Tag Archives: poverty

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.

The new agricutural program at the Montero School will benefit both students and their parents.

“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.

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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

 

We are happy to share with you our Fall 2021 Newsletter, highlighting our work around the world thanks to our sponsors and donors and their generosity and dedication in helping children in need. Enjoy!

Thanks to our sponsors and donors, we have been able to help them in their efforts to keep children and teachers safe and healthy.

Providing an Abundance of Support to our Projects in 2021

Around the world, our volunteer coordinators at nearly 300 affiliated projects continue to navigate how they can best support children in need through the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to our  sponsors and donors, we have been able to help them in their efforts to keep children and teachers safe and healthy while they work hard to provide impoverished students with a well-rounded education — whether at home or in the classroom.

Although the last school year has been like no other in Children Incorporated’s history, we have continued to provide children in our program with the resources they need to overcome the obstacles they face during the global pandemic. It is with a great deal of gratitude that we thank each and every one of our supporters for their role in these efforts.

Offering Hygiene Items to Girls in Kenya 

Our sponsors have provided thousands of children with school supplies this fall.

More recently, some of the most important items we have been able to offer to children in our program has been hygiene items — masks, soap and hand sanitizer – for them  to take home and use in their daily lives to help prevent illness and protect children and their families against all kinds of disease, most specifically COVID-19. Additionally, when we consider the needs of our sponsored children, we especially need to consider the particular needs of young girls who might not have access to feminine hygiene products — most likely because their families can’t afford them. When young ladies don’t have access to sanitary napkins, they often skip school to stay home which can be detrimental to their education.

This year, we have focused on providing three-month supplies of sanitary napkins to all girls at our affiliated project, the Dandora Community Centre in Kenya, on a continuous basis so that they may remain in attendance at school throughout the year.

Supplying Vitamins During COVID-19 in Guatemala 

Children in Guatemala are pictured with their vitamin supply

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 to our coordinator 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 made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

 A Blessing During the Pandemic in Lebanon   

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID):

“A blessing came out of COVID-19. 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 each week. Each video had a particular topic. 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.

COVID-19 helped parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children. Increased parental involvement enhanced building 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.

Providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help we received from Children Incorporated donors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible. Thank you for all of your support in helping children at FAID.”

Supporting Agriculture in Bolivia 

Throughout the year, our affiliated projects from around the world share with us proposals for special projects 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.

We are incredibly grateful all contributions that donors have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

One such proposal we received in 2021 was from the Montero School in Bolivia, in which 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, and even a few hours away to Santa Cruz to get better training,” explains our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

A sponsored child in Arizona poses with her new book bag thanks to our Back to School Program.

“With the support of this training institution that is being implemented, 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 which they can then apply to their own lives to better their employment opportunities or income in the future!”

Time for Back to School Around the world

 At the end of the summer this year, students at some of our affiliated projects returned to in-person learning for the first time since the spring of 2020. As our volunteer coordinators work hard to re-connect with these children as they see them on a regular basis for the first time in over 16 months, we are especially grateful that our sponsors have remained consistent in their lives during the difficulties they faced while being out of school and adjusting to a new life-style.

Welcome back to all the students who have returned to the classroom! We wish you a wonderful 2021-2022 school year!

READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER

I love grocery stores!  I admit it. I really do.  I find a lot of joy in shopping for food.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trips to the grocery store or food markets with family members. When I was really small, I spent Saturdays with my Aunt Louise and Grandmother Pierce while my parents worked. Every Saturday morning, my aunt would shop for groceries, and she always took me with her. At first, I sat in the basket as she shopped, but as I grew older, I graduated to pushing the shopping cart!  I thought I was hot stuff, let me tell you!  I clearly recall pushing that buggy down the aisles of our local A&P. I recall the smell of the freshly ground coffee near the front of the store, as well as the wonderful aroma of cakes and pies just out of the oven in the bakery.

Our Feeding Programs provide food for hundreds of children each year.

In my immediate family, my father did the vast majority of food shopping, and he loved grocery stores probably as much or more than anyone I have ever met.  There were six or seven food stores in our small town, and Daddy made the rounds from one to another, looking for bargains and stocking up on deals.  Sometimes when my dad was stressed or just needed an out from the responsibilities of daily life, he would say to my mom “Peg, I think I’ll just go to Winn Dixie and look around,” and off he’d go.  Sometimes I went with him, and Daddy loved pointing out the bargains –  BOGO items (buy one, get one free) and things marked down for clearance.

My folks were not wealthy. They were hard-working folks who sometimes struggled to pay their bills, but we always, always had food to eat, and my childhood memories are of wonderful meals and abundance. Both of my parents were excellent cooks, and I can still taste some of the special dishes they made — my mom’s lemon pie and fresh coconut cake, and Daddy’s fried chicken and chili con carne immediately come to mind. So many memories are of the taste and smell of food, and for me, of course, those magical trips to the grocery store.

It is hard for me to imagine being constantly hungry, but I am painfully aware that there are millions upon millions of people who go without proper food and nutrition on a daily basis. In the United States, 1 in 6 children face food insecurity, and globally, there are over 800,000,000 people who do not know where they will get their next meal. Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Children Incorporated is working to alleviate some of the suffering that comes from food insecurity. Our international and United States child feeding programs offer nutritious food to thousands of children on a regular basis.  As needs arise in the field – whether in a remote Kenyan village or a rural school in Eastern Kentucky – Children Incorporated responds to the calls we receive and provides life-sustaining nourishment to children and families. In Central and Latin America, this may be in the form of bagged rice and beans to feed a family for a month, or in the United States, food distribution through weekend and holiday backpack feeding programs. By whatever means, we are always seeking ways to reach more and more children and to alleviate their hunger.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Please, consider donating to our Feeding Programs today.

DONATE TODAY

 

Our U.S. Feeding Program provides children food to take home on the weekends and during summer break when they otherwise might not receive regular meals. We support children at our affiliated projects in Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia, and New Orleans.

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Programs Fund to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

What is backpack feeding?

Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. Although free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs provide significant nutritional benefits to students during the school day, many disadvantaged children do not have access to regular meals when school is not in session. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat.

Our U.S. Feeding Program helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with bags full of nutritious, non-perishable, and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons, so they have food to eat throughout the weekend or over holiday breaks. Thanks to our U.S. Feeding Program, children show up on Monday morning healthy and ready to learn.

What you need to know about child hunger in the U.S.

– In America, 1 in 6 children don’t know where they will get their next meal

– Nearly 13 million kids in the U.S. face hunger

– 5 out of 6 kids who rely on free or reduced-price school meals aren’t getting free meals in the summer

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How you can help

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Program to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

DONATE TODAY

Even by Navajo reservation standards, our affiliated project, the Lake Valley Boarding School, is located in an incredibly remote area of New Mexico, which makes our partnership with the school incredibly valuable to both the children and the school’s administrators. In fact, there are a total of 32 students in attendance at Lake Valley – each of which is sponsored through our sponsorship program.

“Over the years, there has been talk of closing the school and transporting the children to the nearest little town, which is Crownpoint, where the school has its post office box,” explained Children Incorporated Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

“However, the school’s isolation makes the prospect of consolidation doubtful. The high desert region is arid, but it is not without rain. When the rains come, transportation in some areas comes to a virtual standstill. The mud is deep and thick, and many of the roads are in bad shape. Therefore, the school is quite essential for the few families that send their children there and our sponsors help these students more than they can imagine.”

Meeting Veronica and Jeannette

“Our volunteer co-coordinators at Lake Valley are Veronica and Jeanette. Both work in the school dormitory, as many of the children live on the outskirts of the districts, and the roads are sometimes too bad for a daily commute. The children stay in the dorm until Friday afternoon, and they return to the dorm on Sunday afternoon, except during summer, winter breaks and holidays. The ladies are a great and supportive team, and it’s obvious they’re devoted to every child,” said Renée.

Our co-volunteer coordinators, Jeanette and Veronica

“During my last visit to the school in 2019, we began our tour outside the main office when several boys ran up to show Veronica and Jeanette their team’s sports trophies. Of the 36 students from the area who competed in the track event, five were from Lake Valley. Jeanette and Veronica introduced me to George and Douglas* who live with their parents and one sister. Their mom works as a clerical assistant, and their father has erratic work as a laborer. His pay is good when he can find work, but he goes for long periods without. Their combined pay is below poverty level.”

“This is the situation for most of our sponsored kids at Lake Valley. Work is inconsistent, and daily commutes are grueling,” said Renée.

Supporting special needs and beyond

“After meeting the children, we then went on to the dorm and discussed our program. The ladies do all of their shopping at the Walmart in Farmington because they feel the funds stretch farthest when they drive further to get less expensive items. During my visit, they requested Hope In Action Funding for eyeglasses for two of the students who have vision issues due to their albinism. Veronica and Jeanette also requested to be considered if any funds become available for their playground, books in the dorm, tablets for the dorm, arts and crafts supplies for the dorm, and seeds and soil for the school greenhouse.”

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

*Names changed to protect the children.

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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 United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

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.

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 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