Tag Archives: children in need

In this edition of Stories of Hope, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, concludes his trip to our Costa Rica affiliated sites with a visit to the Costa Rica Center in San Jose.

The beginning of the center

“This center is located in the northern part of San Jose. It is run by a woman, Marta, who is also our volunteer coordinator,” said Luis.

“The mother told us that she was so grateful for Marta and the program because without it, she would have a hard time sending all her children to school.”

“Marta used to work at what was the Costa Rica Children’s Orphanage, located in the downtown area of the city, which supported abandoned children or children from low-income families that could not raise their children on their own.”

“Our sponsorship program was initiated at the orphanage to provide additional educational support to the children, until the local government decided to part with the orphanage and converted it into an afterschool program and then a community center. When this happened, Marta was no longer employed, and the Children Incorporated program was dissolved,” explained Luis.

“But Marta was persistent and didn’t want her community to lose the support from sponsors or Children Incorporated. She decided to look for support through a local church, and she started her own version of a center where children could meet and receive food, school supplies and other essential items. And so started the Costa Rica Center!”

Teaching a community new skills

“Marta still gets help from the church today and still uses a portion of the church to meet with the children and families on a regular basis. While I was visiting in September of 2022, I met with children and their parents, and they all expressed how helpful the sponsorship program is, and how grateful they were for the much-needed support that Marta provides,” said Luis.

“Marta finds ways to stretch the funds to provide what is most needed for the children’s education. After our meeting, the children and their families showed us some crafts they had made, all thanks to Marta, who is teaching crafting skills so families can earn extra money.”

“We then went to a couple of houses of our sponsored children. One particular house was made with scrap and metal sheets and had dirt floors and partial wooden sections. The mother told us that she was so grateful for Marta and the program because without it, she would have a hard time sending all her children to school, just as many of the other parents,” said Luis.

Looking to expand and grow

“Before we finished for the day, Marta expressed to me that she is working with a local community center so that they will have more space to do handcrafts and workshops. She hopes to expand on the skills training, so that parents and children can have a way to make life easier.” 

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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

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, access to healthcare and access to potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Children in the Philippines need your help. Please consider becoming a sponsor today.

Challenges for Children in the Philippines

In the Philippines, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Chile need your help.

  • More than 13 million Filipino children live below the poverty line
  • One-third of all children in the Philippines comes from impoverished households
  • Children living in poverty face multiple vulnerabilities that threaten their survival
    and growth such as malnutrition, poor health, and lack of clean water and sanitation
  • Child poverty increases the risk of child marriage, child labor, abuse, and exploitation
    of children in the Philippines


Our Work in the Philippines

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in the Philippines 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 to help children in crisis in the Philippines.

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How do I sponsor a child in the Philippines? 

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

SOURCES:

https://psa.gov.ph/statistics/children

https://www.unicef.org/philippines/social-policy-and-governance

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

» more of Children's stories

The year 2022 marked a return to in-person site visits for our International Division — first to Mexico in May and then to Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua in August.

“Although at times it is difficult because some of the families have to walk two to three hours to get there, they say the support is still invaluable to them, as those that live further away from the Center have the greatest needs by far.”

Today, we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about his visit to the Santa Luisa Center in Costa Rica, almost exactly five years after the last trip to this site by our Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.

About Santa Luisa

“The Santa Luisa Center is managed by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent of Paul,” said Luis.

“The Sisters run a nursing home to help low-income families in this rural part of Costa Rica, and along with the home for the elderly, they operate a center to support children so they can receive resources as well.”

“The Center is located about 220 kilometers from the capital city of San Jose, in an area known as Bambu, where social services and educational support are minimal. The roads from San Jose to Bambu are treacherous, and the drive takes about six hours,”explained Luis.

“Bambu is an agricultural town, where production of bananas is the main source of income for farmers. Although the Costa Rican government does have public schools available for the children in the area, they often have to walk a long distance to reach the schools, after having little or no food and school supplies due to poverty. The Children Incorporated sponsorship program supports their educational needs, and provides food and clothing for these children.”

Luis is pictured with our volunteer coordinator, a sponsored child, and a few of the mothers from the community.

Seeing the Center after many years

“The Center’s nursing home is well-cared for and has well-maintained buildings for the elderly.”

“Our sponsorship program is run in a section of the nursing home that has a hall where the sisters do activities with the children. They also host the children and their families on a patio for larger gatherings,” said Luis.

“The Center has a small kitchen to cook for the sponsored children while they are there and a small office/storage area where they keep food and school supplies purchased in bulk, so they can be distributed to the children on a monthly basis.”

“During my visit, we met with a few parents and children, but my visit was cut short because of the travel time to and from San Jose. But before I left, the parents shared that coming to the Center to get food, school supplies, and other commodities once a month is a blessing and a great support for the children’s education. Although at times it is difficult because some of the families have to walk two to three hours to get there, they say the support is still invaluable to them, as those that live further away from the Center have the greatest needs by far,” said Luis.

***

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

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.

***

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 northwestern corner of South America, Colombia is rich in natural beauty, comprising rugged Andean mountains, lowland plains, sprawling Amazon rainforest, and coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Archeological evidence suggests that humans have called this land home for thousands of years.

In Colombia, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and a lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Colombia need your help.

Its modern history begins at the end of the fifteenth century, when Christopher Columbus and the first Spanish explorers arrived in the region, subsequently establishing the area’s first successful Spanish settlement in 1508. Spanish colonization continued for over 400 years.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Colombia gained its independence and established itself as South America’s first constitutional government. However, political instability in the mid-to late-twentieth century led to the uprising of guerilla groups which have wreaked havoc through all manner of social injustice.

Tragically, their targets are most often children. Kidnappings, human trafficking, recruitment as soldiers into paramilitary groups, and forcible participation in drug-trafficking rings are all too common realities for vulnerable and disadvantaged children here.

Challenges for Children in Colombia

In Colombia, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and a lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Colombia need your help.

– Just over 34% of Colombians are living below the poverty line
– One in five children in Colombia has no access to education
– One in ten children in Colombia faces malnutrition
– Children living in poverty are at risk of experiencing child labor, homelessness, and food insecurity

Our Work in Colombia

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Colombia 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 it possible for us to help children in crisis in Colombia.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Colombia?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

SOURCES:

https://reliefweb.int/report/colombia/colombia-children-poverty-have-healthy-nutrition-thanks-donor-funding-salesian

https://databankfiles.worldbank.org/data/download/poverty/987B9C90-CB9F-4D93-AE8C-750588BF00QA/AM2020/Global_POVEQ_COL.pdf

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

» more of Children's stories

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. 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.

In Guatemala, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and a lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Guatemala need your help.             

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.

Challenges for Children in Guatemala

In Guatemala, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and a lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Guatemala need your help.                                   

  • 47% of Guatemalans live in poverty
  • 68% of Guatemalan children live in impoverished households
  • Due to widespread poverty, children suffer from malnutrition, lack of clean water
    and lack of access to healthcare
  • Half of Guatemala’s population cannot afford basic food items, leading to 1 in 5
    children under the age of 5 to suffer from stunted growth


Our Work in Guatemala

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Guatemala 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 our work possible to help children in crisis in Guatemala.

***

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

SOURCES:

https://www.unicef.org/media/110771/file/Guatemala-Case%20Study-Being-Prepared-Acting-First-2021.pdf

https://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/abs/10.1596/1813-9450-2193

https://www.wfp.org/countries/guatemala

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

» more of Children's stories