Tag Archives: poor children

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

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of impoverished children in India, offering them a chance at a better and brighter future.

According to the World Bank, even though India has made remarkable strides at reducing poverty over the years, today, 22% of the population, or 270 million people live below the poverty line. 

Challenges for Children in India

In India, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty, and lack of educational resources. Right now, Children in India need your help.

  • 30% of the world’s extremely poor children live in India
  • Each year, 1.4 million children in India die before their 5th birthday
  • Nearly 25% of children have no access to education
  • 4% of children are stunted and suffering from malnutrition
  • Child labor persists within the country, keeping school-age children from going to school
  • Children from rural areas, urbans slums, scheduled castes, and tribal communities often suffer
    from malnutrition, access to quality health services, child marriage, lack of sanitation
    facilities, hygiene, and access to improved water
  • India is highly prone to flooding, droughts, earthquakes and refugee flows that
    impact children’s lives and ability to access basic resources 


Our Work in India

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of impoverished children in India, offering them a chance at a better and brighter future.

We work with our volunteer coordinators in local communities to provide health and nutrition, education, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, and other basic needs that help children and families rise above the poverty in which they live.

Our strategy is to focus on individual children through our sponsorship program, ensuring they are receiving exactly what they need on a regular basis.

Your support makes all our work possible for India’s children in crisis.

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How do I sponsor a child in India?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

SOURCES:

https://www.worldbank.org/en/search?q=india+poverty&currenttab=4&currentTab=1

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/in-child-poverty-india-next-only-to-sub-saharan-africa-report/article26196097.ece

https://www.unicef.org/india/children-in-india

https://www.soschildrensvillages.ca/news/poverty-in-india-602

As a part of our 2022 “Virtual Visit” series, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, takes us to Floyd Central High School on a visit to hear about our sponsorship program and other outreach services conducted by our volunteer coordinator, Teresa.

Renée Virtual Visit

“Floyd Central High is a relatively new school located in the community of Eastern. It was built in 2017 as a consolidation of the old Allen Central High and South Floyd High Schools. It offers the standard state-approved curriculum, and also offers dual enrollment, AP, and online college courses. The sports teams compete in football, baseball, volleyball, softball, and cheerleading. There are also competitive teams for golf, archery — and bass fishing!”

“Teresa is devoted to her students and families. Most are loving and hardworking, but generations of poverty and lack of education have caused a lot of hardship and struggle.”

“The high school is also a ‘feeder’ school for two other Children Incorporated affiliated sites — Duff-Allen Central and May Valley Elementary schools, which is fantastic because our sponsors can follow their sponsored children from elementary to high school with ease thanks to these partnerships.”

“Floyd Central serves about 638 students in grades 9-12. Everyone at the school is very proud of the 93% graduation rate, considering that the students and families face a lot of challenges — 75% of students live in poverty and lack access to basic resources.”

Teresa’s programs

“Our volunteer coordinator at the school is Teresa. She is an involved coordinator who has created a Youth Services Center Student Outreach Group. They host activities and raise funds for special events throughout the year, ranging from purchasing suitcases for foster children to pet food donations for the local animal shelter. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to feel connected and give back to their community.”

Family Game Nights were a hit with Teresa’s students and their parents.

“Since the pandemic, in addition to our sponsorship program, Children Incorporated helped Teresa with three other programs. The first program was a series of family fun nights where the students and families turned off their screens and bonded over playing board games and making snacks together. Teresa collaborated with the other coordinators, and it was a county-wide event. The families sent pictures to Teresa and said they were surprised at how much this meant to them.”

“The second program was mixing physical activity and positive mental outlooks to support educational outcomes. The last program was a health and fun fair for expectant and new mothers, which was also a collaborative, county-wide event. The fair included packets of important information and diaper bags filled with small baby care items. Participants could register for one of three grand prizes: a baby bouncer, rocker, or stroller.”

Getting the support they need

“Teresa is devoted to her students and families. Most are loving and hardworking, but generations of poverty and lack of education have caused a lot of hardship and struggle. Teresa shared that one of her students is being raised by a single father. Due to some unexpected expenses, he got behind on rent. In order to get caught up, the dad and his son were paid a little money by neighbors to clear brush out of their creek beds. The boy sells eggs to help. Teresa said that our sponsorship program is a big help with this boy’s school clothing. He (and the other program-enrolled children) fit in with their peers with the new clothes they receive which really helps their self-esteem, and they are dressed appropriately for the weather.”

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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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck hard in March 2020, all U.S. schools went fully virtual. They had no time to prepare — everything was done, as the old saying goes, “on a wing and prayer.” However, for most districts, the school year was over by mid-May, and at first everyone thought things would be back to normal soon. Then, the realization sank in across the country that the pandemic would get worse before it got better, so the summer of 2020 was used to plan for a very different 2020-2021 school year.

Our volunteer coordinators at schools around the country coped during the 2020-2021 school year with a mixture of hybrid and virtual instruction and outreach. They rose admirably to the challenge.

Our volunteer coordinators at schools around the country coped during the 2020-2021 school year with a mixture of hybrid and virtual instruction and outreach. They rose admirably to the challenge. Again, in May 2021, there was a sense of optimism, only to be faced with the late summer Delta variant and the late autumn Omicron variant. Many school districts opened their doors in August 2021 for in-person instruction while others chose hybrid. Due to rising infection rates, many had to go back and forth between in-person and virtual learning. Some have continued with virtual instruction only.

Though we haven’t been able to visit our affiliated sites in-person, Children Incorporated staff has stayed in close contact through lots of emails and phone calls, as well as virtual visits via FaceTime, Zoom, and Google Meet. Over the next weeks, we will share with you stories from our “virtual trip report” about our organization’s affiliations in beautiful Floyd County, Kentucky and how our sponsors’ support has been especially important during the past two years.

We hope you enjoy taking this “virtual trip” with us and thank you for all your support of children in our program in Floyd County, Kentucky and around the world!

About Floyd County

Coal was first discovered in the American colonies in 1750. It was found in what would become Kentucky, when explorer Thomas Walker used some coal to heat his campfire. However, it would be another 150 years before coal was mined in the Eastern Coalfields region on a large commercial scale. In 1820, the first commercial coal mine opened in Muhlenberg County, in western Kentucky.

The decline of the coal industry has in so many ways effected families and communities in Eastern Kentucky.

Floyd County was a former major coal mining area with a long and noted history of which its residents are extremely proud. In 1900, the first commercial coal mine in the Eastern Coalfields region was opened in the Betsy Layne community in Floyd County. Coal mining experienced periods of boom and bust during the 20th century. The two world wars were boom periods. The first was followed by a deep bust, brought on by the end of war production and the start of the Great Depression. After World War II, the Korean War kept the second boom going longer. However, railroads and households began shifting from coal to oil and gas for their energy needs, and the industry experienced another downturn.

The decline of coal

Two developments have resulted in the major reduction of  coal mines — increased mechanization which has reduced the need for labor, and the regulation of factory emissions by the 1990 Clean Air Act. Kentucky coal, has a high sulfur content, making it less desirable than coal in other parts of the country, and factory emissions with high sulfur content contribute to high rates of acid rain, which leads to deforestation and makes water sources acidic. Coal companies can remove the sulfur through scrubbers, switch to mining low-sulfur coal, which is found in western states like Wyoming, or pay fines for their sulfur production.

The result of factory emissions regulation has been a steadily decreasing number of coal mines and of well-paying mining jobs in eastern Kentucky. But the issue goes beyond that, as the coal economy once supported communities across the entire Eastern Coalfields region. Other sectors, which have fewer customers with purchasing power, such as the banking, engineering, construction, transportation, and related manufacturing sectors, have been impacted as well. Over time, the results are fewer jobs, and those left are mostly service jobs (fast food restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, etc.) that pay low wages. With the decline of the coal industry came a rise in poverty.

Poverty is linked to poor health and food insecurity, and Floyd County residents have long been plagued by all three. In Floyd County, rates of premature death and infant mortality are twice as high than the rest of the nation. Three in ten adults are obese. Four in ten adults exercise less than once a month. More than one-third of adults describe their health as fair or poor. More than one-third smoke, which is twice the national average. There is also a serious problem with opioid addiction. Some Floyd County families have trouble getting to the doctor, contacting the doctor, or just don’t believe in going to the doctor.

For the children, the schools have been a place not only of education, but the lifeline of the federal free breakfast and lunch program.

Extreme poverty in Kentucky

In 2019, USA Today reported a finding by 24/7 Wall Street, which had conducted an index study of three measures: poverty, the percentage of adults who have at least a bachelor’s degree, and average life expectancy at birth. They used these to identify the “25 Worst Counties In Which To Live In America.” Floyd County was #25. The report stated Floyd County, in the center of Appalachian Kentucky, epitomizes the social and economic problems of the region. More than 30% of residents live below the poverty line, and a similar percentage rely on SNAP benefits (food stamps) to afford minimum basic essentials. Floyd is losing residents rapidly. In the last five years, the population has dropped 5.1% even as the U.S. population grew by 3.8%.

For 10 years, the organization Feeding America has been conducting a “Map the Meal Gap” study to improve our understanding of food insecurity. The term refers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measure of both lack of access to enough food for an active healthy lifestyle and limited availability of nutritious food. Food insecure children are those living in food insecure households. The most recent mapping was based on data from 2018. However, due to Covid-19, the organization also released a companion study and interactive map to show the impact of the pandemic on food insecurity. For Floyd County, the overall food insecurity rate is 22.1%. The child food insecurity rate is 31.7%.

According to the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) website, the all-age poverty rate in Floyd County has declined since 2000. However, the U.S. Census Bureau shows the all-age poverty rate is still high at 27.4%, and using the last available data from 2018, the “Well Being in The Nation Network” shows the Floyd County child poverty rate is 31.7%. Both rates are higher than the national averages.

The importance of our partnerships

For the children, the schools have been a place not only of education, but the lifeline of the federal free breakfast and lunch program. The schools are also a place of community and care, of secure and stable routines, and exposure to the enrichment of activities, clubs, and athletics. The Covid-19 pandemic has kept vulnerable children at home for much of the past two years. Some children adapted well to remote learning, but others not so much.

Our valued partnership with the Family Resource Youth Services Centers is so important to providing basic necessities to children in our program. Our missions are complementary, and our sponsors and donors provide the resources that help them remove barriers to the children’s full potential.

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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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Today, Mexico is the world’s tenth most populous nation — and largest Spanish-speaking country by population — with a growing, diversified economy and a relatively stable democratic government. However, despite the country’s wealth of culture, history, natural resources and beauty, many natives and immigrants are plagued by impoverished living conditions. Crime and murder rates in the country are high, and corruption and drug cartel activity are constant sources of concern despite efforts to eliminate them.

In Mexico, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Mexico need your help.

Mexico has long suffered from high poverty and lack of social programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has likely made these issues worse, and according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a joint study conducted with the Mexican government, more than 20 million Mexican children and adolescents are estimated to live in poverty, and five million of them in extreme poverty.

Additionally, the study found that nearly 14% of Mexican children under five years of age are stunted, meaning they are slowed in their development often as a result of malnutrition. The rate is higher in rural areas, reaching nearly 33%. 

Challenges for Children in Mexico

In Mexico, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Mexico need your help.

  • Over half of Mexican children 18 years old and younger (52.6 percent) live in poverty
  • 4 million Mexican children live in extreme poverty
  • 30% of children between the ages of 3 and 5 do not receive an education
  • In Mexico, only 62% of the children start high school, and only 45% of them finish
  • In 6 out of every 10 households a child is forced to work to contribute to his or her family


Our Work in Mexico

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of impoverished children in Mexico since 1964.

We work with our volunteer coordinators in local communities to provide health and nutrition, education, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, and other essentials that help children and families rise above the poverty in which they live. Our strategy is to focus on individual children through our sponsorship program, ensuring they are receiving exactly what they need on a regular basis.

Your support makes all our work possible for children in Mexico who are living in crisis.

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How do I sponsor a child in Mexico?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD


SOURCES:

https://news.un.org/en/story/2013/04/436072-majority-poor-mexico-are-children-un-report

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2022/01/24/cf-fostering-inclusion-in-mexico

https://www.esperanzacontigo.org/en/publication/74/help-fight-poverty-in-mexico

After a little more than a week in Mexico, the time has come for Luis and I to visit our last affiliated site before returning home to the United States.

Hogar Santa Maria is located just across the river from the city center of Guadalajara where you will find high rise hotels and a bustling main street. The contrast is stark as we drive from our hotel to the neighborhood where Santa Maria is located — it is completely different from one side of the city to the other. Wealth and commerce are contrasted with poverty and old, small buildings. One side is modern and striving, growing towards the future, while the other seems to not be a part of the same world.

It is so apparent that these children feel loved and safe at Santa Maria.

The same but different

These were all the same feelings I had the first time I visited Santa Maria in 2016, but I doubted that everything had stayed exactly the same due to the pandemic. If Santa Maria was anything like all our other affiliated sites in Mexico, our coordinators also had to go through big changes to continue to provide for the children in our program.

When we arrived at the Home, we were greeted by one of the four sisters who takes care of the children, and Santa Maria’s full-time social worker. Unfortunately, our coordinator was away in Mexico City having surgery and couldn’t be with us for our visit, but we were made to feel welcome all the same, given a tour of the facility, and heard about how our sponsorship program has been going over the past few years.

The social worker explained that they were able to continue to provide support for the children during quarantine when the children were sent home, largely thanks to our sponsors. The children only returned just a few short months ago when public schools finally opened again, and now 18 children are living at Santa Maria again during the weekdays. Since before the pandemic, attendance has gone down, and although the home isn’t at full capacity again, almost all of the children who attend have sponsors through Children Incorporated.

As we wandered through the dormitories and the small classrooms, we talked also about the ways in which Santa Maria is a blessing for families in the community. With many parents working long hours or overnight shifts, it is crucial for young children to have a place to live, learn and play with their friends during the week.

With many parents working long hours or overnight shifts, it is crucial for young children to have a place to live, learn and play with their friends during the week.

The parents pay a very small fee for the children to stay at the Home, which as it was explained to us, was mostly just to ensure they felt invested in their child’s care, and less about what the money really provided. Fortunately for these children, their sponsors help make sure they have healthy meals every day, new clothes and shoes, and school supplies throughout the year.

As we finish up our tour, the children arrive excited and, unknowingly to us, expecting our visit. As we gather in the dining room, the children have a surprise for Luis and me — they have learned a song to sing to us to say thanks to our organization and all of our sponsors.

It is so apparent that these children feel loved and safe at Santa Maria, which is important to giving their parents peace of mind while they work. For these children, Santa Maria ensures they and their parents have nothing to worry about while they are there so they can focus on enjoying just being kids.

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How do I sponsor a child in Mexico?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD