Tag Archives: children in poverty

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.

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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

On Christmas Eve in 1914, as the battles of the first World War were raging all around, soldiers in the British Expeditionary Force overheard some German troops in the trenches across from them singing Christmas carols. The British soldiers noticed that their adversaries had placed lit lanterns and small fir trees all along their trenches, their way of decorating for the special night.

Slowly, the opposing soldiers began to call out to one another across the way, “Merry Christmas!” and “Frohe Weihnachten!” The following day, the British and German troops met mid-way between their camps, in “no man’s land”, and exchanged gifts and played football together. They also took the time to bury their dead and repair their trenches, enjoying a period of peace, even in the midst of war.

This holiday season, my hope and prayer is that we can all set aside our differences and discover that we share many things in common, among them a desire for health and prosperity.

This holiday season, my hope and prayer is that we can all set aside our differences and discover that we share many things in common, among them a desire for health and prosperity. Perhaps we can come together and find commonality in serving others, in providing those who go hungry with food, and in supplying clothing to those who are cold or ill-prepared for excessive heat. Perhaps we can join our hearts and our minds together to help “the least of these,” the children, by offering them hope and possibility for their futures.

Children Incorporated has been assisting children and families since the fall of 1964, meeting a vast array of needs along the way and addressing poverty head-on. Thousands of young lives have been improved as we have served as the conduit for our sponsors’ and donors’ incredible generosity. Through decades of upheaval and social unrest, we – along with you – have found common ground in serving, caring, and giving for the benefit of others.

This holiday season, may we join together once again and uplift those who struggle through acts of kindness toward them and toward one another. Through generosity and the sharing of our resources, may we celebrate this season of Love and Light, and may we find peace, even in our chaotic world.

From the heart,
Ron Carter

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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

In the United States, the first Thanksgiving celebration dates back to 1619. Thirty-eight English settlers arrived by boat at the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia, and they immediately held a festival of thanks and appreciation for their safe arrival following a long and treacherous trip. They also gave thanks for the abundance of the land – vegetables and foodstuffs galore – and they feasted on the bounty before them.

Each year since that time, though the days and dates changed over the course of history, our society has set aside one day each year to give thanks for all that we, as a people, have been blessed with. Food is a huge part of these celebrations, and many of us take for granted that it will be served in great variety and large quantity. That is simply not true for thousands of families in the U.S.

I want to thank each of you who supports the work of Children Incorporated for your caring hearts.

A thanksgiving to remember

I recall meeting a family a few years back at a local elementary school. They had been chosen by a church group to be the beneficiaries of a multi-course Thanksgiving meal, and I was given the task of delivering the food to them. When I arrived at their home and started unloading turkeys and hams, stuffing and gravy, green beans and cranberry salad, as well as an assortment of pies and cakes, the children’s eyes were absolutely huge, and one of the little boys, seeing the turkey in front of him exclaimed excitedly “Is that really for us? We’ve never had a turkey before!” Another child was mesmerized by the pecan pie before him.

The children’s mother had tears rolling down her face as she explained that without this donation of food, she would have prepared a big pot of collard greens, seasoned with a ham bone, and that would have been their entire Thanksgiving meal. That was all they could afford.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and express appreciation for all that we have, yet it is also a time to reflect on the fact that many people – an estimated 12.5 % of U.S. citizens – live well below the poverty line, and food insecurity plagues far more than that. Worldwide, it is said that as many as 828 million people go hungry at least part of the time. As we reflect on our many blessing this Thanksgiving season, may we also think of those who go without. May we realize that we do have the power to make a difference, and we can do so with small acts of kindness, generosity and sharing.

I want to thank each of you who supports the work of Children Incorporated for your caring hearts. I truly believe that together, we can, and we do make positive differences each and every day, however big or small. Together, we touch children, families, and communities, and we offer hope and possibility. For that, and for you, I am thankful. I am also very blessed.

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

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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

For nearly 60 years, Children Incorporated has provided basic essentials to children living in poverty, including much-needed clothes, shoes, and other clothing items that help ensure they can go to school properly dressed and prepared for the day.

Thank you for all you do to keep children warm and comfortable throughout the year!

It is incredible how often we hear from our volunteer coordinators about how a new outfit or a new pair of shoes or a new winter coat drastically changed the life of a child in their school or affiliated site.

For some, a pair of shoes is the difference between attending school or staying home. For others, new clothes means that a child living in poverty, who might otherwise only wear hand-me-downs or older, worn clothing, gets to fit in with their classmates and doesn’t have to worry about being teased or distracted in class by feeling like an outsider. Just as much as these items physically allow students to go to school, they also support children’s mental and emotional needs.

Combining two funds to make one special fund

In the past, we have supported children in our program with immediate clothes, shoes and winter clothing needs through two Special Funds: Our Warm Clothing Fund and our Shoes and Socks Fund. Both funds are and continue to be of great importance, and for that very reason, we have decided to combine them into one fund — our new Clothing and Shoes Fund.

As always, donations to our Clothing and Shoes Fund will provide children with warm hats, coats, boots, scarfs and gloves during the winter months, as well as sturdy shoes and cozy socks for children in our program — all thanks to your generous and thoughtful monetary gifts — and we will continue to bring you Stories of Hope about how your donations to this Special Fund are changing the lives of children who need your support the most.

Thank you for all you do to keep children warm and comfortable throughout the year!

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How do I donate to the ClothING and Shoes Fund?

You can donate to our Clothing and Shoes Fund 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 donation portal, create an account, and make a donation.

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