Tag Archives: poverty

Helping Parents Become Teachers

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Lebanon that we wanted to share with our sponsors and donors. Amidst all that has happened since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to hear that there have been some good things to come out of the harder times for children in our program — and their families:

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more.

Greetings from the FAID Family

“Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you on behalf of the FAID family for all the support we have received from you over the years, especially during the last two years. Running our school in an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic has been highly challenging.

A school cannot be run without staff. Withyour help and support, we have held onto our team and continued paying wages. However, the hyperinflation in Lebanon has reduced the buying power of the wages by a lot. One Lebanese pound is now worth less than one-tenth of what it was two years ago. But your support has enabled us to provide food parcels on three occasions for everyone – students, families, and staff – connected to the school.

Students are back in the classroom at FAID after an 18-month period at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 also offered a blessing by helping parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children.. Several lockdowns reduced our face to face teaching time severely. So, we needed to find another way to help our children and their parents develop their educational skills. Our staff made several videos on a particular topic each week. The video “OPPOSITES,” for example, explained all about up and down, in and out, high and low, etc. These videos, made for WhatsApp, were easy for parents to use.

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more, and most of all, reduced the emotional trauma that exists in families having children with special needs.

The value of continued support

Furthermore, providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help of Children Incorporated and their sponsors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible.

We would heartily appreciate your keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Our political and economic situation is extremely worrying. There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, electricity and sometimes food, and the prices are going up on a daily basis. We know we can depend on your continued support, and for that, we are tremendously grateful.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in Lebanon?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Contributing to an Entire Community

Throughout the year, our affiliated projects from around the world share special project proposals with us that will help improve the lives of not only the children that we support but their families as well. Thanks to our Hope In Action program, we are often able to support many of our projects so they can grow their programs and offer skills training and other important resources to impoverished communities in which we work.

A proposal from Bolivia

One such proposal we received in 2021 was from the Montero School in Bolivia, where our volunteer coordinator requested funds to construct an agriculture school on the same property as the existing school.

“This area is mainly an agricultural area, and many children and adults have to go to nearby cities, even a few hours away to Santa Cruz to get better training,” explains our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

“With the support of this training institution, Children Incorporated is contributing to the whole community. The agricultural school will include a barn with cows, a pigpen, and a chicken coop in which students and their parents can learn how to take care of animals as well as grow food, skills they can then apply to their own lives to better their employment opportunities or gain income in the future!”

About the Montero School

The small, landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises 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 Amazon jungle to the east. 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, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime and disease.

Thanks to our Hope In Action program, we are often able to support many of our projects so they can grow their programs and offer skills training and other important resources to impoverished communities in which we work.

The remote town of Okinawa — settled in the 1950s by Japanese immigrant farmers — is no exception to these maladies. Here, in 1976, the Montero Home/School was founded as a girls’ home by local religious leaders to assist children of the Japanese settlers, as well as native Bolivians. Today, the school has expanded its mission, providing a safe refuge and learning center for impoverished girls and boys in the area. Some children who come to Montero Home/School have never experienced the comfort of a bed, a bath, or a nutritious meal – let alone an education. Here, children receive these basic needs, along with the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they have come.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Bolivia?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

A Long Way to Go for Resources

The Ojo Encino (pronounced “OH-ho en-SEE-no”) Day School lies in a remote area of north-central New Mexico. The closest landmark may well be the Continental Divide. Even the nearest post office — in Cuba, New Mexico — is almost 40 miles to the northwest.

Our affiliated project, the Ojo Encino Day School, offers impoverished children in this area nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education, as well as support with basic needs through our sponsorship program — all despite the closest stores being hours away.

Although situated outside of the Navajo Indian Reservation’s boundaries, this area is still very much part of the United States’ “Navajo Country.” The children who attend Ojo Encino live with their families in traditional Navajo hogans scattered throughout the spectacular but inhospitable desert. Winters here are harsh, and summers are hot and dry. Because of widespread, debilitating unemployment, area families struggle to afford even the most basic necessities as they grapple with the socioeconomic effects of poverty. Our affiliated project, the Ojo Encino Day School, offers impoverished children in this area nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education, as well as support with basic needs through our sponsorship program — all despite the closest stores being hours away.

Making Trips to Albuquerque

“In the Fall of 2019, I met with our coordinator, Nora, at Ojo Encino Day School,” explained Shelley Oxenham, Children Incorporated U.S. Projects Specialist.

“Nora is the school secretary, athletic director and volleyball coach — she is a busy lady! She does most of her Children Incorporated work at home in the evenings and weekends. Although there is no staff available to help her with the Children Incorporated program at the school, she does have a helper with her shopping trips.”

“Nora does most of her shopping at Walmart in Albuquerque, a three-and-a-half-hour round trip drive. She purchases clothes and shoes for the students and sometimes she purchases snacks,” said Shelley.

Challenges for Families and Children

Nora pictured with Shelley Oxenham

“She told me that most of the families get enough food stamp assistance to cover a month’s worth of groceries — but even the closest well-stocked grocery store is approximately an hour and forty-five minutes away. There is a very small grocery store in Cuba, about a thirty-minute drive, but the food is very expensive, and it is often outdated or spoiled; it is a last resort for food.”

“The majority of families live in homes equipped with water and electricity — only a few on the northwest side of the region are without water. Most children live with their parents; there are very few students in the school who are being raised by grandparents.  At most of our U.S. schools, we are hearing of more and more grandparents raising grandchildren (or even great-grandchildren) so this was quite the exception, and I was glad to hear it,” said Shelley.

***

 How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Supplying Vitamins During COVID-19

Located just southeast of Mexico, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. Its spectacular mountains boast a wealth of natural resources and stunning biodiversity. For centuries, this land served as the core territory of the Mayan civilization.

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Following two centuries of Spanish colonization, Guatemala gained its independence in the early nineteenth century, only to endure another 150 years of political instability and civil unrest. Additionally, this area is prone to devastating natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes which cause mudslides and flooding. Despite recent economic growth and successful democratic elections, Guatemala still struggles with widespread poverty, illiteracy, crime and high rates of unemployment and underemployment.

Located in one of Guatemala City’s impoverished neighborhoods, our affiliated project, the Juan Apostol School, offers support to children in need. Founded in 1964, the school strives to provide students with a well-rounded education while also offering other vital resources — including vitamin supplements which kids need to remain healthy and able to attend school.

Why Vitamins?

According to the website HealthyKids.com, “Vitamin means ‘vital for life’. Vitamins and minerals are compounds necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies. We need vitamins and minerals to help us grow, to see correctly, to form bones, muscles, skin and organs, as well as to help us battle infections.”

Two of our sponsored children hold their supply of vitamins thanks to our partner, Altar’d State

Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to severe problems. The best way to ensure your child receives enough vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development is to provide a wide variety of fresh foods from the five food groups including whole grain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes, and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Unfortunately, for many children living in poverty around the world, having access to fresh food at all times is not always an option, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in countries like Guatemala, where many families were not receiving support as they quarantined and were forced out of work.

Altar’d State offers their support

In the last months, thanks to a contribution by our partner, Altar’d State, to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, we were able to provide funds to the Juan Apostol School in Guatemala for a three-month supply of vitamins containing vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc for all 102 children enrolled in our program. And, because our volunteer coordinator was purchasing these items in bulk for the benefit of children, the local pharmacy provided a four-month supply of vitamins at the cost of just a three-month supply!

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has allowed us to further support kids in our program beyond sponsorship.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Guatemala?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sound Preparation for the Future

Located in the periphery of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, our affiliated project, the Maria Immaculata Children’s Education Centre, supports students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The Centre is located in an area just outside the city that has grown tremendously in population in the last few years, offering support to children of low-income families that otherwise would have to attend overcrowded public schools.

“At Maria Immaculata, children receive a solid education, as well as resources that provide sound preparation for their future,” explained Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

“At Maria Immaculata, children receive a solid education, as well as resources that provide sound preparation for their future,” explained Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

A chance to get out of poverty

“Many of the children’s parents are street vendors or service workers who make very little money. They live in nearby slums — some are coping with health concerns such as HIV or raising children as single parents.”

“Maria Immaculata provides children with an education and a place to live at their boarding home. With the education they receive from the youngest age up until high school graduation, these children will have a chance at employment or higher education when they leave the school — something that will help them and their families get out of poverty,” said Luis.

“And recently, Kenya has adjusted its education system to a newly devised academic plan. Formerly, a child would go from K-8th grade in Primary School, and 9th-12th into Secondary School.”

Children at Maria Immaculata benefit from the many resources the Centre offers.

“Now, students attend Primary School from K-6th, Middle School, or what is referred to as Lower Secondary School, from 7th-9th grades, and Upper Secondary in 10th, 11th, and 12th. This will allow an introduction to formal skills training or technical programs in the upper secondary so that children will have training for job opportunities earlier in life,” explained Luis.

“The Centre is also working towards improving its infrastructure in the near future. The school buildings are adequate, although they need basic maintenance repairs at this moment, such as new paint.”

“The school administrators are planning an upgrade to their Biology and Science labs and are considering the implementation of a solar system as an energy supply for the entire Centre,” said Luis.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Kenya?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

A Garden for Learning and Nutrition

Located more than 200 miles outside of Addis Ababa, Kids Hope Ethiopia supports children in our program in the rural town of Kersa.

“Kids Hope is an impressive project — and one in which our sponsorship should be proud to support.”

The Kids Hope Center itself has two locations within Kersa. One site has an agricultural area and a dining hall. The other location has a few sports fields and a salon/classroom, classes, meetings, and trainings.

“Kids Hope supports children who attend the Center’s afterschool and return home each day, while also serving children from further away, who board with local families and then return home on the weekends. The children are enrolled in local public schools, and they are provided with all school supplies, materials, clothes, and food. The Center provides a great opportunity for education, whereas otherwise, there is no option to go to school in the small surrounding villages,” explained our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

Gardening for multiple purposes

“A few years ago, Children Incorporated supported Kids Hope’s efforts to start a vegetable garden with their agricultural area. This vegetable garden has been great for educational purposes for the children, while also offering them nutritional food.”

“All the vegetables produced there are used in the Center’s kitchen. The children are provided with meals every day while attending nearby schools, and then after school, when they are at the Center for tutoring and computer training,” said Luis.

“This center is providing crucial resources for children’s development in this remote area — Kids Hope is an impressive project — and one in which our sponsorship should be proud to support.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in Ethiopia?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD