Tag Archives: help children

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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A Letter from Lindsay

In today’s edition of On the Road, our volunteer coordinator, Lindsay, at Westover Hills Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, shares her story of the impact that sponsorship has on the children at her school over the last year:

Experiencing the impact

“Dear Children Incorporated Staff and Sponsors,

I have only been at Westover Hills (and with Communities in Schools) for two months, but I have already experienced the impact that Children Incorporated has on our community and families.

Thank you for allowing us to provide immediate support to a family who was experiencing lots of uncertainty, change, and loss.

My first week in Richmond, we had a family at our school who was displaced due to a rat infestation at their house. Children Incorporated was able to provide immediate support to allow me to purchase new clothes, socks, underwear, shoes and hygiene items for the children in this family who were now living in a motel. Most of their belongings and clothes had been ruined by the rats. Thank you for allowing us to provide immediate support to a family who was experiencing lots of uncertainty, change, and loss.

Special items for Jessica

One of the students in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, Jessica*, at my school has had perfect attendance all year! This is quite an achievement, especially during a virtual school year. Jessica lives in a motel but did not let wi-fi issues keep her from logging on and trying her best every single day this school year!

I was able to provide Jessica with some special items to keep her entertained this summer at the motel. These included a swimsuit, flips flops, goggles and towel to use at the pool, as well as several other games and craft kits.

Helping Jonathan and his family

Jonathan is a 5th grader who loves to draw. I was able to provide a special summer kit for Jonathan that included Telestrations (a fun drawing game for his whole family) as well as swim gear. His mom is eager to teach him and his siblings how to swim this summer!

Westover Hills Elementary School teachers in front of the school in Richmond, Virginia (photo courtesy of Twitter)

As we finished out the school year this past spring, Children Incorporated provided funding to put together summer kits for 25 kids at Westover Hills Elementary. These kits include things to help make their summer fun, educational, and a little more normal. They also have a personalized drawstring bag for each child filled with sunglasses, bubbles, books, a water bottle, Mad Libs, educational games, and outside summer toys. I can’t wait to see their faces when I deliver the summer kits next week.

Thanks to Children Incorporated, I was also able to provide cleaning supplies and a gift card to Wal-Mart for groceries for all the families on my Children Incorporated caseload. These families were so grateful for the products that we sometimes take for granted. One mom was in tears of appreciation as she unloaded the cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and toilet paper. A small gift can make a huge difference for these families!

Thank you for all that you do to support our students and families.

We appreciate you!
Lindsay”

*Names changed to protect the children.

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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Thanksgiving Meals for Kids and Their Families

Thanksgiving is a special time of year for many families in the United States, but for those living in poverty, the expense of purchasing food for the holiday can be something they just can’t afford.

Thankfully, for many of our sponsored children, we were able to provide funding from our Hope In Action Fund and our U.S. Feeding Program Fund to purchase meals to send home before Thanksgiving break.

Thankfully, for many of our sponsored children, we were able to provide funding from our Hope In Action Fund and our U.S. Feeding Program Fund to purchase meals to send home before Thanksgiving break. At the request of our volunteer coordinator at John M. Stumbo Elementary School, kids in our program received Thanksgiving meals including turkeys –totaling nearly $1800 in special food items. At Sparta Elementary School in North Carolina, our volunteer coordinator, Mandy, wrote:

“All of our Children Incorporated sponsored students are receiving a Holiday Meal Bag before the weekend. Each bag includes a country ham, a 10-lb bag of dried pinto beans, biscuit mix, cobbler mix, jam or jelly, fresh fruit – and a little bit of candy.  We are scheduling pick-ups now, and our parents and guardians have repeatedly expressed their gratitude to their children’s sponsors. Best wishes for a blessed, safe, and very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at Children Incorporated from all of us at Sparta Elementary School!”

From all of us at Children Incorporated, thanks to all of our sponsors and donors who helped make Thanksgiving a special holiday for children in need this year!

Pictured is a sponsored child in New Mexico receiving a Thanksgiving food box, thanks to his sponsor. Our amazing coordinator made home deliveries, as this project is still on fully remote instruction.

About John M. Stumbo

Nestled in eastern Kentucky’s coalfields region, Floyd County has one of the state’s highest populations – but also the state’s highest unemployment rate. Though situated on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau, where coal mining used to thrive and where rich coal veins still exist, the war on coal has devastated the local economy, causing many jobs and families to leave the area. Those who remain here face limited job opportunities, rampant poverty, and the devastating effects of the region’s drug epidemic. The small, close-knit community of Grethel is no exception to this grievous reality. In fact, it is estimated that a staggering 90% of area students have lost at least one family member to addiction.

For this reason, John M. Stumbo Elementary School serves as a safe haven where students not only receive a well-rounded education, but also encouragement from caring staff and the only warm, nutritious meals they may receive each day.

About Sparta Elementary

Just south of the Virginia-North Carolina state border, Alleghany County is nestled amid idyllic mountains, only a few miles from the only roadway to be designated part of a U.S. national park –  the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thousands of tourists pass through Alleghany County each year to glimpse its spectacular vistas. Despite Alleghany County’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the vast majority of its residents live well below the federal poverty line. Many local industries have closed in the past decade, and with a general lack of new employment opportunities, unemployment is escalating in Alleghany County.

This overwhelming poverty has debilitating effects on children of the region, affecting their self-esteem, health, and overall wellbeing. For this reason, Sparta Elementary School serves as a beacon of hope to its surrounding community. Students know Sparta Elementary as a place where they can count on receiving a hot meal, as well as respect, care, and a quality education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.

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How do I sponsor a child in the United States?  

You can sponsor a child in the United States 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 the United States that is available for sponsorship.

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Recycling to Support Families in Need

When Richard Graff became a donor with Children Incorporated this past summer, he had an interest in providing support to the Philippines — and came up with a creative way to raise funds through his work to do just that.

“What motivated me to donate to the Philippines is I have friends from the Philippines whom I have met through the fishing industry and learned of the struggles that occurred with COVID-19 occurring, so it seemed to be a good place to donate to,” said Mr. Graff.

We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Graff for this passion to improve the lives of impoverished children. These efforts have gone a long way to show the power of what one person can do to help others around the world.

Based out of Naknek, Alaska, Mr. Graff works for a landfill company in Bristol Bay Borough, which not only disposes of waste but helps residents recycle as much as possible. Mr. Graff came up with the idea of asking permission from his company to collect recyclable items as they came into the landfill – mostly copper and wire from older buildings or construction sites – and sell them to a company that could recuse or recycle them for a profit, then donate the proceeds to Children Incorporated.

“I found out about Children Incorporated through simply using Google to find out where I could donate to the Philippines,” explained Graff.

His employer agreed, and before he knew it, Mr. Graff had raised $3,000 to help children in need at the Visayans Community Center at Bliss in the Philippines. Thanks to Mr. Graff’s efforts, the Center has been able to provide emergency food, hygiene items and other resources to families who continue to struggle because of COVID-19. Rations of rice and clothes have been purchased, which has helped parents who have been unemployed or struggling to make money since the start of the pandemic.

We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Graff for this passion to improve the lives of impoverished children. These efforts have gone a long way to show the power of what one person can do to help others around the world.

About the Visayans Center

Thanks to Mr. Graff, children in the Philippines have already received food and other schools supplies to help them through the pandemic.

The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records. Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation, access to healthcare and access to potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic activity.

The large port city of Tacloban is no exception to these maladies. In the Bliss Housing Project in Sagkahan — a community established by the Filipino government for Tacloban’s poor — only fifteen percent of residents actually own the land on which they live. Most inhabit concrete dwellings, but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo and castoff boards. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss serves as a beacon of hope. Founded by the local group, Volunteer for the Visayans, the Center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare and promoting education. Especially in the wake of the devastation inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 — one of the worst storms to hit the area in a hundred years — Children Incorporated plays a vital role in this mission.

How Do I sponsor a child in the Philippines?

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

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Improving Nutrition in Morgan County

Often called the Bluegrass County of the Mountains, Morgan County is situated amid Kentucky’s picturesque, mountainous Eastern Coal Fields region. The county itself was first settled by Scotch and Irish immigrants during the eighteenth century and derives its name from an homage to Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan.

Despite its natural beauty and rich history, Morgan County suffers the socioeconomic issues associated with the widespread, debilitating poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment so tragically typical of Appalachia. There are few economic opportunities in the rural, small farming town of West Liberty today, and as a result, families who once relied upon farming and selling tobacco are now forced to find other means of employment to support themselves.

For students in this area, Morgan Central Elementary School serves as a beacon of hope, offering children a safe environment, a caring staff, and the chance to obtain a well-rounded education — things that we consider essential for success.

The idea is to improve students’ nutrition by exposing them to and encouraging them to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable snack at least three days each week,” said Renée.

Stretching her budget

“This school has around 300 children in grades Pre-K through 5th — our sponsorship program is run by our volunteer coordinator, Brittany,” explained Renée Kube, our Director of U.S. Programs.

“During my last visit to the school in 2019, Brittany told me that she prefers to shop for the children at the local Walmart because she can really stretch out her budget that way. She added that the kids are not picky or particular about designer brands and are happy to receive sturdy, decent, school clothes which Walmart can offer at a low price.”

A variety of fresh food

“Brittany was very excited to tell me about a grant the school had been awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant is called the FFVP, which stands for the ‘Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Program.’ The idea is to improve students’ nutrition by exposing them to and encouraging them to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable snack at least three days each week,” said Renée.

Our volunteer coordinoator, Brittany (left), is pictured with one of our sponsored children and Morgan Central Elementary School’s guidance counselor

“Because so many of the children have been minimally exposed to fresh fruit at home, often times they have never tried some of the fruits or vegetables offered. They are encouraged to try it, but students may choose not to partake if they don’t like what’s being served. The school is allowed to buy the produce at local grocery stores, or even to buy from farmers’ markets, if any exist in the area, which also helps small business.”

Going above and beyond to feed kids

Brittany explained that this program has been so helpful because food insecurity is a big problem in the county. To help even more, she has been running the ‘Pack A Snack’ food bag program every Friday. She uses large Ziploc bags and stuffs them with granola bars, ramen noodles, packaged peanut butter crackers, and micro-wavable mac and cheese. Brittany said her main food partner is Lacey Creek Church of Christ, but she would love to have more funds so that she could put more food in the bags,” said Renée.

“I was delighted to tell her about our U.S. Feeding Program that helps our affiliated projects with programs just like this, and that I would be happy for her to apply for additional assistance to ensure students are getting food to take home on the weekends in addition to what they are already receiving at school.”

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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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