Tag Archives: opportunity

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.

Fresh Produce for New Orleans Students

In New Orleans’ historic Tremé neighborhood, the Phyllis Wheatley Community School building was decimated during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, the spirit of the school and surrounding community has proven resilient. The new and improved Phyllis Wheatley Community School opened its doors to students in 2013 with a two-fold mission: first, to provide individualized support for each student’s academic and social and emotional learning; second, it strives to serve the surrounding low-income community, fostering the involvement of students’ families in school activities, as well as reaching out to their neighbors.

The Phyllis Wheatley Community School maintains an Edible Schoolyard garden, which students can help to tend, and which provides fresh produce for the school cafeteria.

One way in which the Phyllis Wheatley Community School does this is by maintaining an Edible Schoolyard garden, which students can help to tend, and which provides fresh produce for the school cafeteria. Moreover, the school makes the fruits and vegetables available for students, their families, and community members monthly to take home.

Our newest project in New Orleans

The Phyllis Wheatley Community School is our newest affiliated project in New Orleans. Children Incorporated began our affiliation with the school at the end of the 2017 school year. As a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school, the number of children in attendance is rapidly growing, and is almost up to 900.

While visiting the school last year, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, met with our Volunteer Coordinator Max, who described the school as a “high-need school,” meaning many children in attendance are lacking basic needs such as adequate food and clothing. Max said that Children Incorporated is very helpful in that many students at his school come from low-income families in its surrounding neighborhoods. He told Renée that our sponsorship program provides uniforms, books, shoes, and other essential items to kids.

Our Volunteer Coordinator Max with a sponsored child at the Wheatley School

At the beginning of the school year, each student received a backpack full of supplies as well. Max also participates in the Lollipop Book Club, a children’s book of the month club. In addition, he is planning to use sponsorship funds to help provide Thanksgiving meals to our sponsored children’s families in the fall.

More children in need

After visiting with Max, Renée met with Amanda, the new President of Communities In Schools (CIS) of New Orleans, our affiliate and school dropout prevention organization. As they discussed the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, Amanda and Renée both agreed that there are plenty of children in New Orleans who could benefit greatly from having sponsors, and that they would really appreciate the personal involvement that comes with sponsorship.

Renée also discussed the possibility of providing Hope In Action funding for schools in New Orleans. Past assistance to our affiliated projects there went to amazing programs such as the before and after school program Champ Camp. Renée expressed that future assistance could go towards addressing food insecurity by assisting with the implementation of more school gardens. Amanda agreed that was a good idea, because, as she explained to Renée, many of the schools in the city have made health and wellness as much of a priority as academics, because children respond so well to programs such as school gardens.

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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.

A Unique School in New Orleans

Revolutionizing the traditional public education paradigm, the Morris Jeff Community School emphasizes language and the arts – not just test scores – fostering its students’ development into well-rounded, productive members of society. Not only that, but according to Donneisha, our volunteer coordinator at the school, Morris Jeff is also special in that the parents of students who attend have a say in how inclusive and diverse the school is.

The Morris Jeff Community School is a charter school. While students from all around the city are in attendance, the majority of them live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Opened in 2009, the school serves preschool through eighth-grade students. As Donneisha told our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, on her recent trip to visit the school, Morris Jeff has a high number of very actively-involved parents, as well a great deal of community support – which make it unique. It is also one of the most racially-diverse charter schools in the city. The students of Morris Jeff come from a variety of socio-economic classes. Enrollment numbers are high for both special needs and high-performing academic achievers, and the ethnic breakdown of the student body is quite diverse.

Every child deserves support

Morris Jeff has a high number of very actively-involved parents, as well a great deal of community support – which make it unique.

The parents of students at the Morris Jeff Community School believe that the school should meet as many of the kids’ needs as possible. The faculty spends a great deal of time with at-risk students as well as with those with learning disabilities. They also provide a challenging education for the higher-performing students. Donneisha added that social and emotional development are crucial, so there is much programming in place for that as well. The Justice Center at the school focuses on fostering healthy relationships. There is a reading program there, too, and a Children’s Advocacy Center that teaches sex education. The school celebrates a Kindness Week, with bullying prevention as the focal point.

Donneisha loves that Children Incorporated helps to directly provide for our sponsored and unsponsored children’s basic needs. She is grateful to have the autonomy to choose what each child needs – whereas other organizations may have limits as to what may be provided to the kids in their programs. Donneisha told Renée that the greatest need that she encounters is for basic items like clothes and food. The required school uniforms are expensive, too, and parents struggle to afford them.

Kids adore having sponsors

It’s not just Donneisha who loves the school and our sponsorship program; the students love their school, too. While there, Renée met with one of our sponsored children, Lori*, who is in the sixth grade. She told Renée, “This school supports you. Even if someone isn’t your teacher, they want to help you. They really care about you. We have students from all over the world. One student is from Uganda, and he didn’t speak any English when he started – and everyone helped him learn.”

Renée knew that Lori’s sponsor had visited her a few years ago, and she wanted to know what Lori thought about having a sponsor. Lori replied, “It helps me, and they tell me nice things. They had lunch with me one time, and they brought me a pink bag of stuff, like coloring books and gummies. I loved it.”

*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.

Ordinary People Making an Extraordinary Difference

Seniors in high school have a lot to think about: leaving their school and friends behind following graduation, what their next step in life will be, and how they will make it on their own once they leave the comfort of their parents’ homes. For one small independent school in Virginia, giving back is also a part of senior class activities.

Each year, Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville, Virginia celebrates their last year of high school by taking a trip to a destination of their choice. This year, they decided to go to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. As each senior class there does, these young adults raise funds for their trip. They held six fundraisers this year, and were able to collect $1,500. This was more than they needed, so they decided to give one-third of their earnings to charity, true to the academy’s founding principle: “We believe it is our responsibility to provide students with an environment where they can become good citizens who can make positive contributions to society.” The Brunswick Academy Class of 2018 chose to donate to Children Incorporated.

This generous gift from the Brunswick Academy was used for the purchase of food, bedding, clothing, and toiletries for a family in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as to assist four families in Inez, Kentucky that had lost their homes and belongings to fire.

The Value of our work

Logan*, the Senior Class President at Brunswick Academy, called our office back in March to let us know about his class’ decision to contribute to our organization. He invited our President and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Carter, to attend the last assembly of the school year in May to speak to the student body of kindergarteners through twelfth-graders about the work of Children Incorporated. At that assembly, Mr. Carter gratefully accepted a check for our organization in the amount of $500.

Mr. Carter had the pleasure of meeting with Logan, and asked him how and why his class had chosen Children Incorporated to be the beneficiary of their hard work. Logan explained that the senior class advisor, Ms. Roberts, had suggested Children Incorporated. She was well-acquainted with our organization due to the fact that one of her close friends once served on our Board of Directors. It was through that connection that Ms. Roberts learned of our life-changing work, and as a result, she told Ben about it.

Ms. Roberts saw the value in recommending an organization whose mission the students could really get behind: Children Incorporated provides resources to children in need in the United States and abroad because we passionately believe that children everywhere deserve education, hope, and opportunity. Logan was moved when he heard about us, for he has a personal connection to children. Throughout his high school years, he worked as a childcare counselor after school and on weekends. Logan recognized that our work is important, for we, just like him, strive to improve children’s lives.

Kids in New Orleans and in Kentucky are being supported thanks to a donation from students at Brunswick Academy.

The Brunswick Academy Senior Class contribution was used in support of our Hope In Action Fund, which addresses the pressing needs of children enrolled in our program and their families in times of emergencies and natural disasters. Donations to our Hope In Action Fund allow us to offer assistance beyond sponsorship support when it is needed.

Taking part in giving

This generous gift from the Brunswick Academy was used for the purchase of food, bedding, clothing, and toiletries for a family in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as to assist four families in Inez, Kentucky that had lost their homes and belongings to fire. As a result of Ms. Roberts having shared our work with her students, ordinary high school seniors made an extraordinary difference in the lives of five families in need. Those five families’ well-being was improved as a result, and they were given hope in the wake of devastation.

When adolescents take part in giving, they start to understand early in life the impact that they can potentially have on the lives of others. Involving children and youth in the giving process – and supporting causes that speak to them – can teach them about the importance of helping others, as well as give them a sense of meaning and purpose.

Not only do contributions create change, but so does telling our story – and our story is one that everyone can understand. All children deserve the chance to have a bright future; they deserve the chance to break the cycle of poverty. Young people helping young people is a beautiful testament to the fact that anyone can be part of someone else’s story through giving – and from giving comes a gratitude that thrives and makes us want to give even more.

*Named changed to protect the individual.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated 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 who is available for sponsorship.

Food for Children in Paraguay

Providing food to children in need as part of our work goes beyond just ensuring that kids have meals while they are at school. Oftentimes, children both in the United States and abroad also need food to take home so that they and their families don’t go hungry on nights and weekends. So every month, the volunteer coordinators at our affiliated projects in Paraguay, the Hogar Medalla Milagrosa and the Asuncion School, give our sponsored and unsponsored children a bag of food to take home. The bags contain dry goods such as flour, sugar, bread, and pasta so that the families can make meals at home.

Providing food to children in need as part of our work goes beyond just ensuring that kids have meals while they are at school. Oftentimes, children also need food to take home so that they and their families don’t go hungry on nights and weekends.

About Paraguay

Nestled in the heart of South America, Paraguay comprises an area roughly the size of California, characterized by semiarid grasslands, forested highlands, marshlands, and rivers. Paraguay boasts a well-preserved indigenous identity and heritage, but a wide range of ethnicities call this small landlocked nation home, including immigrants from Australia, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, and Spain. Paraguay’s rich cultural diversity and wealth of natural resources, however, belie the abject poverty in which the majority of its residents live.

Many areas of the country remain underdeveloped, with inhabitants relying on subsistence farming for their livelihood. One of South America’s poorest nations today, Paraguay is plagued by a history of bloody wars with neighboring countries as well as by internal political instability, corruption, a deficient infrastructure, and poverty. Even the sprawling Paraguayan capital, Asuncion, is no exception to these maladies.

Introducing the Hogar Medalla Milagrosa

Bags of food feed children and their families who otherwise might go hungry.

Located in Asuncion, the Hogar Medalla Milagrosa serves as a beacon of hope for impoverished children, most of whom come from the streets or broken homes, where obtaining food is a daily struggle. Founded in 1895 and run by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, the home serves as a primary school and boarding home for orphaned and abandoned children. The nuns not only strive to provide for these deserving children’s immediate basic needs, but they also offer them moral guidance while equipping students with a sound education.

 The Asuncion School

The Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul established the Asuncion School – or, as it is known locally, Santa Luisa de Marillac – to serve children living in poverty in one of Asuncion’s poorest neighborhoods. Many of these children suffer from neglect and malnutrition as a direct result of their parents’ poverty. The Asuncion School truly serves as a beacon of hope to help them to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come, and to have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN PARAGUAY?

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

Two Important Ways You Can Help Children

Dear Friends,

At any given time, we have over 1,000 children on our waiting list for sponsorship. Currently, there are more than 600 unsponsored children in our United States Division alone. One of our organization’s most difficult challenges is finding enough sponsors to support all the children referred to us by our network of volunteer coordinators. After being enrolled in our sponsorship program, some children wait many months – even years – before they are matched with individual sponsors.

One of our organization’s most difficult challenges is finding enough sponsors to support all the children referred to us by our network of volunteer coordinators.

Ideally, every enrolled child would have a sponsor – but the reality is that there aren’t as many individual sponsors as there are children in need in our program. That is why our Shared Hope Fund is incredibly important. Established to assist children who are not yet linked with sponsors, the fund provides food, clothing, educational assistance, and much more as these children wait to be sponsored.

We have heard many heartwarming stories of young people who have benefitted greatly as a direct result of our Shared Hope Fund. Avi*, a young man from India, is one such person. He did not have a sponsor, yet assistance from our Shared Hope Fund supported him throughout his high school years. After graduating, Avi desperately wanted to continue attending classes and receive vocational training, so he applied for assistance from our Higher Education Fund, which gave him the opportunity to go on to college.

Avi is now a Doctor of Pharmacy and has been working in this field for about a year now. Like Avi, there are other young men and women who have graduated from high school and who are now attending college under these same circumstances – and we are very proud that we are able to help them through our Higher Education Fund.

Both of these special funds are very important, and we need your support in order to keep meeting needs as they arise! Our Shared Hope Fund made it possible for Luisa*, a young girl in Guatemala, to receive school supplies while she waited to become sponsored. Marlene, a precious child from Kentucky, received a brand new pair of glasses when hers broke – and she didn’t have to wait until she had a sponsor to receive this assistance. Through our Higher Education Fund, Summer, also from Kentucky, is now a junior in college with the goal of working in the field of business administration after she graduates. Chelsea, another young woman who was enrolled in our child sponsorship program, is now a college senior and straight-A student who will soon begin her career as a systems analyst.

Our Shared Hope Fund and our Higher Education Fund are but two of the many ways in which Children Incorporated continues to meet needs around the world. Please consider making a contribution to one or both of these special funds today.

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter

President and Chief Executive Officer

Children Incorporated

 

*All names changed for individuals’ protection.

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HOW DO I DONATE TO THE SHARED HOPE FUND AND THE HIGHER EDUCATION FUND?

You can donate to our Shared Hope Fund and 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 and make a donation to assist unsponsored children or to our Higher Education Fund.