Tag Archives: education

Aiding Ricardo in El Salvador

One reason Children Incorporated is so special is because of our ability to help children around the world with their particular needs – largely due to the closeness that our volunteer coordinators have with children in our program.

One reason Children Incorporated is so special is because of our ability to help children around the world with their particular needs.

Last year, we received sponsorship enrollment information for a little boy named Ricardo at the Laboure School in El Salvador. In the comment section of his forms, our volunteer coordinator at the school indicated that Ricardo is deaf in his left ear, is partially deaf in his right ear, and that he needed hearing aids.

Our international programs department contacted our volunteer coordinator at Ricardo’s school immediately upon finding out about Ricardo’s situation to see if Children Incorporated could help. Soon after, we sent Hope In Action Funds to get Ricardo the hearing aids he needed — and shortly after that, Ricardo was matched with sponsor!

About El Salvador

Ricardo is pictured with his new hearing aids.

Abundant in rivers, lakes, and fertile, tropical farmland, El Salvador’s wealth of natural beauty traverses a vast central plateau bordered by Pacific coastal plains to the south and rugged mountains to the north. For centuries, several Mesoamerican nations called this land home, including the Lenca, Olmec, Maya, and Pipil/Cutcatlec. However, this smallest and most densely populated Central American nation is particularly susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and it has been plagued by chronic political and economic instability for more than a century. High unemployment rates, rising inflation, organized crime, and a soaring birthrate leave many Salvadorans to live in abject poverty. The nation’s capital, San Salvador, is no exception to these maladies.

About the Laboure School

The Laboure School serves as a beacon of hope to this impoverished community. Although originally founded in 1934 as an orphanage for girls, today it operates solely as a school, providing a well-rounded education and moral support to both boys and girls of the city of San Salvador. The school offers children here an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.

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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.

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Meeting Girls’ Needs in India and Kenya

When we consider the needs of our sponsored children, we especially need to consider the particular needs of young girls who might not have access to feminine hygiene products while living in poverty — most likely because their families can’t afford them. When young ladies don’t have access to sanitary napkins, they often skip school to stay home which can be detrimental to their education.

“As we know, girls face a great number of difficulties when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. We really appreciate your contribution to help and support our children during these hard times.”

Throughout the 2021 year, we focused on providing supplies of sanitary napkins to girls at our affiliated projects in Kenya and India on a continuous basis — in large part thanks to our long-time partner, Altar’d State — so that they may remain in attendance at school throughout the year.

According to their website, “Altar’d State is a rapidly growing women’s fashion brand with more than 100 boutiques in 30 states. They offer a place of respite and a distinctive shopping experience with the latest fashion finds, the most sought-after accessories, charming home decor and gifts.”

Additionally, the company seeks to “inspire through action and supports a mission of standing out for good in the world” — which they have done by donating to Children Incorporated with a focus on providing feminine hygiene items to hundreds of girls around the world.

A letter from India

Upon receiving funding from Altar’d State to purchase hygiene items for sponsored children at the St. Mary’s School for Girls in India, our volunteer coordinator writes:

Girls at the Dandora Centre in Kenya pose with their feminine hygiene kits

“Thank you very much for allowing us to be able to purchase 103 sanitary napkin packets which can be used for up to six months. As we know, girls face a great number of difficulties when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. We really appreciate your contribution to help and support our children during these hard times. Also, all our children have conveyed their highest regards to the concerned donors and once again thank you so much for your kindness.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Rao”

Stats about Girls and Feminine Hygiene

Why is it so important to support girls and their healthy menstrual hygiene? According to the Days for Girls website, “period poverty is a term used to describe the lack of access to adequate menstrual health management supplies and education for women and girls. Many families are unable to afford feminine hygiene products because of how expensive they are. This lack of resources and supplies for menstrual health can have negative consequences on girls.”

Additionally, poor menstrual hygiene can cause physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections (UNICEF). It also inhibits girls from reaching their full potential — young girls who do not receive an education are more likely to enter child marriages and experience an early pregnancy, malnourishment, domestic violence, and pregnancy complications as a result.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated 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.

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A Year Later and a Lot of Big Changes

In early 2021, we were fortunate to partner with the Jeunesse Foundation to support children in our projects around the world. A year later, we look back at what we have been able to accomplish thanks to their support.

