away, who board with local families and then return home on the weekends. The children are enrolled in local public schools, and they are provided with all school supplies, materials, clothes, and food. The Center provides a great opportunity for education, whereas otherwise, there is no option to go to school in the small surrounding villages,” explained our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

Gardening for multiple purposes

“A few years ago, Children Incorporated supported the Kid’s Hope’s efforts to start a vegetable garden with their agricultural area. This vegetable garden has been great for educational purposes for the children, while also offering them nutritional food.”

“All the vegetables produced there are used in the Center’s kitchen. The children are provided with meals every day while attending nearby schools, and then after school, when they are at the Center for tutoring and computer training,” said Luis.

“This center is providing crucial resources for children’s development in this remote area — Kids Hope is an impressive project — and one in which our sponsorship should be proud to support.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Ethiopia?

You can sponsor a child in Ethiopia 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 Ethiopia that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Coping with Changes in Kenya

The Dandora Community Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, supports a huge group of students both as a school and a boarding home, which makes it more difficult for the school to adjust to big changes.

Although a lot is changing at the Centre, one thing that remains consistent is the invaluable support our sponsored children receive from their sponsors.

There are currently 650 children in attendance at the Centre, including about 490 in Primary School education (middle school), and about 160 in Secondary education (high school) programs. Nearly all the primary school students board at the school, returning home to their families during school holidays.

Adjusting to new requirements

“All of the students at the school who are boarding at the school — they receive daily meals, a safe and clean place to live, and benefit from afterschool tutoring and onsite medical care,” explained our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

“Unfortunately, the Centre is quickly running out of space for the number of children in the classrooms. The Centre needs additional classrooms, updated restrooms, and general repairs to the buildings.”

“Making the issue more dire, the Kenyan government has requested that all schools replace the asbestos sheet roof, which was commonly used in building schools in the past. The Centre is working on the changes as quickly as possible, despite it being an expense they did not budget for,” said Luis.

“Additionally, the Dandora Centre is required to offer technical training to Secondary School students per government requirement. Although this change in curriculum is very beneficial to the students, it requires a lot of adapting and changing for the Centre with limited resources.”

Our volunteer coordinator, James, works closely with all of our sponsored children to ensure they are being cared for.

“The biggest challenge is the need for space. The school was built in a relatively small area, and originally, only a Primary School. The adjustments they have to make require additional infrastructure where the technical training program can be implemented. No funding resources are being given by the local government to implement these new training programs, so each school has to find their own funding,” said Luis.

The reliability of sponsorship

Although a lot is changing at the Centre, one thing that remains consistent is the invaluable support our sponsored children receive from their sponsors.

“Sponsorship support is utilized at the Dandora Centre to help the children without resources to pay school fees and buy textbooks so that they can attend the school. The alternative is to attend public schools which is disastrous, as public schools have worse conditions. Public schools in Nairobi are overcrowded, and the learning is minimal,” explained Luis.

“Also, sponsored and unsponsored children are also assisted by our International Feeding Program, where the children who don’t board at the school are provided with a meal every school day. This is of great support to their parents, as they cannot afford to purchase school lunches for their children every day.”

“Children Incorporated also provides mosquito nets once a year for children and their families, as the net helps to protect them from mosquito-transmitted illnesses like malaria, chikungunya, dengue and other illnesses affecting these overcrowded areas. Over the last couple of years, we have also provided a pair of shoes for every child on the program,” said Luis.

“Our sponsorship program and our special funds have a tremendous impact on children at the Dandora Center. It is truly life-changing for them to receive the consistent support they need to stay in school and succeed.”

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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

Fighting Tropical Diseases in Kenya

Our Mosquito Net Fund is one of the most effective ways our sponsors and donors can offer help to keep children healthy and protect them against mosquito-borne diseases. For roughly $10 apiece, we can provide essential mosquito nets to children in our program living in Africa and India.

Each year, we give approximately 1800 mosquito nets to our sponsored children, such as those at our affiliated project, the Materi Girls’ School, in Tharaka, Kenya.

Each year, we give approximately 1800 mosquito nets to our sponsored children, such as those at our affiliated project, the Materi Girls’ School, in Tharaka, Kenya.

A school in high demand

Located 170 miles north of Nairobi, the Materi Girls’ School was created to educate children from the poor, rural agricultural area between Tharaka county and Meru County. Although situated in a remote area, the school draws students from all over the country due to its reputation as a reputable educational establishment.

“The Materi School integrates a demanding curriculum for secondary (high school) students that allows them to qualify to attend almost any university in Kenya, a rare accomplishment, explained Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

The large school serves girls within a very rural and impoverished part of Kenya.

“The secondary school education that students receive here is very advanced for Kenya. Many of the girls take computer science classes in addition to their general studies. They also participate in theater, music, and speech classes.”

Because the school is located in such a remote part of Kenya, the students all board there, returning home during school holidays.

Protecting the well-being of the whole community

“The girls are provided with nutritious meals every day and housing. A medical dispensary monitors their health and offers advice on treatment of any tropical illness affecting the children, staff, and part of the community,” said Luis.

“Mosquito nets and medication are readily available to attack the diseases, such as malaria, for all children and staff at Materi School — our sponsored children receive mosquito nets as well as school supplies, uniforms, tuition support, and hygiene items thanks to their sponsors.”

“The medical prevention program has been so successful that the Materi School implemented the same plan with the community living within a one-kilometer radius. Then it was expanded to 5 kilometers, thus ensuring a great area surrounding the school was protected against illness,” said Luis.

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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

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.

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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