Tag Archives: hope

Learning Outside the Classroom

We know very well here at Children Incorporated that all kids are not the same. It is one of the primary reasons for which we encourage our volunteer coordinators at each of our affiliated projects to decide what each individual sponsored child’s needs are, because we know that they vary based on differing circumstances. In one instance, for example, one of our volunteer coordinators found that the particular need of a special girl in New Orleans was educational games and activities to help her learn outside of a regular classroom setting.

Lori* lives with her father, who is a caring, involved single parent that attends all school events, according to our volunteer coordinator at Lori’s school, Brittany. Lori’s father is unemployed, and he is scarcely able to provide shelter for himself and his daughter, let alone anything else she might require, like clothes and shoes. Thanks to her sponsor, however, when Lori began the school year, she received new shirts and pants for her school uniform. Her father was so grateful for the help that Lori’s sponsorship provided.

Thanks to her sponsor, however, when Lori began the school year, she received new shirts and pants for her school uniform. Her father was so grateful for the help that Lori’s sponsorship provided.

Hours of fun

Beyond needing assistance with basic items, Brittany also found that Lori could use special help with her reading and writing. She was able to use some sponsorship funds to purchase a LeapPad tablet with educational games for Lori – and upon receiving it, Lori played and practiced diligently, and her grades began to improve across the board. Seeing Lori’s progress, Brittany then provided her with a three-month subscription for Surprise Ride boxes, which contain themed, hands-on learning activities, thanks to support from our Hope In Action Fund. These boxes provided Lori with hours of fun and educational activities, many of which she could do with her father at home after school!

When Brittany asked Lori what her favorite activity in the boxes was, Lori replied by saying, “My hands-down favorite was the penguin box, because I got to learn about Antarctica and to make snow!” We love hearing about how exciting it was for Lori to be learning, and that is not even the best part – since she received the educational activities and games, Lori’s grades have improved even more, and she exhibits greater confidence and pride while in class.

*Name changed for child’s protection.

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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.

Following the Harvest

While spending a few weeks visiting our affiliated projects in New Mexico last year, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, and U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, heard over and over that because there were so few job opportunities in the communities in and around the Navajo Nation, the parents of our sponsored and unsponsored children there often have no choice but to travel outside of town – and sometimes even to other states as far away as Colorado – to find work on farms during the harvest season.

It is not easy for parents to be away from their children; they are forced to rely on other family members, like grandparents, to help out, and to ensure that their kids get to school and are cared for. In many cases, when parents must leave town for work, their kids’ school year is interrupted by the need for them to switch to a school that has a dormitory in which they can stay during the school week. While meeting with our volunteer coordinators at two of the schools that our sponsored children attend, the Ojo Encino Day School and the Pueblo Pintado Boarding School, Renée found that they were no exception.

While visiting the school, our Volunteer Coordinator Nora told Renée that there are hardly any jobs in the community, aside from very few school administrator and school staff positions.

The Ojo Encino Day School

The Ojo Encino Day School is located in a remote area of north central New Mexico; even the nearest post office in Cuba, New Mexico is almost forty miles away. Though situated outside of the Navajo Nation’s boundaries, this area is still very much considered to be “Navajo Country”. While visiting the school, our Volunteer Coordinator Nora told Renée that there are hardly any jobs in the community, aside from very few school administrator and school staff positions. Many parents travel a few hours away, either to Farmington or Bloomington, for temporary work – or even farther away, to Durango, Colorado, if it’s the only option.

After they met one-on-one, Nora introduced Renée to two sponsored children in our program. First, Renée met Eleanor*, who loves having a sponsor. She is a hard-working student in the fourth grade, and Nora said that Eleanor is responsible and polite. Eleanor lives with her parents and five siblings; both parents are unemployed, and struggle to provide for their family on a limited amount of assistance. Eleanor loves school, and wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Next, Renée met Rachel*, who is also in the fourth grade. She is a little shy, but Nora said that she pushes herself to be a good leader and peer motivator for the other students. Rachel lives with her parents and little brother; her father has a low-paying job, and her mother is a homemaker. Their small house has no electricity or running water. Nora told Renée that both girls, like all of our sponsored children at the school, are very appreciative of their sponsors. The clothing and school supplies they receive mean so much to their health and education.