Our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, writes about the projects we have supported abroad:

It has been a great success to have tablets for the children, and a blessing to be able to access virtual education in a better and more suitable way.

“Tablets were distributed to children at affiliated programs in Colombia, Brazil, and Peru over the past year, thanks to the Jeunesse Fund. Due to COIVD-19, most children in Latin America were forced to receive virtual education with no digital platform and no personal computers. The idea to provide tablets came through a conversation about the difficulties children were having accessing education with little to no resources. Children were using their parents’ smart phones, when available, to complete their lessons using radio, television, and digital apps that required costly internet access. With tablets, the children would have the tools to access these apps through public internet channels, without having to share their parents’ phones. It has been a great success to have tablets for the children, and a blessing to be able to access virtual education in a better and more suitable way.

A new school in Bolivia

A child in Peru poses with a tablet that was given to him thanks to our partnership with the Jeunesse Foundation.

Jeunesse has also agreed to contribute to the building of an agricultural technical training center in Bolivia. It was built in a a rural area, about a two-hour car drive away from the city of Santa Cruz, and provides agricultural training to local children and adults so that they will not have to leave the town and go to the big city, which is just too far from their home. The center sits on enough land for agricultural training, and has a school building, a barn, mostly for bovine production, a chicken house, a pig pen, a fishery, a bee farm, and a duck farm, so that the training program will be inclusive and comprehensive.

In this area of Bolivia, families are totally dependent on agricultural production, so the center provides training in the areas that will generate the most business for the locals. The funds from Jeunesse were directed for the construction of two of the school’s classrooms, along with a set of toilets.

The Montero School also submitted a proposal to expand their educational facility to implement an agricultural training program. The proposal included a request for funds to purchase land to use for practical training, since the current facility only had a building for theoretical and academic education. The construction of classrooms for practical training was the priority, followed by the construction of a barn for bovine training, a pig pen for porcine training, a chicken coop for training in poultry production, and the reconditioning of existing fishponds for fish production.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Jeunesse Kids Foundation. They have helped make big changes for so many children and families in our program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children Incorporated has allocated funding from other sources to purchase land and facilities for the other areas of production, such as the barn, the pig pen etc., as well as finding a source of water and electricity for the program’s use. It has also allocated funding to purchase animals and basic equipment and tools for educational purposes. The construction has been completed, and the Montero School is now in the subsequent phase of reconditioning the land and planting vegetables, fruit trees, and permanent forestry, while awaiting some additional funding support for administration and maintenance costs, food for the animals, and fencing the facility.”

We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Jeunesse Kids Foundation. They have helped make big changes for so many children and families in our program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you again for all you have done!

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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.

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An Overwhelming Positive Change

Today, we want to share a letter of hope and inspiration from one of our many incredible volunteer coordinators from around the world. If there was ever any doubt of the power of sponsorship, Teresa, at Floyd Central High School in Kentucky, confirms with a sweet letter just how much sponsors mean to children in our program:

If there was ever any doubt of the power of sponsorship, Teresa, at Floyd Central High School in Kentucky, confirms with a sweet letter just how much sponsors mean to children in our program.

“Dear Children Incorporated Staff and Sponsors,

First of all, I want to say thank you for everything that your organization does for our students. Your sponsorship program has been such a blessing. I am not a big fan of shopping; however, I love seeing the students’ faces when they are given new clothes and shoes. They especially enjoy receiving items for their birthdays and Christmas. Because of their sponsors’ generosity, all of my Children Incorporated-enrolled kids receive new clothing and shoes at back-to-school, Christmas, and springtime. In addition, each receives a Thanksgiving and Christmas food basket.

Our school was also fortunate to receive two grants from your Hope In Action Fund. I collaborated with the other schools in our county, as well as local partners, such as our Health Department and Extension Office, for these initiatives. The first was a New/Expectant Parents Fair. Each participant received a bag filled with important information, as well as a new book for the baby, diapers, wipes, and more.

Teresa sent photos of packed supplies waiting to go out to students, thanks to a donation from our Hope In Action Fund.

To encourage participation, there were also door prizes, such as baby monitors, car seats, play yards, and developmental toys. These babies will be our kindergarteners in just a few short years. The second initiative was a Family Fun Night. Our schools’ coordinators shopped for and provided good old fashioned board games (like Hi Ho Cherry-O, Jenga, Monopoly, UNO, etc.), pizza kits, and snacks to promote family bonding and less screen time. Both initiatives were handled via socially distanced “Drive Thru & Pick Ups” during the pandemic.

Finally, I would like to show how the sponsors are making such a huge difference in the lives of our students by sharing a story. I have one young man about whom I was approached by two of his teachers. They had concerns in regards to his appearance and hygiene. They said something had been off with him since we returned to school.

“Our principal spoke of this young man and what an amazing difference she has seen in just a short amount of time. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of his sponsor.”

I met with this young man, and of course he said everything was fine. He kept his head down for most of our meeting. I noticed this young man had severe acne, and I was sure this was a part of his low self-esteem. I tried to make contact with his mom via phone and then again on a home visit, but with no luck. This student missed an excessive amount of school. Then I noticed the student seemed to be making a connection with our new JROTC officer, so the officer and I worked together, coming up with a plan to help this young man and to gain his trust.

With the generosity of his sponsor, I was able to purchase him new clothing, shoes, hygiene items – and now acne medicine, too. Slowly, this young man started coming around and being more involved with school and the JROTC program. There has been just an overwhelming positive change in this student’s life. He had never participated in anything and never had many friends. This year he came to and even danced at the Military Ball. At our end of the year staff dinner, our principal spoke of this young man and what an amazing difference she has seen in just a short amount of time. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of his sponsor.

With sincere thanks,

Teresa”

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How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

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

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Making the Year Extraordinary for Children in Need

Today, we want to share a letter from our volunteer coordinators in Letcher County, Kentucky, who want to express their gratitude for everything that our sponsors have done for the children in our program over the last year.

Children Incorporated has made a big impact in the lives of these students.

A note from Jennifer

“Dear Staff and Sponsors,

Letcher County Central High School, our Youth Services Center, and our students would like to thank Children Incorporated and its sponsors for all they have done for our students throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The program has been a great asset.

The unprecedented COVID event of the past year and a half has been difficult for all of us, especially our children. Their daily struggles with life took on new meaning as students coped with isolation, spotty internet service for virtual instruction, lack of personal contact with teachers, and no social interactions with peers. The support from Children Incorporated enabled us to purchase clothing, shoes, and hygiene items. Our Children Incorporated families were provided with Thanksgiving dinner in their own homes. The Christmas holiday was merrier due to the generosity of the sponsors, enabling us to purchase for each student gifts of new shoes or boots and a Christmas stocking filled with candy, gloves, and hygiene items. Some sponsors sent additional gifts for their students as well.

Our sponsors have helped change the lives of many students who live in Letcher County, Kentucky and attend the local public schools

Two seniors graduated from the program this spring. They had wonderful sponsors throughout their high school years. One sponsor sent the student a gift card and fleece blanket for graduation. The other sponsor sent money, with which we purchased three sets of nursing scrubs for the student’s nursing program.

Children Incorporated has made a big impact in the lives of these students. Our families struggle daily with unmet needs, but through your organization some of those needs can be met and our students benefit emotionally, physically, and socially. We look forward to working with Children Incorporated in the coming school year.”

Sincerely,
Jennifer

A sweet story from Genevieve

“Dear Children Incorporated,

This is such a cute story that I had to share it with you.

Taylor* and his family happen to live 52 miles from Jackson, the little town where our school is located. They live way up in a hollow, and to reach their home, you have to drive to the end of a pavement drive, then to the end of gravel, then drive through the creek, jump on an old 4-wheeler and cross a hill.

The mother was explaining how badly Taylor wanted Hot Rod magazines – and you had sent exactly enough to purchase one this month with your thoughtful additional gift funds. Usually with your extra gifts I get him laundry soap, coloring books, art supplies, or ear buds.

It worked out great! Taylor was floored when he came to pick up items Tuesday with his mom. They only get to come out to town once a month to grocery shop. He was so excited.  He said, “How did my sponsor know?” So, I made him sit down and write that thank you letter on the spot and ask you. He said, “Is she psychic?” I am encouraging his interest in these magazines, as it builds his reading skills.

Thank you so much for your help, and especially during this extraordinary school year.”

Sincerely,
Genevieve

*Name changed to protect the child.

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

35 Years of Helping Children in Sri Lanka

We recently received an update from our volunteer coordinator at the Touch a Life with Hope Center in Sri Lanka, who took the time to share with us the history of the organization, as well discuss some of the ways they have been able to help some of the most vulnerable girls in Colombo — in large part thanks to our sponsors.

“It is with great pride and hope that I present this report of the Touch a Life with Hope Center, as this year marks the 35th year of the home since its inception.

From the entire staff of the Touch a Life with Hope Center, thank you to all the Children Incorporated sponsors for their support.

Touch a Life with Hope Center is managed by the Shilpa Children’s Trust. Empowering the lives of the girls that walk through our doors via a sound education remains a priority at the Center. Nurturing and uplifting girls through love, care, proper nutrition and guidance is our main goal. We strive to inculcate the values and the skills essential to live as a contributing member of society, and it is our fervent wish that when it is time for our girls to leave the Center that they join the community as mature independent young women.

Past to Present

“It is with pride that we remember the path travelled so far. The Touch a Life with Hope Center was established in 1987. It was the brainchild of a group, mostly of educationists led by Mrs. Sujatha Gunasekera, who took on the challenge to give protection to a group of children affected by the atrocities of the civil war.

Girls at the Touch a Life with Hope Center receive a well-rounded education, in large part thanks to their sponsors.

With minimal resources, they were able to temporarily house around hundred children who were brought in from the war-torn areas, providing shelter, nourishment, clothing and a safe environment. In addition, building up their educational needs and skills, always a high priority, was cherished and served as the backbone of its mission statement.

In 1988, we were allocated land in Narahenpita, on a 30-year lease, and a basic shelter was built to accommodate 25 of the girls who had greatest need for a home.  Since then, the Touch a Life with Hope Center has made great strides in its progress. Alongside the focus on education, individual talent and skills were recognized and development of these given importance for the overall well-being of a child. Space was created into the overall design of the Center to provide an area for the girls to be able to practice dance, music, drama and art. In 2002, we were fortunate in securing a three-year grant from international donor agencies, such as European-Commission and ICT (International Childcare Trust, UK) to build a comfortable and spacious home for fifty girls as well as a vocational center.

Continuing their work into the future

With the 2004 Tsunami affecting a greater part of the South coast, and thousands of children being orphaned, the Touch a Life with Hope Center, while adhering to the government regulation of keeping the children in their home environment, proposed and implemented a sustainable program to support 350 children for a period of four years. This was yet another milestone in the history of the Center.

Alongside the focus on education, individual talent and skills were recognized and development of these given importance for the overall well-being of a child.

Along with this ambitious project, between 2004 to 2009, many other proposals were written, and funds received to help communities within and around the community where the Center is located. Within these were micro financing, agriculture and home gardening, silting and cleaning of canals and supporting a school for children with Down Syndrome in the area — in total, over 10,000 lives were impacted through this project over the four years.

Through all of our development, Children Incorporated has been a crucial part in supporting our efforts and ensuring that the girls who are in attendance at the Center are receiving clothes, food, school supplies and hygiene items — all which contribute to their overall health and ability to do well in school. From the entire staff of the Touch a Life with Hope Center, thank you to all the Children Incorporated sponsors for their support.”

About Sri Lanka  

Sponsored children pose outside of the Touch a Life with Hope Center.

The island nation of Sri Lanka is located just east of India’s southern tip. It has been known by many names over the centuries, but it fittingly derives its current name from the Sinhalese words meaning “resplendent island.” Amidst its tropical rainforests, coastal plains and south-central highlands, Sri Lanka boasts the highest biodiversity density in Asia, with roughly a quarter of its thousands of species of plant life and mammals existing nowhere else on the planet. Prehistoric settlements suggest that humans have also called this land home for thousands of years. Its strategic location and deep ports made it an important part of the ancient Silk Road and even tactical grounds in World War II.

Today, in the wake of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization, Sri Lanka maintains its rich and ancient cultural heritage, comprising diverse ethnic groups, languages and religions. Despite its many advances, internal ethnic tensions remain active in Sri Lanka. In 1983, these culminated in 26 years of insurgencies and civil war, which, along with reports of corruption and widespread abuses of civil rights — not to mention the devastating tsunami of 2004 — left the nation reeling. Despite a recovering economy, Sri Lanka is still plagued by widespread poverty and its devastating effects.

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 How do I sponsor a child in Sri Lanka?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD