Tag Archives: poverty

Understanding Child Poverty: Facts and Statistics

Updated: January 2020

Poverty means more than a lack of income. It also means a lack of resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods, such as food, clothing, clean water and proper shelter.

Poverty has many detrimental outcomes for children — hunger and malnutrition, ill-health, limited or a lack of access to education and other basic services. When children are raised in impoverished households, they often have to drop out of school to help their families or don’t attend school at all. Without an education, they have very little chance of breaking the cycle of poverty in which they live.

385 million children around the world live in poverty.

Poverty can cause children permanent damage, both physically and mentally, and in both the short and long term. A lack of essentials can stunt their growth, cause them to fall behind in school, and lead to health problems for them. It also affects their roles within their families, communities, and society as a whole. Poverty denies children their human rights, and it leads to a vicious cycle of deprivation, which is difficult to break without proper support or assistance.

Global poverty facts

– According to the World Bank, 385 million children around the world live in poverty

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

– 1 in 4 children is living in poverty in the world’s richest countries

– 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat

– 80% of the world’s population lives on the equivalent of less than $10 a day

– Almost half the world — over three billion people — lives on less than $2.50 a day

– According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty

National poverty facts

 – About 15 million children in the United States, or 21%, live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold

– There are 72.4 million children in the United States; 41% of them live in low-income families

– Almost 40% of American kids spend at least 1 year in poverty before they turn 18

There are 72.4 million children in the United States; 41% of them live in low-income families

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

– Children living in poverty have a higher rate of absenteeism or leave school altogether because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members

– Students who come from low-income families are 7 times more likely to drop out of school than those from families with higher incomes 

What Children Incorporated does to help alleviate childhood poverty

Children Incorporated provides basic necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, and educational support to children living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad. These essentials, so often taken for granted, are vital to a child’s growth and success in school. Each year, we give thousands of impoverished children all over the world a chance at a better life.

How you can help

You can help a child living in poverty in a few different ways. One is through our child sponsorship program. Our sponsorship program does more than just feed or clothe a child; for $30 a month, you not only help meet the basic and critical needs of a child, but you also make an investment in their future.

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

For $30 a month, you not only help meet the basic and critical needs of a child, but you also make an investment in their future.

You can also help children in need by donating to one of our special funds. Our special funds offer a variety of giving options for sponsors who wish to further their support, as well as for donors who wish to make a difference without making a commitment.

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References:

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

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

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

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

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

https://ourworldindata.org/children-and-poverty-results-from-new-data

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

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

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD with Children Incorporated?

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

New Teachers with Fresh Ideas in Chile

Our affiliated project, the Maipu Center, is located on the outskirts of Chile’s capital city, Santiago. Santiago lies nestled between the towering Andes Mountains to the east and a smaller, coastal range to the west. Nearly five million people — more than a third of the country’s population — reside here, many of which are underprivileged Chilean families.

Concentrated in the city’s southern and northwestern regions, the slums of Santiago are home to impoverished children who are forced to live in makeshift dwellings or deficient public housing. Many of their parents work in the service industry or for small businesses, making low-wages with very little chance for upward mobility.

Helping families in need

The Maipu Center was founded over 80 years ago by a Roman Catholic congregation of women, the Daughters of St. Joseph. Today, 70% of students at the center are from families living below the Chilean poverty line. Without the support of the Maipu Center, or their Children Incorporated sponsors, these children would not have the chance to receive a quality education, which is the key to helping them break the cycle of poverty in which they live.

Functioning as a private school and community center, the center is a spacious, well-kept complex of buildings comprised of classrooms, a kitchen, a dining hall, a church and a community room for activities. Students receive two nutritious meals a day. In addition to standard academic courses, children also take dance and aerobics classes.

Improved academics and new energy 

During a visit to the Maipu Center, Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and International Projects Specialist, Kristen Walthall, were excited to find that the school academics have improved over the years — thanks to the support of a recently hired energetic principal and new, young teachers who are bringing more knowledge of technology and modern methods of education to the school.

“The school’s new principal has renovated all practices and academics in the school, implementing a new information technology department, as well as music and arts departments,” explained Luis.

Thanks to their sponsors, children are not only receiving help while in school but outside of school as well. With the children’s basic needs met, their parents don’t have to worry as much about affording these necessary items.

“Sponsored children are benefiting greatly from these changes, and according to the principal, they are doing better academically because of the new school’s new programs and the enthusiasm of the staff.”

On top of receiving a great deal of support from the Maipu Center administration, children enrolled in our program also benefit from their sponsors. Sponsorship funds are used to help cover school fees; to provide school supplies, book bags and daily snacks; as well as to purchase clothing.

Thanks to their sponsors, children are not only receiving help while in school but outside of school as well. With the children’s basic needs met, their parents don’t have to worry as much about affording these necessary items.

Still more do accomplish in the future

Although an academically progressive school, the principal expressed to Luis that he still struggled to find local funding for operating costs. Still, he wasn’t going to let it get in the way of him giving children every opportunity they deserved to succeed.

Before Luis left, the principal talked about his desire to remodel some of the classrooms, as well as cover the playground area with a roof so it can be used during the summer and winter months for outdoor activities.

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How do I sponsor a child in Chile?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Escaping a Poor Education

In the town of Santa Tecla, located six miles west of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, our affiliated project, the Marillac School is providing children with the opportunity to receive an education — and a quality one at that.

Communities and schools around the world face barriers in providing children with a quality education.

Founded in 1940 by the Sisters of the Order of St. Vincent de Paul, the school serves as not only an escape from the harsh realities local students face growing up in poverty but an escape from poor public education or no education at all.

Considered a semi-private institution, the administrators of the Marillac School — with sponsorship support from the Children Incorporated program — work hard to ensure that kids are receiving basic needs and the best education that they can provide. This gives our sponsored and unsponsored children the opportunity to succeed.

What constitutes poor education?

Children at the Marillac School during recreation time

Communities and schools around the world face barriers to providing children with a quality education. Lack of adequate funding to educational institutions can lead to overcrowded classrooms with little or no resources for students. Untrained teachers, lack of proper food and improper classroom facilities can also significantly affect children’s ability to learn.

The consequences of an inadequate education

What are the consequences of an inadequate education? Poor education can lead to illiteracy. It also inhibits children from qualifying for higher education or being prepared to join the workforce later in life. Children who aren’t properly education tend to be less healthy than those who do and are susceptible to turning towards crime and remaining in poverty in adulthood.

A better chance at a future

For impoverished children around the world, like those at the Marallic School, the benefits of quality education are tremendous.

Higher quality of education are associated with positive outcomes such as better health and well-being and a greater interest in politics and social issues. Students who attend quality schools gain a competitive advantage at getting jobs upon graduation, which can lead to a higher income and the chance for a family to break the cycle of poverty. Quality education also can discourage crime because when educated, children feel a sense of hope and opportunity for a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.

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How do I sponsor a child in El Salvador?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Embracing All the Possibilities Ahead

Each year — usually sometime in early September — I start listening to Christmas music.

Friends and family members scold me and make fun of me for it. They say it is way too early. As I walk into the Children Incorporated office many mornings singing the words to the most recent carol I listened to in my car, Renée Kube, our Director of U.S. Programs, is quick to jokingly remind me that there should be no Christmas music and no Christmas decorations until at least after Thanksgiving or the start of the Advent Season.

Christmas music — and the entire Christmas season for that matter — encourages me to look forward, to dream and to embrace all the possibilities that lie ahead.

A sense of hope and promise

The fact is that I listen to Christmas music because it brings me incredible joy. I just love it! It lifts my spirit and fills me with a sense of hope, promise and anticipation of things to come. It challenges me to look beyond all of the negativity that is so prevalent in our world and to recognize the many ways I am blessed.

Christmas music — and the entire Christmas season for that matter — encourages me to look forward, to dream and to embrace all the possibilities that lie ahead.

Sadly, I am very aware that this is not the case for many children around the holidays. For young children, there is often the sad reality that a jolly old Santa will not visit their homes. For older children, the sense of wonder that is so associated with the Yuletide is sometimes replaced by cynicism and resentment as society celebrates all that they do not have.

Helping make Christmas wishes come true  

Children Incorporated can help sponsored and unsponsored children during the holiday season. Your generosity fulfills many dreams and meets many needs that otherwise would go unattended.

Funds from our child sponsorship program allow our dedicated volunteer coordinators to shop for items that are given to impoverished children, not only at Christmas but all year round. Sponsors also give special money gifts for the children they assist that enable our coordinators to obtain items that children both want and need.

Packages containing books, clothing and toys arrive at our various affiliated projects, and children’s eyes light up when they realize that someone outside of their family members and friends actually does care about them.

In this way, our organization allows children to experience the magic and joy of Christmas.

May our kindness offer them a sense of encouragement and a recognition of the world of possibilities before them. May we help them replace some of the sadness in their lives with celebration.

Sharing our blessing with children in need

Together, may we work to offer the children we serve a sense of hope, promise, and anticipation of things to come. May we fill this holiday season with songs for the precious boys and girls whose lives we strive to improve with our generosity and caring.

May our kindness offer them a sense of encouragement and a recognition of the world of possibilities before them. May we help them replace some of the sadness in their lives with celebration.

It doesn’t require a great deal on our parts — just hearts that care and a willingness to share our blessings with them.

With a song in my heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

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Children Incorporated Annual Report

Dear Friends,

We proudly present to you our annual report for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2019. We are proud of the fact that we are transparent in how we use the funds so generously entrusted to us by our sponsors and donors. We take financial responsibility seriously, and we willingly open our books to all of the major charitable monitoring groups, including Charity Navigator, which has awarded us a 4 Out of 4 Stars rating for the last three ratings cycles, and Charity Watch, which identifies Children Incorporated as a Grade-A, Top-Rated Charity.

We proudly present to you our annual report for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2019. We are proud of the fact that we are transparent in how we use the funds so generously entrusted to us by our sponsors and donors.

Furthermore, we are meticulously audited each year by the highly reputable accounting firm, Yount, Hyde, and Barbour, and they regularly report their findings to our Board of Directors, which then provides expert oversight as I lead Children Incorporated.

For this fiscal year, Children Incorporated ended with a net assets balance of $6,913,196, the highest for our organization since the economic collapse of 2008. Of this total asset value, nearly 35% of the funds are donor-restricted, which means that due to the specific way they were given to our organization, we may not use them as part of our operating budget. Those funds are reserved, per instructions from the donors, for purposes outside of our standard child assistance programs.

Of the unrestricted funds entrusted to Children Incorporated, I am happy to report that the organization has again exceeded all expectations for the amount that is actually used to benefit children, families, and communities. By being frugal, keeping our staff small, and paying close attention to what we spend, Children Incorporated allocated approximately 87% of the funds we received to support child program services. The funds not only supported child sponsorship, but also a host of individualized special needs as they came to our attention.

As Children Incorporated enters its 56th year of service, our vow to you is simple. We will do everything within our power to improve the lives of as many children and young people as possible. We will continue to offer them education, hope, and opportunity. We, as an organization, will remain focused on doing what we know and understand, yet we will be open to new possibilities so that more and more needs may be met.

Thank you for your loyal support.

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter

President and Chief Executive Officer

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READ OUR FULL ANNUAL REPORT

 

Impacted for a Lifetime

In 1895, the Santiago Day School in Chile was founded as a school for girls who came from impoverished — and often neglectful and abusive — families.

Today, this Children Incorporated affiliated project continues to serve girls and their families who reside in downtown Santiago — 30% of whom are living below the poverty line.

Thanks to their sponsors, sponsored students receive food, school supplies and school uniforms. For those children whose families cannot afford to pay the school’s tuition fee, sponsorship funds cover those costs as well.

Managed by the Catholic Order, Sisters Daughters of San Joseph, the school’s caring staff, which includes our volunteer coordinator Sister Claudia, works diligently to provide for some of the poorest children in Chile. Thanks to their sponsors, sponsored students receive food, school supplies and school uniforms. For those children whose families cannot afford to pay the school’s tuition fee, sponsorship funds cover those costs as well.

Additionally, both sponsored and unsponsored children benefit from the Santiago Day School’s sound academic program and its arts, music and recreational activities. Core academic subjects, including English, are offered for kindergarten through twelfth grades. In the afternoons, girls are taught sewing, crafts, flower arranging, and plant care and have time to play games and participate in sports.

Meeting Judit

While visiting the Santiago Day School, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet. and International Projects Specialist, Kristen Walthall, met with Sister Claudia and had a chance to tour the school and attend an awards ceremony.

“During our visit, we had the pleasure of witnessing students receive awards presented by the administration for following the school’s moral standards as well as supporting other students in their efforts for better achievement,” said Luis.

After the ceremony, Sister Claudia took Luis and Kristen to visit the beautiful home of Judit*, the mother of two formerly sponsored children, Juana and Carmen.

The Santiago Day School serves children living in poverty in Chile.

While meeting with Judit, Luis and Kristen learned that her home had been purchased for her by Juana, her eldest daughter, who is now 25 years old. The house was immaculately kept, and it was apparent that Judit was very proud of her home and happy to have Luis and Kristen as her guests.

Judit explained that Juana was sponsored by the same Children Incorporated sponsor through primary and secondary school and high school. Both Judit and Juana felt that Juana’s sponsor made a significant impact in her life — which allowed her to study mine engineering at the University of Santiago in Chile once she graduated.

Much to be proud of

Today, Juana holds the title of Mining Engineer, and she is currently residing in Seattle, Washington, where she is studying English at a local university.

Judit told Luis and Kristen stories about how the entire family would gather to read letters from Juana’s and Carmen’s sponsors.

Yet, as Judit explained, it wasn’t just Juana who was benefiting from her years of having a Children Incorporated sponsor. Beaming with pride, Judit also spoke with Luis and Kristen about her youngest daughter, Carmen, who is now nineteen years old.

Carmen was sponsored through the Children Incorporated program from 2005 to 2018. Like her older sister, Carmen had the same sponsor all through her childhood until she completed high school. Carmen is currently studying information engineering, also at the University of Santiago in Chile. Judit felt that without her sponsor, Carmen might have never finished high school, much less have gone on to college.

Connecting with their sponsors

As she continued to reminisce about her daughter’s experience in our sponsorship program, Judit told Luis and Kristen stories about how the entire family would gather to read letters from Juana’s and Carmen’s sponsors. They felt so close and connected to their sponsors through letter writing that the names of their sponsor’s pets became household names in their home.

For fun, they talked as a family about what their sponsor’s pets might be doing, and over the years, they enjoyed waiting with anxious anticipation for letters in the mail for more stories about those pets, and their sponsors, and how they were doing in their lives.

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How do I sponsor a child in Chile?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD IN CHILE