The Pueblo Pintado Boarding School

Our Volunteer Coordinator Cindra with two of our sponsored children at Pueblo Pintado

After visiting the Ojo Encino Day School, Renée traveled to the Pueblo Pintado Boarding School, which is 55 miles from Cuba. The school is one of Children Incorporated’s larger affiliated projects in New Mexico, with 263 children in attendance. While at the school, our Volunteer Coordinator Cindra told Renée that the harvest season affects the number of students enrolled in the school. It increases in the fall, during the potato season, when parents are away at work, because the students can stay in the dorm there during the week.

Cindra told Renée that one of her favorite aspects of our program is seeing the joy on the kids’ faces. She mentioned a little girl named Isabel*, who is in the second grade, and who loves shoes. Every time Isabel gets a new pair, thanks to her sponsor, she is overwhelmed with happiness.

Like all the children in our program, sponsored and unsponsored kids living in New Mexico face a great deal of adversity living in poverty; and it is even more challenging when parents have to travel for work during the harvest season, which creates a whole new set of obstacles for families. Thankfully, these children have their sponsors and our volunteer coordinators to offer them support throughout the year.

*Names changed for children’s protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW MEXICO?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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 Mesa that Turns

Dzilth Community Grant School is located in Bloomfield, New Mexico near one of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo Nation. The school was built in the late 1960s by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and then it was converted to community grant status in 2005. The Navajo name of the school, Dzilth-Na-O-Hle, translates to “The Mesa that Turns” in English; it refers to a nearby mesa – an isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides – which seems to turn as the observer walks around it. The campus has a dormitory for the kids who live too far away to go home every afternoon. About half of the students who attend the school, which serves grades kindergarten through eighth, board there each week.

Dzilth Community Grant School is one of our most successful projects in New Mexico, and has been for quite some time now. Dzilth is blessed with two outstanding coordinators, Phyllis and Karen.

Unlike many of the areas in New Mexico in which our affiliated schools are located, this region of the state has more work opportunities for parents who have an education, certain skills, and transportation to get to and from jobs. Some commute to work in farms around Bloomfield, or at an oil field project in nearby Bisti. Other parents make and sell beaded jewelry during the summer tourist season, and then pick potatoes in Durango, Colorado during the harvest season.

Although there are job opportunities, many of our sponsored and unsponsored children’s parents lack the education or skills needed to successfully compete in the job market. There are also many older grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. For these reasons, many of the families of children enrolled in our program are living in poverty, and struggle every day to make ends meet – so support from the Children Incorporated program means so much to them.

A successful project

Dzilth Community Grant School is one of our most successful projects in New Mexico, and has been for quite some time now. Dzilth is blessed with two outstanding coordinators, Phyllis and Karen. They are managing 87 children in our sponsorship program, and the school comprises one of our largest projects in the state. When our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, and U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, arrived at the school, Phyllis and Karen told them that the principal had said that they could meet with all the children enrolled in the Children Incorporated program in the library. A rare occurrence at projects in our U.S. Division, due to strict rules in school systems, Renée and Shelley were very grateful for the principal’s permission to pull the students out of class for a brief gathering.

Children at Dzilth Community Grant School are fortunate to have two wonderful volunteer coordinators to support them.

Renée addressed the group of children by thanking them for cooperating with their coordinators for updated pictures and progress reports, and especially for writing letters to their sponsors. She stressed how much the letters mean to sponsors, and asked the children to keep up their good work.

After meeting with the kids, Renée and Shelley had a meeting with Phyllis and Karen. Phyllis is an administrative assistant, and Karen is a data technician. They told Renée and Shelley that sponsorship funds are primarily utilized for the purchase of shoes and clothing, and then school supplies and hygiene items. They are also used to purchase food, when needed.

Phyllis and Karen also expressed a need for eyeglasses for children at the school. Dzilth Community Grant School used to have a partnership with the Helen Keller Foundation, which provided occasional mini grants for eyeglasses; but that partnership is no longer what it used to be. Renée said that she would look into seeing if our Hope In Action Fund could provide some assistance for this special need.

High hopes for Michelle

After the school visit, Phyllis and Karen took Renée and Shelley to the home of one of Children Incorporated’s sponsored children. They traveled quite a few miles away from the school, until they arrived at a muddy lane on which Michelle* lives, in a small neat and tidy house with her mother and grandmother. The mom works as an office assistant; the grandmother was once employed, but is now older and retired. Both women expressed their appreciation for Children Incorporated and Michelle’s sponsor.

While they chatted in the kitchen, Michelle’s mother and grandmother talked about how proud they are of her. She is an excellent student whose favorite subject is math. Michelle is also athletic; she loves basketball, and is very good at playing it.

They have high hopes for Michelle and her future. They dream that she will graduate from high school, and go on to college. Michelle has a special fondness for animals, and says she wants to be a veterinarian. Her mother and grandmother believe this dream can come true; and here at Children Incorporated, we believe it can, too.

*Name changed for child’s protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN New MExico?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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.

A New Home for a Family in Need

The town of Newcomb is situated in the Navajo Nation, amid the incredible desert background of northwestern New Mexico. For many of the small number of residents that live in the town – less than 400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – there is little opportunity for steady employment. A trading post, which includes an impressive Navajo artifact museum, and a fish hatchery are some of the only options for work. Due to a lack of jobs, many families are living in poverty, and struggle to provide for their children.

A special donor offers his support

sponsor a child in need in New Mexico

Students recieve basic needs they would otherwise go without, thanks to their sponsors.

Funded by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tohaali’ – which means “where the water flows out” in Navajo, named for a nearby creek – has approximately 130 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade. Thirty of those students live in a dormitory on campus during the school week. Since the school is not close to any of its surrounding communities, many families have to travel quite a distance to take their kids there. On a recent trip to visit the Tohaali’ Community School, U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, met with our Volunteer Coordinator Cecelia. Cecelia told Shelley that one of the schools’ families doesn’t have a vehicle; so after every weekend, the parents walk with their kids for the four miles it takes to get to the dormitory.

Cecelia explained to Shelley that the Children Incorporated program is very important for students, because it helps to provide them with food, warm clothing, shoes, school supplies, and hygiene items – things that their parents can’t afford to purchase for them. Beyond helping our sponsored children on a monthly basis, Cecelia was also able to rely on Children Incorporated when an emergency arose a few years ago.

Our Sponsorship Manager Steven Mitchell acted quickly, and contacted a very special donor who contributed $5,000 to purchase a trailer for the family.

She recalled a special circumstance in which a family suddenly became homeless. Cecelia called our office to see if we might be able to help. Our Sponsorship Manager Steven Mitchell acted quickly, and contacted a very special donor who contributed $5,000 to purchase a trailer for the family. When the family saw the trailer, they couldn’t believe their eyes; they felt so overwhelmed to find that they did have a home after all – after having gone through such a terrible ordeal in losing their previous residence, and having had nowhere to go.

Shopping is the hardest part

Before Shelley left the school, Cecelia explained that the hardest part for her is doing the shopping, because the closest town with a decent store is Farmington, which is a little over an hour away. Our sponsored children’s parents try to meet Cecelia at the mall to spend two to three hours shopping there, making sure to get exactly what their children need in the correct sizes; but transportation is a barrier for many families, so there are many times when Cecelia does the shopping herself. Regardless, Cecelia is incredibly grateful for the support the children get from their sponsors, and she knows that without it, they would often go without basic essentials in their lives.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW MEXICO?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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.

A Bright Future for Maria

Education has always been one of Children Incorporated’s core values; and that is why, since our very beginning, we have supported our sponsored and unsponsored children through our Higher Education Fund. Our Higher Education Fund helps young people pursue their dreams of completing certificate programs or obtaining a degree from a university or college by providing them with financial support. The program is highly effective, thanks to our amazing volunteer coordinators, who know each and every one of our sponsored and unsponsored children personally – and as such, also know their individual needs and goals.

Thanks to our Higher Education Fund, Maria was able to attend college.

The volunteer coordinators in both our International and U.S. Divisions nominate children who are enrolled in our program and are in their last year of secondary education. Once accepted into our Higher Education Program, these young people may pursue any course of study they wish at an accredited institution. Many of our Higher Education Fund beneficiaries have later returned to their communities in positions as teachers, nurses, social workers, accountants, architects, counselors, and speech therapists.

Contributions to our Higher Education Fund essentially help make our sponsored and unsponsored youngsters’ dreams come true. We recently heard from a former sponsored child who received assistance from our Higher Education Fund – and just that has happened for her. Her name is Maria* and she is from Bolivia; she started on her path to education at our affiliated project Pedro Poveda School in La Paz.

Maria’s home

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 – and lush lowland plains of the Amazon Jungle to the east. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, however, 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, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime, and disease.

Since Children Incorporated partners with Pedro Poveda School, we were able to match Maria with a sponsor, so that she could attend the school.

At 12,000 feet above sea level lies La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, and Maria’s hometown. Some of the city’s most impoverished have no sanitation or potable water, and disease and malnutrition are rampant there. Thankfully, children living in poverty have our affiliated project the Pedro Poveda School to offer them a safe and comfortable place to learn, which is just what Maria needed while growing up in poverty.

Maria was raised without a father, and her mother was very poor and could not afford to send her to school without support. Since Children Incorporated partners with Pedro Poveda School, we were able to match Maria with a sponsor, so that she could attend the school; she received school supplies, books, school uniforms, and other basic needs throughout the year. Not only did her sponsor send contributions, but she also wrote letters to Maria, which motivated her.

While she was in her last year of high school, our volunteer coordinator at Pedro Poveda School recommended Maria for our Higher Education Program, because Maria was a very good student – and she was accepted into the program. After her high school graduation, Maria went on to attend a college in Bolivia, thanks to our Higher Education Fund. She graduated from there with a degree in business administration, and soon after, began working in a hospital for women. Maria is very grateful for the generosity of our donors, as well as for that of her sponsor, who helped her to get where she is today, and to have a much brighter future than she would have had without an education.

*Name changed for child’s protection.

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How do I donate to the Higher Education Fund?

 You can contribute to our Higher Education Fund 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 donate to our Higher Education Fund.

How Do I Sponsor a Child in Asia?

We work in India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and the Philippines. We affiliate with twelve projects in India, five in Sri Lanka, three in the Philippines, and seventeen in South Korea. Your support of children in these countries helps to provide them with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items. We also fund feeding programs, the construction of schools and dormitories, as well as help children through our Higher Education Fund; and we support unsponsored children through our Shared Hope Fund.

Information about the countries in Asia where we work

Asia is full of beauty, but it also has its fair share of political, social, and economic issues that are keeping children from obtaining the basic needs they deserve, and from receiving a good education. As such, we want to highlight information about each of the Asian countries in which we work, to show you not only what the countries have to offer with regard to culture, landscape, and a rich history, but also what they lack in infrastructure – the reasons for which we affiliate with projects in each of these nations, in order to support their children in need.

Your support of children in these countries helps to provide them with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items.

About India

From the snowcapped Himalayas to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years; the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called its fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India comprises a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures. Its wealth of natural resources and vibrant culture, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of its citizens live.

About Sri Lanka

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”. Indeed, amidst its tropical rainforests, coastal plains, and Central Highlands in the south, Sri Lanka boasts the highest biodiversity density in Asia, with roughly a quarter of its thousands of species of plant and animal life existing nowhere else on the planet. Prehistoric settlements suggest that humans have 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 it served as a significant tactical ground during World War II. Today, even 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 advancements, internal ethnic tensions remain active in Sri Lanka. In 1983, they culminated into twenty-six years of insurgencies and civil war, which, along with reports of widespread abuse of civil rights and corruption – 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.

About South Korea

Comprising the lower half of a mountainous peninsula in East Asia, South Korea is truly a nation of contrasts. 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 populous nation, with a population density ten times higher than the global average, is renowned for its advancements in technology. However, more than half a century after the Korean Armistice Agreement, South Korea is still haunted by 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.

About the Philippines

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 potable water, and access to healthcare are daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity.

Most Frequently-asked Questions About Sponsoring a Child in Asia

Here at Children Incorporated, we know that sponsoring a child in need is extraordinarily rewarding, so we want to provide you with a guide to walk you through the process.

In order to make your decision as easy as possible, here you will find the answers to sixteen of the most common questions we receive about sponsoring a child in Asia.

If you still have questions after reading the following, please feel to contact us, and we will be happy to help.

  1. What is sponsorship?

The sponsorship relationship enables an individual sponsor to help support a child in need by means of monthly contributions. Monthly sponsorship donations go towards providing basic necessities such as school supplies and tuition fees, food, clothing, and access to healthcare, among other services, so that a child living in poverty has the opportunity to overcome the barriers that keep them from attending school, getting an education, and succeeding in life.

  1. What is the role of a sponsor?

A sponsor’s friendship and encouragement are priceless to a child in such circumstances. Indeed, many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial support they receive from them. There is an opportunity to build a relationship between sponsor and child that can be quite profound.

  1. How long can I sponsor a child in Asia?

Many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial support they receive from them. There is an opportunity to build a relationship between sponsor and child that can be quite profound.

Typically, sponsorship lasts until a child turns eighteen years old, graduates from high school, or moves out of our service area. Due to the transient state of many families and the difficult circumstances of the regions where they reside, we cannot predict or guarantee how long a child will remain in our sponsorship program, though every effort is made to provide services to children for as long as possible.

When a child leaves the sponsorship program, another child is selected for you to sponsor that is equally in need, in the hope that you will accept the new sponsorship.

  1. Who implements or administers the child sponsorship program?

Our program is implemented by on-site volunteer coordinators who are typically administrators at the projects with which we affiliate. Our coordinators have direct access to the children they serve at their schools, homes, orphanages, or community centers – and sometimes even on a daily basis. As such, they are familiar with the immediate needs and family circumstances of each individual child in their care.

  1. Who most directly benefits from my financial support?

When you sponsor a child, the beneficiary of your support is your individual sponsored child. The families of children in our sponsorship program receive additional or indirect benefits from their child’s sponsorship, but our focus is the one child. Sponsorship is intended to address the unique and individual needs of each child so that his or her specific needs are addressed.

The child-focused approach to fighting poverty is distinctly different from the broader community development approach. By changing the life of one child, you are giving him or her the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, which can eventually lead to the transformation of an entire community – and even a nation.

  1. Will I receive updated information about my sponsored child in Asia?

Yes. You will receive updated information and updated photos, though the frequency may vary depending upon the child’s location. The typical progress report includes information about the child’s grade level in school, hobbies, and interests.

  1. May I send packages to my sponsored child in Asia?

Due to high customs duties and the likelihood of loss, it is not recommended that you send packages to projects outside of the United States, as their receipt cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to send an additional gift, it is recommended that you send a monetary gift to our headquarters in North Chesterfield, Virginia.

  1. May I write to the child I sponsor?

Yes! Corresponding with your sponsored child can be a delightful experience. Your sponsored child is encouraged to write to you as well.

  1. What should I write about?

The children enjoy learning about the lives of their sponsors. Writing about your own family (children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc.) is always a good place to start. The children also like to learn about your part of the world, what you do for a living, your hobbies and interests, and about any pets you may have.

  1. Is it possible to visit my sponsored child in Asia?

It is possible to visit sponsored children; however, it is not guaranteed that all of the projects with which we affiliate are open to sponsor visits. Circumstances vary from area to area.

  1. Are there reviews of child sponsorship organizations?

Yes. Before you choose an organization with which to sponsor a child, we highly recommend that you visit these websites to gain a better understanding of charity backgrounds and performances: Charity Navigator, GuideStar, Give.org and Charity Watch.

Children Incorporated is very proud of our reputation and reviews that recognize the work we are doing for children. Visit the following links to see our ratings:

  1. What are the best child sponsorship organizations for sponsoring a child in Asia?

Well, we are obviously a little biased about this question; but as we mentioned above, we highly recommend that you visit the various websites that provide assessments and ratings of nonprofit organizations before you make any donations.

  1. What are the pros and cons of sponsoring a child?

The pros: you get to make a fundamental difference in the life of a child in need, and the effects of your sponsorship can last a lifetime. There are no real cons to sponsoring a child, but as you follow the progress of your sponsored child, you may at times feel that you wish could do more.

  1. How much does child sponsorship cost?

Our sponsorship rate is $30 per month, and may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

  1. Will my sponsorship help a child go to school?

Yes – absolutely! We pride ourselves on our focus on providing educational resources for children.

  1. Are there non-religious sponsorship organizations?

Yes, there are many great charitable organizations, both religious and non-religious, that provide assistance to children in Asia. Children Incorporated is a non-religious charitable organization.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child in Asia or elsewhere, please click here to get started.