Tag Archives: childhood poverty

We are excited to introduce a new staff member to our team, Katie Thomson, who is coming on board as our Community Engagement Coordinator. As a way to get to know Katie a little better, we asked her a few questions about herself, her career, and her passion working to help children and families living in poverty.

CI: Tell us a little about your background.

KT: I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where I received both my BSW and MSW degrees.

“Giving children a sense of hope can lower stress and anxiety while increasing happiness, and to me that is priceless.”

After graduate school, I moved to London and worked with children and families for five years. My husband and I moved back to Richmond in 2014 so my daughter could grow up near my family.

In addition to my work with Children Incorporated, I work with Make Space, a mentoring program through the Visual Arts Center, which pairs women in the community with sixth-grade girls at Anna Julia Episcopal School in the East End. I really love working with sixth graders; they have such fun personalities and have so many opinions, which I think is fantastic.

CI: What made you want to get involved in social work so many years ago?

 KT: I’ve always had a passion for helping people. It is probably the only passion that has consistently stayed with me throughout my life. Many of my family members work in helping professions like teaching, social work, and nursing, which influenced me to become a social worker.

I also like that social work isn’t one type of job; when people think of social work, they usually think it is placing children into foster care, but we do many different things and work in many different systems. We work directly with clients, but then also work on program design and implementation. There are social workers who are politicians, lawyers, epidemiologists, teachers, etc. There is such variety and potential that I’ll never be bored in this field!

CI: What really drew you to Children Incorporated’s mission?

Katie brings years of experience working with children and families in need to Children Incorporated, and we are so thrilled to have her on our team!

KT: What drew me to the Children Incorporated mission was the idea of giving hope and opportunity to children. While no one individual can change the economic situation totally for these children’s families, we can help by providing children with basic necessities so they can go to school and not be worried about when the next meal will be or how they will get a new winter coat or shoes. Giving children a sense of hope can lower stress and anxiety while increasing happiness, and to me that is priceless.

CI: What about your professional experience makes you a good fit for Children Incorporated?

KT: I have worked in Richmond for many years and have built relationships with people throughout the city. I also enjoy meeting and connecting with people. I value the people and communities Children Incorporated works with, and I am excited to share their mission. I believe there is great opportunity for Children Incorporated to collaborate with Richmond people and businesses to support local children.

CI: What are your interests outside of helping children around the world?

KT: I like to spend time with my husband and our 10-year-old daughter. I say that I enjoy gardening, but I actually like to watch reality TV. I’m a bit of a collector, so I love to go to thrift stores and antique malls. I collect vintage glassware, especially Pyrex. I am also involved with Richmond For All, a local organization that focuses on racial and economic justice.

Welcome to the Children Incorporated team, Katie! We are so glad to have you with us.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child 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

Situated in the Central American Isthmus, Costa Rica is a land rich in natural beauty including tropical rainforest, volcanoes and lakes. It shares borders with Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Costa Rica since 1964.

Despite its status as one of the most stable, prosperous and progressive nations in Latin America — and one of the most ecofriendly in the world — Costa Rica struggles beneath a threatened economy and low paying jobs. Profound poverty affects many residents, with roughly 10% of Costa Ricans struggling to make ends meet while trying to survive on only USD 1.25 a day. Poverty in Costa Rica is especially prevalent in rural areas and in certain parts of the country’s capital, San José.

Challenges for Children in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as poverty leads to lack of educational and basic resources. Right now, children living in poverty in Costa Rica need your help.

  • 1 in 3 children under the age of 18 lives in poverty
  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a considerable decrease in the average family income
  • The school net attendance rate for children in Costa Rica is only 44%
  • Since 2020, 30% of households in Costa Rica have reduced their food portions
    to accommodate for loss of wages


Our Work in Costa Rica

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Costa Rica since 1964.

 We work with our volunteer coordinators in local communities to provide health and nutrition, education, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, and other essentials that help children and families rise above the poverty in which they live.

Our strategy is to focus on individual children through our sponsorship program, ensuring they are receiving exactly what they need on a regular basis.

Your support makes all our work possible for Costa Rican children in crisis.

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How do I sponsor a child in Costa Rica?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sources:

https://ticotimes.net/2015/10/29/costa-rica-poverty-hits-young-people-hardest-says-new-survey

https://ticotimes.net/2021/09/09/one-in-three-minors-in-costa-rica-lives-in-poverty-unicef-says

https://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/where-we-help/americas/costa-rica

https://theviolenceofdevelopment.com/one-in-three-children-in-costa-rica-live-in-poverty-unicef/

https://www.unicef.org/media/100591/file/Costa-Rica-2020-COAR.pdf

 

Over the years, our supporters have heard numerous accounts of families we work with needing emergency support when natural disasters strike. From flooding to earthquakes to hurricanes to volcanic eruptions, those living in impoverished areas of the world are more affected in negative ways than those not living in poverty.

“When families are living in old houses or in areas that are not protected from natural disasters, many types of hazards can increase their risk of damaged property or harm to themselves.”

“At its most basic level, poverty increases vulnerably,” says Children Incorporated’s Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.

“When families are living in old houses or in areas that are not protected from natural disasters, many types of hazards can increase their risk of damaged property or harm to themselves.”

“Additionally, when families are suffering from poverty, they might not have a lot of insurance to cover damage to their homes or property — because they often have to make hard decisions about how to spend their meager incomes. In other instances, countries don’t offer insurance at all so families that lose their homes can be completely devastated and without support other than the local community and from organizations like Children Incorporated,” explains Callahan.

“It is our goal to help families who are suffering during or after a natural disaster so they may recover more quickly — each and every day without being able to go work because you are trying to clean water damage in your home or clean up after a storm creates more problems for low-income familes. Furthermore, the expenses associated with recovery are usually enormous, and something many families can’t afford.”

“We are endlessly thankful for donations to our Hope In Action Fund which allows us to directly respond to the immediate needs of families after a natural disaster,” states Callahan.

Below, you can read more stories of how donations have helped families during emergencies in the past few years — something we could not do without you!

Hope After Haiyan

The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records.

Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation and access to healthcare and potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. The large port city of Tacloban, where the Visayans Community Center at Bliss is located, is no exception to these maladies.

Sending Relief After Flash Floods

Wayne County lies nestled amid the vast natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains, which still conceal deposits of the coal that once made this a rich and populous area of the Mountaineer State. Automation of mines and the ecological stigmas attached to coal as a fuel source have seriously damaged Wayne County’s economy. With coal mining almost shut down, all businesses that once depended on mining – and the buying power of the miners — have closed. Unemployment continues to rise, and industry development remains at a crawl.

When flash floods hit West Virginia a few years ago, none of the families of our sponsored and unsponsored children could have prepared for what was going to happen.

Like many small towns in this rural part of West Virginia, Dunlow is remote, located far from any sizeable town or city. A few strip mines still produce coal, and there are some sawmills that cut lumber. Overall, however, Dunlow’s economy is struggling, with high unemployment and a lack of industry development. Many residents in this region live well below the poverty line, plagued by all the socioeconomic struggles that accompany poverty. One of our affiliated schools in the area, Dunlow Elementary School, offers a place where children can count on support, encouragement, and a nutritious warm meal not only every day, but also in cases of emergency, such as flash flooding — thanks to the help they received from our Hope In Action Fund.

As soon as we heard news of the volcanic eruption, Children Incorporated asked our amazing supporters to donate emergency relief funds that we could send directly to Sagrada Familia.

Emergency Relief After a Volcanic Eruption

 In early June, the eruption of the Volcano of Fire near Antigua, Guatemala caught residents living nearby by surprise. By the time the eruption was over, more than one million people had been affected; approximately 3,000 people had been displaced from their homes, and about 250 people were missing. The eruption caused direct damage to five villages in the area surrounding the volcano, including the town of Antigua, where our affiliated project Sagrada Familia is located. The aftermath of the eruption engulfed the neighboring towns not only in thick smoke, but also in heavy ash and hot gases. In addition, huge rocks tumbled down the volcano, blocking roads and destroying homes along their paths.

The Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), a Guatemalan government agency for disaster reduction, quickly set up fifteen shelters after the catastrophe to help displaced residents who were in need of food, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and bedding during this time of crisis. As soon as we heard news of the volcanic eruption, Children Incorporated asked our amazing supporters to donate emergency relief funds that we could send directly to Sagrada Familia, where our volunteer coordinators were working hard to provide daily support for families who had lost their homes and were living in shelters.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child 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