Tag Archives: education

Head of the Class in Peru

Located along South America’s central-western coast, Peru comprises arid Pacific coastlands, spectacular mountain ranges and the vast Amazon rainforest. This land has been home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Inca Empire, the culture that constructed Peru’s most iconic landmark, Machu Picchu.

Peru’s rich culture, breathtaking beauty, and wealth of natural resources, however, belie the abject poverty in which many of its residents live. Many rural areas are still recovering from the Sendero Luminoso terrorist attacks of the 1990s, which claimed countless lives and caused thousands of families who had relied on agriculture for generations to seek shelter in large cities where they encountered even deeper poverty.

A safe place for girls

While Peru as a whole suffers from high unemployment, hyperinflation and all the difficulties that poverty entails, problems like disease, malnutrition and crime are most pronounced in its overcrowded urban areas. These problems are the worst in the nation’s capital, Lima, where our affiliated project, the Puente Piedra Girls’ Home, is located.

Established by an order of nuns, the home offers girls ages five to twenty-two shelter and a safe place to receive a quality education all within the same vicinity. Today, the Puente Piedra Girls’ Home serves over a thousand children in kindergarten through twelfth grade and is run by a dedicated staff of educators — many of whom grew up in our sponsorship program.

Seeing Lima for the first time

When International Director of Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I arrived in Peru, we made our way to the Puente Piedra neighborhood to meet with our volunteer coordinator, Sister Ana Maria.

Located about an hour’s drive outside of the center of Lima, the extreme poverty in the sprawling urban areas was apparent just from looking out the window of the moving taxi.  Small shacks made of wood and corrugated tin towered above the highway perched dusty hills. For these low-income families, their only option was to build homes without permission in places where no one else wanted to live. As these communities became more established, locals would then ban together to collect money to build roads or towering staircases leading up to houses — things that the government might otherwise do if these shantytowns were legally recognized.

When we arrived at Puente Piedra, Ana Maria took us on a tour of the beautiful facility. Well-kept dormitories were divided by age groups, and a house mother was assigned to each dorm to look after the children. An adjacent school offered classrooms, a library and a computer lab. The spacious grounds also had plenty of places for girls to play, with trees and gardens surrounding all the school buildings.

No other place to go

Ana Maria explained to Luis and me that many of these girls come from homes where they are neglected because either they have no immediate family to take care of them or their families are so poor they cannot feed and clothe their children properly.

For these girls, living full time at Puente Piedra allows them to thrive under circumstances under which they otherwise would have ]  not been able to attend school and prevents them from experiencing the poverty their parents’ experience. Even on school holidays, most of the girls stay at the home, having no reason to return to their families where they would have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.

Former sponsored children the next generation

We made our way to the school administration offices, which are centered among basketball and volleyball courts, where hundreds of students were enjoying recess.

As we approached the principal’s office, a teacher arrived and introduced herself as a former sponsored child. Luis and I were pleased to meet her, listening to her talk about her fond memories of her sponsors, even remembering their name after more than 30 years.

A moment later, another teacher appeared and greeted us as a former sponsored child as well. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by ten administrators — including the principal — who had all been in the Children Incorporated program.

For these women, the motivation and encouragement, as well as the financial support they received from the sponsors, gave them a reason to stay in school, graduate, continue onto higher education, and return to Puente Piedra to lead other girls to success.

*** 

HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN PERU?

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

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility, commonly referred to as CSR, is a business model that helps companies, both big and small, be socially accountable to themselves, its stakeholders, and the public. It is a practical and socially conscious way for companies to give back to society.

Corporate social responsibility initiatives that support children in need are an important part of giving back to your community and the world.

There are typically four types of CSR:

–    environmental sustainability initiatives

–    direct philanthropic giving

–    ethical business practices

–    economic responsibility

Pyramid of corporate social responsibility

The modern definition of CSR is derived from the book, “Pyramid of Corporate Responsibility,” by Archie Carroll, a well-known business professor at the University of Georgia.

In his book, Carroll states that, within this pyramid, a corporation has four types of responsibilities. The first is the economic responsibility to be profitable. The second is the legal responsibility to obey the law. The third is the ethical responsibility to do what is right, even when not legally required, and the fourth is the philanthropic responsibility to give back to society for social, educational, recreational and/or cultural purposes.

Common examples of CSR

  • Reducing carbon footprints
  • Improving labor policies
  • Participating in Fairtrade
  • Charitable giving
  • Volunteering in the community
  • Implementing corporate policies that benefit the environment
  • Engaging in socially and environmentally conscious investments

Benefits of corporate social responsibility

CSR is not only beneficial for society; it’s also beneficial for corporations and their employees as well.

A few benefits of CSR include:

  • better brand recognition
  • positive business reputation
  • increased sales and customer loyalty
  • greater ability to attract talent and retain staff
  • increased creativity within the workplace

CSR supporting children in need

Corporate social responsibility initiatives that support children in need are an important part of giving back to your community and the world.

By partnering with us as a corporate sponsor, you help meet the needs of the children we serve so that they may grow, learn and have the opportunities in life that they deserve. Additionally, our organization can promote the partnership to increase your company’s brand recognition.

Most often, companies choose to sponsor a whole project rather than individual children. This approach allows a company to have a significant impact on the lives of many children and even on whole communities. We aim to work with you as a team to bring basic needs assistance and programs that teach self-sustainability to children and communities in need.

Corporate social responsibility examples that support children

Our work supports children around the world. Over the past years, corporate partners have allowed us to:

Internationally:

–    Support five feeding programs serving over 300 children in the Philippines, Kenya and Ethiopia

–    Fund the construction of housing in Honduras

–    Purchase 600 pairs of shoes for children in Latin America

–    Provide 1800 mosquito nets for children in Kenya

–    Build a roof over a school playground to protect children from harsh weather in El Salvador

–    Implement a food preparation skills training program in Bolivia and a dressmaking program in Guatemala

–    Construct a classroom equipped with audio-video equipment in Argentina

–    Improve the infrastructure of a girls’ home in India including upgrades to the kitchen, halls, dorms, bathrooms and the roof

United States:

–     Provide backpacks full of food for children to take home on the weekends in New Mexico, Arizona and Kentucky

–    Assist with beds for children in need in our Appalachian and Urban Division

–    Purchase equipment for a STEAM Lab in Eastern Kentucky

–    Send children to a district-wide summer arts camp in Kentucky

–    Purchase iPads for children in Kentucky

–    Provide audiobooks and matching paperbacks for students in Arizona

If your company is interested in partnering with Children Incorporated to begin or expand your engagement in CSR, contact us today. Together, we can change the lives of children living in poverty and give them education, hope and opportunity.

Call our office at 1-800-538-5381 to speak with one of our staff members or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

***

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 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. It 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 a wing of a local hospital in Santiago called Teleton. Teleton 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. The Center is the rehabilitation wing of the hospital. 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 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, technicians and nurses 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 Center, sponsored children receive school supplies, food, and clothing and transportation allowances so they can participate in regular therapy sessions. Over the years, children and their parents have expressed gratitude for the support they received from sponsors, as it lowered the family burden on treatment expenses.

***

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

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 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 new 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 do accomplish in the future

Although an academically progressive school, the principal expressed to Luis that he still struggled 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 summer and winter months for outdoor activities.

***

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

Escaping a Poor Education

In the town of Santa Tecla, located six miles west of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, our affiliated project, the Marillac School is providing children with the opportunity to receive an education — and a quality one at that.

Communities and schools around the world face barriers in providing children with a quality education.

Founded in 1940 by the Sisters of the Order of St. Vincent de Paul, the school serves as not only an escape from the harsh realities local students face growing up in poverty but an escape from poor public education or no education at all.

Considered a semi-private institution, the administrators of the Marillac School — with sponsorship support from the Children Incorporated program — work hard to ensure that kids are receiving basic needs and the best education that they can provide. This gives our sponsored and unsponsored children the opportunity to succeed.

What constitutes poor education?

Children at the Marillac School during recreation time

Communities and schools around the world face barriers to providing children with a quality education. Lack of adequate funding to educational institutions can lead to overcrowded classrooms with little or no resources for students. Untrained teachers, lack of proper food and improper classroom facilities can also significantly affect children’s ability to learn.

The consequences of an inadequate education

What are the consequences of an inadequate education? Poor education can lead to illiteracy. It also inhibits children from qualifying for higher education or being prepared to join the workforce later in life. Children who aren’t properly education tend to be less healthy than those who do and are susceptible to turning towards crime and remaining in poverty in adulthood.

A better chance at a future

For impoverished children around the world, like those at the Marallic School, the benefits of quality education are tremendous.

Higher quality of education are associated with positive outcomes such as better health and well-being and a greater interest in politics and social issues. Students who attend quality schools gain a competitive advantage at getting jobs upon graduation, which can lead to a higher income and the chance for a family to break the cycle of poverty. Quality education also can discourage crime because when educated, children feel a sense of hope and opportunity for a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.

***

How do I sponsor a child in El Salvador?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Understanding South Korea

South Korea sits in the lower half of a mountainous peninsula in East Asia. Although it emerged as an autonomous country in the aftermath of World War II, its rich culture and heritage reach back thousands of years.  Today, this nation (with a population density ten times higher than the global average) is renowned for its technological advancements.

Many orphaned children needs support with basic needs to ensure they are able to get an education and receive the same opportunities as other children in South Korea. 

However, more than half a century after the Korean War armistice, South Korea is still haunted by the ghosts of its turbulent past.  The Korean War (1950-1953) devastated South Korea, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives — both military and civilian — and leaving thousands of children orphaned. Despite having a relatively low child poverty rate, especially compared to developing countries, many orphaned children need support with basic needs to ensure they are able to get an education and receive the same opportunities as other children in South Korea. 

Facts about South Korea

  • Population: 51,418,097 (July 2018 est.)
  •   Languages: Korean, with English widely taught in junior high and high school
  • Poverty rate:  14.4% (2016 est.)
  • Unemployment rate:  3.7% (2017 est.)
  • Capital: Seoul
  • Currency: South Korean Won

Where we work in South Korea 

In South Korea, Children Incorporated supports the following projects in Seoul and Busan:

Dong San Children’s Home, Grace Children’s Home, Hee Rak Children’s Home, Hyungje Children’s Home, Iri Children’s Home, Jin Woo Children’s Home, Kang Nam Children’s Home, Kwangju Ae Yuk Children’s Home, Sae Dul Children’s Home, Shin Mang Ae Children’s Home, So Jun Children’s Home, Sun Duk Children’s Home, Sung Ae Children’s Home, Yong Jin Children’s Home, Yung Shil Ae Yuk Children’s Home, Zion Children’s Home

Read more about our affiliated projects in Korea

Conserving Energy in South Korea

Visiting Lebanon and South Korea

Extraordinary Homes in Busan

Time to Depart

Surrounded By Beauty in the Land of the Morning Calm

How you can help children in South Korea 

You can help a child living in poverty in South Korea in a few different ways. One way is through our child sponsorship program. Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and school tuition payments.

Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and school tuition payments.

This vital support allows impoverished, vulnerable children to develop to their full potential — physically, emotionally and socially. Sponsors positively impact the lives of the children they sponsor by assuring them that someone cares about their well-being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.

Our policy has always been to consider the needs of each sponsored child on an individual basis. We work closely with our volunteer coordinators at our project sites in South Korea who are familiar with the circumstances and needs of every child in their care. Sponsorship donations are sent to our projects — orphanages, homes, community centers and schools — at the beginning of each month in the form of subsidy stipends. Our on-site volunteer coordinators use those funds to purchase items for children in our program to ensure that they have what they need to do their very best and succeed in school.

SPONSOR A CHILD IN SOUTH KOREA

***