Tag Archives: children in poverty

Dear Friends,

As the leader of Children Incorporated, one of my greatest responsibilities is finding the funds needed to meet the vast array of needs presented to us, almost on a daily basis. These needs come from our volunteer coordinators and those managing our programs in the field, and they are many and diverse.

Our child sponsorship program addresses a large number of the more common requests such as those for food, clothing, and school supplies for the children we serve, and our sponsors are incredibly generous in sending additional money gifts for the extra things their children want and need. But there is much more to what Children Incorporated provides. We are there when children and families lose their homes due to fires and natural disasters, and we have assisted a number of our sites with infrastructural projects such as funding housing developments and schools.

I am amazed at how far some of the gifts left to Children Incorporated have gone, and I am humbled as I see them keep on giving, year after year after year.

doing so much more

We also provide the money needed to implement skills training programs, and we have established community gardens, paid for after school tutoring programs, and made sure that children, who would otherwise go hungry, have backpacks full of food to tide them over on weekends when free school meals are unavailable. All of these things take money and it is my responsibility to secure the funds needed to meet as many of these needs as possible.

Over the years, one of our greatest assets and blessings has been the wealth of funds we’ve received from wills, bequests, and planned giving. This is the money that we often draw from to meet needs such as those listed above, and our sponsors and donors have been incredibly generous in sharing their resources. I am amazed at how far some of the gifts left to Children Incorporated have gone, and I am humbled as I see them keep on giving, year after year after year. 

living on through their gifts

I immediately think of Ms. Henkle, a sponsor who passed away nearly ten years ago. She planned in advance and left Children Incorporated a generous bequest that we continue to draw upon in addressing urgent and specialized needs of numerous children and families all around the world. Ms. Henkle’s generosity and kindness live on through her gift. And then there is the Dulin Fund, left to Children Incorporated over two decades ago that is still being used to provide monthly support to approximately 200 unsponsored children. Mr. Dulin’s generosity continues to change and improve lives, all these years after his passing.

As you plan for your future, please consider including Children Incorporated in your estate planning. Though our days on this planet are relatively short, we can make a difference that far outlives them. Long, long after our actual time here has ended, we can still offer education, hope, and opportunity to children living in poverty. Again, I am amazed by the generosity of those who have gone before us, and I am humbled to witness how their foresight is allowing us to address many wide-ranging needs today. 

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and CEO
Children Incorporated

***

My trip to Bolivia had come to an end, but our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, still had a few more affiliated sites to visit in Bolivia before he returned to our office in the U.S. Today, Luis recounts his visit to Guarderia El Angel, located in Santa Cruz, where our sponsors are supporting impoverished children from 1st to 12th grade.

“Without the support of their sponsors, the children would have to go to government schools, which are not very good and teach very little.”

Luis’ Visit

“El Angel is a day care facility that is located on the outskirts of the city. It is a well-cared for and well-maintained group of buildings, where about 250 students attend. They provide pre-kinder, kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade education here, and there are children one through seven years of age. It is managed by a local congregation of sisters,” said Luis.

“Thanks to our volunteer coordinator, arrangements have been made so that children attending school in higher grades can continue the Children Incorporated program until graduation, and a school located next door, within the ‘Fe y Alegria’ alternative program, is now taking our sponsored students and supporting them until they graduate from high school. This school is now managed by the same congregation of sisters, but in cooperation with the local Bolivian government.”

“Our program support is used to cover school fees and to provide uniforms and school supplies. The children and parents are very grateful for the support, as they are all day vendors, homeowners, or people that have a hard time finding a permanent job. Without the support of their sponsors, the children would have to go to government schools, which are not very good schools,” explained Luis.

Home Visits in Santa Cruz

“While visiting some homes, I noticed that the situation of the families is not encouraging. One was that of a single mother living in a rented room, in a very difficult situation and circumstance. She works as day worker. The other family was a family living in a half-finished house, with only two rooms and a small kitchen. The father raises chickens but has only three of them to sell when it is the right time. He has day jobs, as well as the mother, and they have to sustain three children. Thankfully, one of the children is in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, which helps the family a great deal.”

***

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

I first met Rosanne Cash in the spring of 2012. Of course, I was already aware of her artistry, having been a big fan of her hit records “Seven Year Ache,” “Blue Moon With Heartache,” and “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me,” and I was well-aware that she was the daughter of the iconic Johnny Cash.

I admit that I was initially a little star-struck to meet her, but since our initial lunch together twelve years ago, I have gotten to know Rosanne quite a bit better, and I have discovered that she is one of the nicest, most compassionate individuals one can hope to meet. She cares deeply about the state of our world, including the poverty and deprivation that bind so many children. I recently had the opportunity to chat with her about her decades-long support of Children Incorporated.

I appreciated the personal connection, the ‘family’ atmosphere, and the fact that the administrators actually knew who the sponsors and children were — it’s not a nameless and faceless enterprise where you send money and it goes into a black box.

– Rosanne Cash

A conversation with our long-time supporter

RON: Rosanne, according to our records, you started supporting Children Incorporated in September 1987, thirty-seven years ago. Do you recall how you initially discovered Children Incorporated?

ROSANNE: “It’s been a long time! I really don’t recall how I found Children Incorporated, but I remember feeling impressed with the obvious sincerity and humility of the mission. I was moved that it was founded by just one woman (Jeanne Clarke Wood), out of a singular desire to ease the suffering of children around the world.”

RON: And what led you to contact us, as opposed to one of the other, perhaps larger sponsorship organizations? What has kept you involved all these years?

ROSANNE: I appreciated the personal connection, the ‘family’ atmosphere, and the fact that the administrators actually knew who the sponsors and children were — it’s not a nameless and faceless enterprise where you send money and it goes into a black box. I like getting the letters from the children and knowing who I’m helping.

RON: You currently sponsor three children with us — two in Bolivia and a third in Mexico. You’ve sponsored many different children. What do you find most rewarding about child sponsorship?

ROSANNE: I know there is a real effect to my sponsorship. The children write and tell me what they were able to buy for themselves, how their schoolwork is going, what music they like, and more about their lives. They send pictures and I see them grow. I see, in real time, that my sponsorship matters.

RON: If you were asked to describe Children Incorporated in just a couple of sentences, what would you say?

ROSANNE: Children Incorporated is an organization with enormous heart and soul, fastidiously administrated, and has the welfare of the children they serve at the center of every decision and every dollar they spend. Their integrity as a charity is exemplary, and their service to the underprivileged children of the world reverberates through generations.

Rosanne’s latest music release is the 30th Anniversary edition of her classic album, “The Wheel,” available wherever contemporary music is sold and through her website, rosannecash.com.

Thank you, Rosanne, for all you do to help children in our program!

***

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

After spending a little more than a week together visiting our affiliated sites in Sucre and Santa Cruz, it was time for me to depart and return home from Bolivia, as our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, stayed to visit two more of our sites by himself — the Pedro Poveda School in La Paz and the the Lourdes School in Santa Ana del Yacuma.

“Our sponsors are providing their children with support, so that they have a sound education at Pedro Poveda.”

I had the pleasure of visiting Pedro Poveda in 2016 on my first trip to Bolivia with Children Incorporated, and I remember what a great affiliation it was, which it remains today. I have fond memories of visiting with our volunteer coordinator, Josefina, and I was excited for Luis to get the chance to see her again and get updates about how our sponsors are helping children in this part of the country.

Luis’ Visit

“Pedro Poveda is the only school in the capital city of La Paz affiliated to the Children Incorporated program,” explained Luis.

The study room at Pedro Poveda is available for children to receive support with their school work during and after school.

“This school is located in the area of La Paz called Villa Armonia, a section of the city that suffers from land movements due to bad drainage systems in this very mountainous area. Most homes, and even the school, suffer with constant deterioration and cracking of walls and floors.” “Families of our sponsored children at Pedro Poveda are very poor, and most are living in housing with the same issues.”

“The local government will not do anything to address this problem. At this moment, there is a section of the school with four classrooms that has been condemned because of this problem. The school goes from 6th through 12th  grade, and children attend primary school at a government institution next door,” said Luis. “Our sponsors are providing their children with support, so that they have a sound education at Pedro Poveda.”

Help from our sponsors

Children Incorporated support is utilized to provide school supplies and any fees the children need to attend the school. They are also provided with food items, clothing and shoes after all educational needs are met. While I was visiting, the children expressed the importance of our support so that they can complete their education. I am hoping to help them with repairs needed at the school if at all possible,” explained Luis.

“Beyond the education they are receiving, the school has tutoring programs, and also a program to support children from the area with special education needs. It also has a collection of textbooks and other resources to support many children with research and completion of educational projects.”

***

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.

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories

Helping children in remote areas of the world is one of the ways Children Incorporated ensures that we are reaching families that are in the most need, who otherwise might not have a lot of resources to help them when they are living in poverty.

According to our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, students at our affiliated site, the Lourdes School, in Bolivia, are by far located in the most remote area in which we work — one that Luis himself had never visited until this past year.

Today, we hear from Luis as he talks about his visit to the school, and how our sponsors are offering support to children and families with no connection to the rest of Bolivia.

Luis was welcomed to the Lourdes School with a traditional dance performance by our sponsored children.

“The Lourdes School is located in the central-northern part of the Amazon valleys of Bolivia, in the town of Santa Ana del Yacuma, Beni Province, just a propeller engine plane flight away from Trinidad, the capital city of the province of Beni,” said Luis.

“This is the least connected province to the rest in the country, as roads are still not paved, and are flooded every time there is torrential rain in the area. The congregation running this program, Instituto Mariano del Apostolado Catolico, has two schools to administer in this area. They do so through a convenio (a special agreement) with the government, where the government pays teachers’ salaries, and the congregation has to maintain the schools, pay for special education, and cover additional programs. There is one more school run by Fe y Alegria, a local government alternative program financed by Spain that has a direct relationship and support from the Congregation, as they have to cover maintenance and pay for any additional programs they’d want to implement as well. All Children Incorporated enrolled children come from all these schools.”

“While visiting, I did a review of our policies and procedures with Sister Ana Vasquez, the person in charge of the congregation, and our volunteer coordinator. We discussed post pandemic issues, reports, children updates, and funding utilization. Sister Ana does a great job helping the children our sponsors support, and shared about the tremendous support that our program provides to the families,” explained Luis.

“Everyone was very appreciative of the Children Incorporated support, especially during these difficult times after the pandemic and after the more recent cost of living increase.”

“The facilities are in relatively good shape, but need some improvements that the Sister will recommend to us to see if we can support updates. I could really see how poverty is rampant among the children and families here, and the parents showed me how grateful they are for the help they receive by providing me with a small token of local food. Everyone brought a piece of the local cuisine for all to enjoy! It was truly a special cultural moment!”

“After I had a chance to taste all the food, I took some time to listen to the concerns the children had about their education. These conversations, along with touring the facility, made it easy to see how important and essential it is that our program support the children here. Before I knew it, it was time to return to Trinidad before dark, on that same small propeller plane. Everyone was very appreciative of the Children Incorporated support, especially during these difficult times after the pandemic and after the more recent cost of living increase,” said Luis.

***

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

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories

After almost a week in Sucre, our International Director of Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I were winding down our visits to our affiliated sites, with only two left before we would leave Bolivia. Up until then, all the sites we had visited were schools or afterschool centers, but now, we were visiting the one site we work with that is a group home for girls in need.

Located in the city center of Sucre, the Santa Clotilde Home is unassuming from the outside, looking just like our other sites when one is standing on the street facing the building. Large doors and a high wall hid the interior buildings from view for security. But, once we walked inside, we really got to see just how vast and impressive the property is.

Upon entering the home, not only did our volunteer coordinator, Jhanneth, greet us at the door, but so did all the sponsored girls in our program, who were lined up wearing colorful outfits and holding balloons. We entered through a narrow lobby into a beautiful courtyard, surrounded by study rooms, activity rooms, dormitories, a kitchen and other administrative offices — everything the girls and the staff needed to live at Santa Clotilde full-time. Jhanneth explained to Luis and me that the girls attend local public schools, but the home was very focused on offering vocational training so the girls could learn fun and valuable skills while growing up here, such as sewing and cooking.

Vital support for vulnerable girls

Before Jhanneth gave us a tour of the home, the girls presented Luis and me with small gifts they had made themselves, showing off the amazing skills they had with arts and crafts. They then performed dances, played guitar and sang for us — all activities that were a regular part of their routine at Santa Clotilde. Jhanneth even had a music teacher come in each week to work with the girls in the afternoons after school.

Jhanneth went on to say that it was vital that the girls receive support from the home, and from Children Incorporated sponsors, to make sure they grow up in a safe and loving environment.

After their presentation, we had a chance to see where the girls lived, which were dorms that had been divided into areas based on ages and then designated by colors. Younger girls lived in the pink room while older girls lived in the green and purple rooms. Each color room had a lead girl who was in charge of helping the other, younger girls keep their beds and lockers tidy, which gave them a sense of responsibility they were very proud of.

As we walked between the dorm rooms, Jhanneth explained to Luis and me that these girls were some of the more vulnerable children in all of Sucre. Most of them had at some point been abandoned by their parents, some soon after birth, and they had no family to return to. Others were removed from their homes due to alcoholism or abuse by their caretakers. She went on to say that it was vital that they receive support from the home, and from Children Incorporated sponsors, to make sure they grow up in a safe and loving environment.

An amazing home full of love

Our tour ended in the kitchen of the home, where all the girls were waiting for us to join them for a delicious lunch, prepared by the full-time kitchen staff. Each of the girls helped set the tables, pour juice, and then clean up plates after we were done eating. The scene was lively as the girls giggled and told jokes to us through our meal.

I couldn’t help but have a huge smile on my face seeing them enjoy themselves so much in this amazing home, where they had everything they needed, including a family of peers and caring adults who looked out for them each and every day.

***

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

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories