Tag Archives: chile

Impacted for a Lifetime

In 1895, the Santiago Day School in Chile was founded as a school for girls who came from impoverished — and often neglectful and abusive — families.

Today, this Children Incorporated affiliated project continues to serve both girls and boys and their families who reside in downtown Santiago — 30% of whom are living below the poverty line.

Thanks to their sponsors, sponsored students receive food, school supplies and school uniforms. For those children whose families cannot afford to pay the school’s tuition fee, sponsorship funds cover those costs as well.

Managed by the Catholic order of nuns the Daughters of Saint Joseph, the school’s caring staff, which includes our volunteer coordinator Sister Claudia, works diligently to provide for some of the poorest children in Chile. Thanks to their sponsors, sponsored students receive food, school supplies and school uniforms. For those children whose families cannot afford to pay the school’s tuition fee, sponsorship funds cover those costs as well.

Additionally, both sponsored and unsponsored children benefit from the Santiago Day School’s sound academic program and its arts, music and recreational activities. Core academic subjects, including English, are offered for kindergarten through twelfth grades. In the afternoons, girls are taught sewing, crafts, flower arranging, and plant care and have time to play games and participate in sports.

Meeting Judit

While visiting the Santiago Day School, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet and International Projects Specialist, Kristen Walthall, met with Sister Claudia and had a chance to tour the school and attend an awards ceremony.

“During our visit, we had the pleasure of witnessing students receive awards presented by the administration for following the school’s moral standards as well as supporting other students in their efforts for better achievement,” said Luis.

After the ceremony, Sister Claudia took Luis and Kristen to visit the beautiful home of Judit*, the mother of two formerly sponsored children, Juana and Carmen.

The Santiago Day School serves children living in poverty in Chile.

While meeting with Judit, Luis and Kristen learned that her home had been purchased for her by Juana, her eldest daughter, who is now 25 years old. The house was immaculately kept, and it was apparent that Judit was very proud of her home and happy to have Luis and Kristen as her guests.

Judit explained that Juana was sponsored by the same Children Incorporated sponsor through primary and secondary school. Both Judit and Juana felt that Juana’s sponsor made a significant impact in her life — which allowed her to study mine engineering at the University of Santiago in Chile once she graduated.

Much to be proud of

Today, Juana holds the title of Mining Engineer, and she is currently residing in Seattle, Washington, where she is studying English at a local university.

Judit told Luis and Kristen stories about how the entire family would gather to read letters from Juana’s and Carmen’s sponsors.

Yet, as Judit explained, it wasn’t just Juana who was benefiting from her years of having a Children Incorporated sponsor. Beaming with pride, Judit also spoke with Luis and Kristen about her youngest daughter, Carmen, who is now nineteen years old.

Carmen was sponsored through the Children Incorporated program from 2005 to 2018. Like her older sister, Carmen had the same sponsor all through her childhood until she completed high school. Carmen is currently studying information engineering, also at the University of Santiago in Chile. Judit felt that without her sponsor, Carmen might have never finished high school, much less have gone on to college.

Connecting with their sponsors

As she continued to reminisce about her daughters’ experiences in our sponsorship program, Judit told Luis and Kristen stories about how the entire family would gather to read letters from Juana’s and Carmen’s sponsors. They felt so close and connected to their sponsors through letter writing that the names of their sponsors’ pets became household names in their home.

For fun, they talked as a family about what their sponsors’ pets might be doing, and over the years, they enjoyed waiting with anxious anticipation for letters in the mail for more stories about those pets, and their sponsors, and how they were doing in their lives.

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How do I sponsor a child in Chile?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD IN CHILE

 

New Teachers with Fresh Ideas in Chile

Our affiliated project, the Maipu Center, is located on the outskirts of Chile’s capital city, Santiago. Santiago lies nestled between the towering Andes Mountains to the east and a smaller, coastal range to the west. Nearly five million people — more than a third of the country’s population — reside here, many of which are underprivileged Chilean families.

Concentrated in the city’s southern and northwestern regions, the slums of Santiago are home to impoverished children who are forced to live in makeshift dwellings or deficient public housing. Many of their parents work in the service industry or for small businesses, making low-wages with very little chance for upward mobility.

Helping families in need

The Maipu Center was founded over 80 years ago by a Roman Catholic congregation of women, the Daughters of St. Joseph. Today, 70% of students at the Center are from families living below the Chilean poverty line. Without the support of the Maipu Center, or their Children Incorporated sponsors, these children would not have the chance to receive a quality education, which is the key to helping them break the cycle of poverty in which they live.

Functioning as a private school and community center, the Maipu Center is a spacious, well-kept complex of buildings comprised of classrooms, a kitchen, a dining hall, a church and a community room for activities. Students receive two nutritious meals a day. In addition to standard academic courses, children also take dance and aerobics classes.

Improved academics and new energy 

During a visit to the Maipu Center, Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and International Projects Specialist, Kristen Walthall, were excited to find that the school academics have improved over the years — thanks to the support of a recently hired energetic principal and new, young teachers who are bringing more knowledge of technology and modern methods of education to the school.

“The school’s new principal has renovated all practices and academics in the school, implementing a new information technology department, as well as music and arts departments,” explained Luis.

Thanks to their sponsors, children are not only receiving help while in school but outside of school as well. With the children’s basic needs met, their parents don’t have to worry as much about affording these necessary items.

“Sponsored children are benefiting greatly from these changes, and according to the principal, they are doing better academically because of the school’s new programs and the enthusiasm of the staff.”

On top of receiving a great deal of support from the Maipu Center administration, children enrolled in our program also benefit from their sponsors. Sponsorship funds are used to help cover school fees; to provide school supplies, book bags and daily snacks; as well as to purchase clothing.

Thanks to their sponsors, children are not only receiving help while in school but outside of school as well. With the children’s basic needs met, their parents don’t have to worry as much about affording these necessary items.

Still more To accomplish in the future

Although an academically progressive school, the principal expressed to Luis that he still struggles to find local funding for operating costs. Still, he wasn’t going to let it get in the way of him giving children every opportunity they deserved to succeed.

Before Luis left, the principal talked about his desire to remodel some of the classrooms, as well as cover the playground area with a roof so it can be used during the hot summer and cold winter months for outdoor activities.

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How do I sponsor a child in Chile?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Easing the Burden on Families in Santiago

Spanning over 2,000 miles of South America’s western coastline, with deserts in the north, rainforests in the south, and the snowcapped peaks of the Andes Mountains ranging throughout, Chile is a stunning country.

Children with disabilities receive support thanks to the Handicapped Children’s Center.

Yet despite its natural beauty and reputation as politically progressive when it comes to human rights, Chile suffers from excessive inflation and an ever-increasing unemployment rate. Due to these economic realities, millions of Chileans are desperately poor.

A big telethon in Chile

The anguish typically associated with poverty becomes even starker when impoverished families are caring for a disabled child, such as the families with children at our affiliated project, the Handicapped Children’s Center in Santiago.

Thankfully, children with various disabilities receive treatment and support in an educational environment and help from their sponsors at the Handicapped Children’s Center. Without the much-needed aid the Center provides, disabled children and their families would have nowhere to turn to receive services and resources they so desperately need.

Beyond support from our sponsorship program, the Handicapped Children’s Center receives funding year-round thanks to Teleton, Chile. Teleton is a charity event held in various locations around the country in the first week of December. During the event, Chilean television networks hold a 27-hour telethon to raise money to help children with developmental disabilities. Since its inception in 1978, over $286 million has been raised, and 13 rehabilitation centers have been built all around Chile. Currently, Teleton is the world’s most-watched telethon.

Because the Handicapped Children’s Center is a well-funded organization, it provides children and young adults up to age twenty years old with medical care and therapy for free.

Free care for kids in need

Because the Handicapped Children’s Center is a well-funded organization, it provides children and young adults up to age twenty years old with medical care and therapy for free. The Center is equipped to provide care and support to children suffering from the effects of polio, congenital disabilities, Downs Syndrome, and other mental and physical handicaps.

The Handicapped Children’s Center is located in the rehabilitation wing of a local hospital in Santiago. The hospital itself is a large, modern building, comprising of examination rooms, physical therapy, a swimming pool, and a center for making prosthetic aids, which are provided to children free of charge. Transportation to and from the facility, when needed, is also offered at no cost to families.

New surgery techniques are helping disabled children in Chile to walk normally again.

The staff of the Handicapped Children’s Center includes physical therapists, orthopedists, podiatrists, neurosurgeons, urologists, dentists, occupational therapists, teachers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, audiologists, and a full prosthetic staff.

The Center emphasizes self-care and independence in its therapy, and families are encouraged to play an active role in the children’s rehabilitation. The goal is to prepare the Center’s participants to become entirely independent at school, at home, in the workforce, and society. Children who are able to attend local public schools to learn independence, and those who are not able to due to their disabilities are educated at the Center.

Helping children to walk

The support children receive at the Handicapped Children’s Center is individualized, involving physical and recuperative therapy as well as psychiatric care. Children also enjoy arts programs as a part of their participatory therapy. Doctors, nurses and technicians are available with access to robotics technology, providing the best possible support for maximum recovery.

Additionally, special new surgery techniques have been performed on children with physical limitations so they may walk normally. Recently, three children that are enrolled in the Children Incorporated program have benefited from the surgery with staggering results.

Along with the care they receive at the Handicapped Children’s Center, sponsored children receive school supplies, food, clothing, and transportation allowances so they can participate in regular therapy sessions. Over the years, children and their parents have expressed gratitude to Children Incorporated staff members for the support they received from sponsors, as it lowered the family burden on treatment expenses.

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How do I sponsor a child in Chile?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD