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A Quality Education for Children in Bolivia

The small landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises the rugged Andes Mountains and vast high-altitude plateaus to the west, including a portion of Lake Titicaca – the largest high-altitude lake in the world. To the east are the lush lowland plains of the Amazon Jungle. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, Bolivia bears the scars of centuries of conflict, beginning with the Spanish conquistadors, and followed by almost 200 years of wars and internal military coups. Political and economic instability have brought about considerable poverty there, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime, and disease.

Yotala, an agricultural suburb of Sucre, is no exception to these hardships. The area is prone to drought, which not only diminishes crop yield, but it also forces families to purchase water for drinking and bathing. Many people in this community are very poor; they rarely manage to grow enough food to feed their families, much less to sell at the market. The Santa Rosa School was founded to assist the children of Yotala’s subsistence farming families. The school teaches core academic subjects, and it has received recognition in Bolivia with high honors for its biology and geography classes.

Children need to attend school to succeed; but more critically, they must attend schools where they are being taught by trained professionals – which is just the case at the Santa Rosa School.

A great institution

Children need to attend school to succeed; but more critically, they must attend schools where they are being taught by trained professionals – which is just the case at the Santa Rosa School. There are sixteen professors at the school – a large number compared to many schools – which means that the children there are attending a great institution where they learn daily and are prepared for moving on to receive a higher education.

Not only is the Santa Rosa School acclaimed for its academics, but it also offers skills training in such areas as weaving, agronomy, dressmaking, carpentry, computer literacy, and hairdressing. The school encourages parental involvement. Since many parents of students there are illiterate or only speak Quechua, the school offers them educational courses, along with general courses on parenting skills and nutrition – all of which afford them the opportunity to obtain better jobs and earn a greater income, which is helpful for their entire families.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN BOLIVIA?

 

You can sponsor a child in Bolivia one of three ways – call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; e-mail us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in Bolivia that is available for sponsorship.

Understanding Bolivia

The small landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises the rugged Andes Mountains and vast high-altitude plateaus to the west, including a portion of Lake Titicaca – the largest high-altitude lake in the world. The lush lowland plains of the Amazon Jungle are found to the east. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, Bolivia bears the scars of centuries of conflict, beginning with the Spanish conquistadors and followed by almost 200 years of wars and internal military coups.

Political and economic instability have brought about considerable poverty there, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime, and disease. For these reasons, Children Incorporated supports hundreds of children in Bolivia each year, providing them with basic necessities so that they have the opportunity to go to school and succeed.

Facts about Bolivia

– Population: 10.1 million (UN, 2011)

– Capital: Sucre (official), La Paz (administrative)

– Largest city: Santa Cruz

– Area: 1.1 million square kilometers, or 424,164 square miles

60% of Bolivians live below the poverty line. In rural areas, the numbers are even more dramatic. 3 out of every 4 people living in these areas suffer from poverty.

– Major languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani

– Major religion: Christianity

– Life expectancy: 65 years for men, 69 years for women (UN)

– Monetary unit: the boliviano

– Main exports: soybeans, natural gas, zinc, gold, silver, lead, tin, antimony, wood, sugar

Facts about child poverty in Bolivia

 It is estimated that 2.5 million children live in conditions of poverty. The causes of mortality in children under the age of 5, according to the Ministry of Health, are directly associated with poverty. 36% of these deaths occur as a result of diarrheal diseases, and an estimated 28%, as a result of malnutrition.

 – According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the poverty in Bolivia is among the worst in South America. Economic growth and opportunities to make a living are most commonly found in urban areas, making it difficult for indigenous farmers, inhabitants of more remote areas with fewer people, to market their products and provide for their families.

– 60% of Bolivians live below the poverty line. In rural areas, the numbers are even more dramatic. 3 out of every 4 people living in these areas suffer from poverty.

– One reason for the extreme poverty lies in Bolivia’s geography: many of the country’s roads are undeveloped, so farmers have difficulty transporting their products to sell them in markets outside of town – which, in turn, negatively impacts their families and the communities in which they live.

– It is estimated that 70% of the rural population and 30% of the urban population are illiterate.

– The incomes of nearly two-thirds of households are too low to afford the minimum amount of food necessary for healthy living.

-12% of school-age children in Bolivia are not attending school.

Where we work

In Bolivia, we affiliate with fourteen projects in three major cities and their surrounding areas: Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Sucre. Santa Cruz is Bolivia’s largest city. Sucre, Bolivia’s constitutional capital, retains much of the flavor of Spanish colonialism, including many buildings erected by the conquistadors, and the second-oldest university in Latin America. At 12,000 feet above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world.

How you can help in Bolivia

You can help a child living in poverty to receive an education 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. 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 through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well-being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.

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

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, who are familiar with each individual circumstance and the 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.

You can also help children in Bolivia by donating to one of our special funds. Our special funds offer a variety of giving options for sponsors who wish to further their support, as well as for donors who wish to make a difference without making a commitment. In the past, thanks to donations to our Hope In Action Fund, we have been able to build classrooms, as well as homes for people living in poverty in Bolivia, greatly changing their lives for the better, and giving them the opportunity to become financially stable.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN BOLIVIA?

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

 References:

 https://www.unicef.org/bolivia/children_1540.htm

 https://borgenproject.org/poverty-in-bolivia/

 https://www.unicef.org/bolivia/children_1538.htm

Recovering for a Second Time

Located twenty minutes from downtown New Orleans, the city’s eastern 9th Ward is a tight-knit community of over 65,000 residents. “The East,” as most locals call it, started off in the 1960s as a suburban-style area within the city limits. Beginning in the mid-1980s, this region began to decline into a state of poverty. The city’s public schools system, notorious for being one of the worst in the country, only perpetuated the problem into the next generation. Then came the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In the storm’s wake, countless businesses – and even hospitals – opted not to re-open, leaving the residents of an already-troubled community severely underserviced. Recovery has been slow. In an area prone to crime and littered with abandoned buildings and homes, kids face significant barriers to their ability to succeed in school.

In addition to having difficulty concentrating in school, some of the children lost their homes for a second time in their young lives.

At the ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary School, staff work hard to help children overcome these obstacles. Founded in 1965, the school was originally part of the New Orleans public schools system. It became a ReNEW charter school in 2013; and today, it is the largest school in the city, with 875 children in grades kindergarten through eight. The dedicated faculty strives to innovatively prepare students for college and beyond, providing personalized attention to each student’s educational and non-academic needs. The ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary School also offers an advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) lab and a world-class library.

When disaster strikes

In February of 2017, a tornado severely damaged the ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary School building and the surrounding New Orleans East community. School was in session and children were in the building when the tornado struck.  The administration, faculty, and staff earned acclaim from city officials for keeping the children safe and maintaining order during the tornado, and no one was injured.

Renée with Erin and one of our sponsored children

After the storm was over, the school was vacated for repairs. As kids were shifted to a temporary facility, they found themselves in overcrowded classrooms that were cramped and uncomfortable. Some of the children suffered emotional trauma due to having experienced the tornado and the transition to a new school. Their test scores dropped as a result of these factors.

In addition to having difficulty concentrating in school, some of the children lost their homes for a second time in their young lives. Students who were in grades six and above had lived through Hurricane Katrina, and now they faced yet another natural disaster in their short lifetimes. 25 homes were damaged, and most of the families did not have renter’s insurance. As families worked to rebuild their lives, they lived with other families, often sleeping on couches in tight quarters.

Excited to read

Erin is our volunteer coordinator at ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary School. On a recent trip to visit the school, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, met with Erin. Erin told Renée that she loves our sponsorship program. While Erin focuses on providing basic needs such as clothing and shoes to our sponsored and unsponsored children, she is also a big believer in supporting literacy and a true love of reading. She participates in the Lollipop Book Club, through which she orders books for kids, and they receive a wrapped book and lollipop. Erin can shop for books by reader age or search by theme, such as John Newbery Medal winners. She said that the kids get really excited about their books.

Erin also expressed to Renée that she appreciates when sponsors send additional gifts to their sponsored children, because they allow her to take time to really be thoughtful and personal about the items she chooses for sponsored children. She often spends the extra funds on hygiene and grooming items – something that she feels the children need very often, especially while living in transitional environments.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW ORLEANS?

You can sponsor a child in New Orleans in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

The Perception of Giving

When Danielle* was a sponsored child with Children Incorporated, she dreamed of going to college – but her family couldn’t afford it. So before she graduated from high school, with the help of our volunteer coordinator at her school in Kentucky, Danielle applied for assistance from our Higher Education Fund.

Thankfully, because of our wonderful donors and supporters, we had the funds available to grant Danielle’s request for support; and she went on to pursue a degree in education at Morehead State University. At that time, Danielle said, “The Children Incorporated sponsorship program has really changed my life and my perception of giving. I want to share that with absolutely everyone that I can. Thank you all so much for everything that you do. I am grateful that the Children Incorporated program is giving me the opportunity to reach my dreams.”

“I am so grateful that someone saw the ability in me to spend day in and day out with ‘those kids’ – because I love them as my own.”
– Danielle

Helping troubled youth

After graduating from college in 2011, Danielle accepted a position teaching middle school students in Western Kentucky. Then, in 2016, ready for a new challenge, Danielle accepted a position teaching troubled youth in Tennessee. She wrote to our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, about her experience working with these special kids after her first year on the job.

Danielle stated, “Around this time a year ago, I interviewed for a position as a teacher at an alternative school in Knoxville. I never imagined what a wonderful fit the position would be for me – perhaps not until today, as my first school year comes to an end. Educators often look at the troubled children in school and want someone else to ‘deal with them’. Until working with these kids daily, I had also felt that way.”

A caring educator

Danielle continued, “But now, only two days into summer break, my mind is racing with questions: Are the kids hungry? Are they staying off the streets? Are they emotionally okay today? Has someone told them good morning and made them realize their value today? My strongest and weakest personality trait as an educator is that I care so very deeply. I tell my kids I love them daily, even when they seem unlovable. Creating a classroom that allows students to open up and share their stories is part of who I am as an educator – and do they ever share their stories!

Help children in need

Danielle is an advocate for her students.

“If I am not going to be there one day, I see the importance of letting them know that I will be absent, because for some of them, their teachers are their only stability. This time last year, I had no idea that I would be the teacher I am now. I am the one who cries for weeks after a student is arrested, because they possess so much value. I am the one who believes in the kids that no one ever believes in; the one who will stop class to help a student who is all out of sorts; and the one who makes it a priority to know every bit of a child’s life, and to help them work through difficulties. My students and co-workers have been my source of learning and growing this year. I am so grateful that someone saw the ability in me to spend day in and day out with ‘those kids’ – because I love them as my own.”

It is obvious that Danielle is a caring and outstanding educator, and that she is an advocate for her students. A lot of the questions that she asks about her troubled students are the exact same questions that our volunteer coordinators ask about the children enrolled in our sponsorship program. Here at Children Incorporated, we are so proud of Danielle. She is an amazing, self-supporting person who beautifully showcases the importance of both our sponsorship program and our Higher Education Fund.

*Name changed for individual’s protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN KENTUCKY?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

Getting to Know Africa

As an incredibly diverse continent, it is difficult to sum up Africa as a whole. Each of the 54 countries that Africa comprises is unique and distinctive in its own way, offering beautiful landscapes, rich histories, and varied cultures and customs. Spanning over 5,000 miles north to south and 4,800 miles east to west, Africa contains a wide array of religions and ethnic groups. Within each country, stark contrasts exist between rural areas and bustling cities. Known for its amazing natural wonders and safari adventures, which attract tourists from all over the world, Africa also faces a great deal of adversity, as many people there are plagued by extreme poverty, famine, and war.

Facts about Africa

– The African continent has the second-largest population in the world – about 1.2 billion people

– Over 1,000 languages are spoken by the people of Africa

– The most-practiced religion in Africa is Islam, followed by Christianity

– The oldest human remains ever discovered, thought to be approximately 200,000 years old, were found in Ethiopia

– The longest river in the world, the Nile (4,132 miles long), is located in Africa

– The world’s largest desert, the Sahara, which is almost the size of the United States, is in Africa

– Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in Africa, at 355 feet high and one mile wide

– Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, at over 19,300 feet

– Madagascar is the largest island in Africa, and it is the fourth-largest island in the world

– Africa is the second-largest continent on earth after Asia, at approximately 11.7 million square miles

– Africa is the hottest continent on earth

In Africa, we provide children and their families with mosquito nets to protect them against mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and dengue through our Mosquito Net Fund, and we support feeding programs through our International Feeding Programs Fund.

Understanding poverty in Africa

To understand our work in Africa, it is important to comprehend the struggles that the families of our sponsored and unsponsored children are facing on a daily basis as a result of poverty. Although Africa’s economy is improving, the continent is the poorest in the world, and many children and adults there are afflicted by hunger, disease, and a lack of basic necessities.

Facts about poverty in Africa

– 75% of the world’s poorest countries are located in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Liberia, and Ethiopia

– Diseases like HIV/AIDS are leaving kids orphaned at a very young age; an estimated 50 million orphans live in Africa

– Of all of the people in the world without access to clean water, almost 40% of them live in Africa

– Every day, almost 2,000 children die from diseases linked to unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation

Facts about hunger in Africa

 – Half of the continent’s population is children; an ever-increasing number is experiencing stunted growth due to the challenges of malnutrition

– More than 300 million children are chronically hungry, and more than 90% of those children suffer from long-term malnourishment and nutrient deficiency

– The average plot of land that a family living in poverty owns is too small for a garden that could help feed a family

Facts about child education in Africa

– Primary school enrollment in African countries is among the lowest in the world

– 33 million primary school-aged children in Sub-Saharan Africa do not go to school; 18 million of those children are girls

– Although literacy rates in Africa have greatly improved over the last few decades, approximately 40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of 25, are illiterate

– Children from the poorest households are 3 times more likely to be out of school than children from the richest households

Facts about child health in Africa

– Malaria kills 3,000 African children per day

– More than 90% of the estimated 300–500 million clinical cases of malaria that occur across the globe every year are documented in Africa – primarily in children under the age of 5

– Measles, malaria, and diarrhea are 3 of the biggest killers of children — yet all are preventable or treatable

– 270 million children have no access to healthcare

– 1 in 5 children in Africa lacks safe drinking water

 How you can help

You can help a child living in poverty in Africa to receive basic needs and an education so that they may have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty – and you can do so 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. 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 through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well-being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.

Sponsors positively impact the lives of the children they sponsor through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well-being.

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

You can also help children in need by donating to one of our special funds. In Africa, we provide children and their families with mosquito nets to protect them against mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and dengue through our Mosquito Net Fund, and we support feeding programs through our International Feeding Programs Fund. Our special funds offer options for sponsors who wish to further their support, as well as for donors who wish to make a difference without making a commitment.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN AFRICA?

 In Africa, we work in Kenya and Ethiopia. You can sponsor a child in Africa at one of our affiliated projects 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 search for a child in Kenya or Ethiopia who is available for sponsorship.

References:

 http://www.interesting-africa-facts.com
 http://www.aho.afro.who.int
http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/publication/poverty-rising-africa-poverty-report
https://www.children.org/global-poverty/global-poverty-facts/Africa
http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4a02d7fd6.html
https://thewaterproject.org/water-scarcity/water_stats#stats
https://www.gfmag.com/global-data/economic-data/the-poorest-countries-in-the-world
https://borgenproject.org/10-quick-facts-about-poverty-in-africa/
 http://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/child-health
http://www.allcountries.org/health/facts_about_health_in_the_african_region_of_who.html

What You Should Know About Child Poverty and Health

When parents aren’t able to provide adequately for their children, kids are subjected to health issues such as malnutrition and insufficient healthcare, which can lead to increases in school absences, tardiness rates, incidents of illness during class, and untreated health problems. Children from impoverished families are also more likely to be admitted to the hospital, which further increases the number of days on which they are absent from school. Poor families suffer from increased infant mortality rates, and poor children are more vulnerable to frequent and severe chronic diseases, like asthma, and they receive fewer immunizations.

Global child poverty and health facts

 – Maintaining good hygiene and wearing shoes are kids’ best defenses against life-threatening parasites

– More than 300 million children are chronically hungry, and more than 90% of those children suffer from long-term malnourishment and nutrient deficiency

– Every year, 3.1 million children (an average of 8,500 children per day) die due to poor nutrition

More than 300 million children are chronically hungry, and more than 90% of those children suffer from long-term malnourishment and nutrient deficiency.

National child poverty and health facts

– Poor children have increased infant mortality rates, more frequent and severe instances of chronic diseases such as asthma, poorer nutrition and growth rates, less access to quality healthcare, lower immunization rates, and increased obesity rates and the complications that accompany them

– The estimated percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure in 2015 is 12.7% (15.8 million households, or approximately 1 in 8)

What Children Incorporated is doing to support children’s health

By providing children with basic needs such as adequate clothes, shoes, hygiene items, and food, Children Incorporated supports their overall welfare. These essentials, which we help to provide to children in need on a monthly basis, are vital to a child’s growth and health, and inevitably to their success in school.

How you can help

You can help a child living in poverty in a few different ways. One is through our child sponsorship program. For $30 a month, you not only help meet the basic and critical needs of a child, but you also make an investment in their future.

Our policy has always been to consider the needs of each sponsored child on an individual basis, including when it comes to their health. We work closely with our volunteer coordinators at our project sites, who are familiar with each individual circumstance and the 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 onsite volunteer coordinators use the funds to purchase basic and education-related items for children in our program to ensure that they have what they need to do their very best and succeed in school.

You can also help children in need in the area of health by donating to our Mosquito Net Fund. In Kenya, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, and India, children need mosquito nets to protect them from mosquito-borne illnesses so that they’ll be healthy enough to attend school. Each year, we purchase thousands of nets, thanks to donors to our Mosquito Net Fund, which we distribute to our sponsored and unsponsored children and their families.

References:

http://nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html

http://nccp.org/publications/pub_1194.html

United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME). “UNICEF: Committing to Child Survival: A promise renewed.” UNICEF, 2014. Web Accessed February 25, 2015.

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/65766/2000369-Child-Poverty-and-Adult-Success.pdf

http://www.feedingamerica.org/assets/pdfs/fact-sheets/child-hunger-fact-sheet.pdf

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-education-and-poverty-america

https://borgenproject.org/10-facts-children-living-poverty/

https://www.unicef.org/sowc05/english/povertypossible.html

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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 donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.