Tag Archives: sponsor

Easing the Burden on Families in Santiago

Spanning over 2,000 miles of South America’s western coastline, with deserts in the north, rainforests in the south, and the snowcapped peaks of the Andes Mountains ranging throughout, Chile is a stunning country.

Children with disabilities receive support thanks to the Handicapped Children’s Center.

Yet despite its natural beauty and reputation as politically progressive when it comes to human rights, Chile suffers from excessive inflation and an ever-increasing unemployment rate. Due to these economic realities, millions of Chileans are desperately poor.

A big telethon in Chile

The anguish typically associated with poverty becomes even starker when impoverished families are caring for a disabled child, such as the families with children at our affiliated project, the Handicapped Children’s Center in Santiago.

Thankfully, children with various disabilities receive treatment and support in an educational environment and help from their sponsors at the Handicapped Children’s Center. Without the much-needed aid the Center provides, disabled children and their families would have nowhere to turn to receive services and resources they so desperately need.

Beyond support from our sponsorship program, the Handicapped Children’s Center receives funding year-round thanks to Teleton, Chile. Teleton is a charity event held in various locations around the country in the first week of December. During the event, Chilean television networks hold a 27-hour telethon to raise money to help children with developmental disabilities. Since its inception in 1978, over $286 million has been raised, and 13 rehabilitation centers have been built all around Chile. Currently, Teleton is the world’s most-watched telethon.

Because the Handicapped Children’s Center is a well-funded organization, it provides children and young adults up to age twenty years old with medical care and therapy for free.

Free care for kids in need

Because the Handicapped Children’s Center is a well-funded organization, it provides children and young adults up to age twenty years old with medical care and therapy for free. The Center is equipped to provide care and support to children suffering from the effects of polio, congenital disabilities, Downs Syndrome, and other mental and physical handicaps.

The Handicapped Children’s Center is located in the rehabilitation wing of a local hospital in Santiago. The hospital itself is a large, modern building, comprising of examination rooms, physical therapy, a swimming pool, and a center for making prosthetic aids, which are provided to children free of charge. Transportation to and from the facility, when needed, is also offered at no cost to families.

New surgery techniques are helping disabled children in Chile to walk normally again.

The staff of the Handicapped Children’s Center includes physical therapists, orthopedists, podiatrists, neurosurgeons, urologists, dentists, occupational therapists, teachers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, audiologists, and a full prosthetic staff.

The Center emphasizes self-care and independence in its therapy, and families are encouraged to play an active role in the children’s rehabilitation. The goal is to prepare the Center’s participants to become entirely independent at school, at home, in the workforce, and society. Children who are able to attend local public schools to learn independence, and those who are not able to due to their disabilities are educated at the Center.

Helping children to walk

The support children receive at the Handicapped Children’s Center is individualized, involving physical and recuperative therapy as well as psychiatric care. Children also enjoy arts programs as a part of their participatory therapy. Doctors, nurses and technicians are available with access to robotics technology, providing the best possible support for maximum recovery.

Additionally, special new surgery techniques have been performed on children with physical limitations so they may walk normally. Recently, three children that are enrolled in the Children Incorporated program have benefited from the surgery with staggering results.

Along with the care they receive at the Handicapped Children’s Center, sponsored children receive school supplies, food, clothing, and transportation allowances so they can participate in regular therapy sessions. Over the years, children and their parents have expressed gratitude to Children Incorporated staff members for the support they received from sponsors, as it lowered the family burden on treatment expenses.

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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

A Shining Light in the Culture Capital of Argentina

Renowned for its wealth of culture, arts and beautiful European-style architecture, Buenos Aires draws thousands of tourists each year.

However, there is a hidden side of the city that few tourists experience. Extremely high inflation, rising unemployment and an increasing poverty rate leave many parents struggling to feed their children.  As a result, impoverished families are forced to live in Buenos Aires’s slum neighborhoods, packed together in wooden shacks with tin roofs, separated by narrow footpaths with few resources and little hope for a way out.

Impoverished families are forced to live in Buenos Aires’s slum neighborhoods, packed together in wooden shacks with tin roofs, separated by narrow footpaths with few resources and little hope for a way out.

Located in the Florencio Varela slum neighborhood, our affiliated project Casa del Niño – Padre Jose Kentenich Daycare Center provides for the physical and social needs of impoverished children throughout the day. Serving as a daycare center and afterschool program for children while their parents are at work, Casa del Niño offers tutoring and recreational activities as well as a secure place for kids to escape from the poor conditions and uncertainty that are typically associated with urban slums.

Serving many children in need

According to Luis Bourdet, our Director of International Programs, Casa del Niño alternates their hours of operation with the local public school’s schedule.

“For those students that have school in the morning, they come to the Center in the afternoon, and vice versa.  About 300 children attend this Center daily,” explained Luis.

The Center receives funding from the local government. The children most in need are enrolled in our sponsorship program to ensure they are provided with additional food, clothing and educational support — as well as the emotional and psychological support in knowing their sponsors care about them and their well-being.

On a recent visit to Casa del Niño, Luis, along with Children Incorporated International Projects Specialist, Kristen Walthall, found that the Florencio Varela neighborhood had received much-needed improvements in infrastructure since his last trip to Argentina nearly four years earlier.

“Roads have been improved, as well as housing. Families lives have been steadily improving too,” said Luis.

Besides the changes Luis could see outside of the home, he also found that Casa del Niño has made quite a few improvements under a new administration, which included an entirely new board of directors. Luis and Kristen toured the facility’s fully equipped kitchen, which serves children nutritious meals twice a day. A new arts program had been added as well as a sewing group for parents. The Center also began hosting parent meetings in the evenings and established a sports program for the children in the afternoons.

A dedicated and loving staff

Luis was impressed.

“The children are well cared for at the home, and their parents’ needs are being met as well — the sense of camaraderie and support can really be felt here. This Center has a bright future,” he said.

Kristen felt similarly to Luis during their visit to the Center — her first to Casa del Niño.

Casa del Niño offers tutoring and recreational activities as well as a secure place for kids to escape from the poor conditions and uncertainty that are typically associated with urban slums.

“The Center has both paid and volunteer staff members who are some of the most dedicated and passionate people I have ever met,” said Kristen.

“One board member volunteers to work with the children on a daily basis, as does her sister, who regularly teaches music to students, opening their hearts and minds with her guitar playing and hearty singing voice.”

“During our tour, we also had the chance to meet a loving and committed cook who attended the center herself as a little girl,” explained Kristen.

“When she grew up and started a family, her daughter started attending Casa del Niño. She then began volunteering as a cook and was eventually hired to run the kitchen full-time. More than twenty years later, now her granddaughter is in attendance, and benefits from the culinary talents of her grandmother and the nurturing ambiance of the Center.”

Meeting Ale

Before their visit ended, Luis and Kristen had a chance to meet a staff member at Casa del Niño named Ale. According to Kristen, Ale, who is a former attorney, is a vivacious young woman who has taken on a critical role in the Center’s growth.

After becoming involved with the Center’s recreational activities, Ale found that there was a divide among the kids that prevented them from getting along with one another during their allotted sports recess times. Since soccer was the only game the children played, some of the kids were much better at the sport than others — and fellow participants criticized those that weren’t very skilled.

Ale came up with a plan that would help to level the playing field among the children. She introduced baseball into the afterschool curriculum, giving kids a chance to try something new so the focus wasn’t solely on their soccer abilities.

When Luis and Kristen visited the Center, they witnessed the newest sport being introduced: field hockey. Ale explained to them that thanks to a generous donation, she was able to obtain field hockey sticks and balls and give the children another sport to learn together for the first time. 

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How do I sponsor a child in Argentina?

You can sponsor a child in Argentina 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 who is available for sponsorship in Argentina.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Head of the Class in Peru

Located along South America’s central-western coast, Peru comprises arid Pacific coastlands, spectacular mountain ranges and the vast Amazon rainforest. This land has been home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Inca Empire, the culture that constructed Peru’s most iconic landmark, Machu Picchu.

Peru’s rich culture, breathtaking beauty, and wealth of natural resources, however, belie the abject poverty in which many of its residents live. Many rural areas are still recovering from the Sendero Luminoso terrorist attacks of the 1990s, which claimed countless lives and caused thousands of families who had relied on agriculture for generations to seek shelter in large cities where they encountered even deeper poverty.

A safe place for girls

While Peru as a whole suffers from high unemployment, hyperinflation and all the difficulties that poverty entails, problems like disease, malnutrition and crime are most pronounced in its overcrowded urban areas. These problems are the worst in the nation’s capital, Lima, where our affiliated project, the Puente Piedra Girls’ Home, is located.

Established by an order of nuns, the home offers girls ages five to twenty-two shelter and a safe place to receive a quality education all within the same vicinity. Today, the Puente Piedra Girls’ Home serves over a thousand children in kindergarten through twelfth grade and is run by a dedicated staff of educators — many of whom grew up in our sponsorship program.

Seeing Lima for the first time

When International Director of Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I arrived in Peru, we made our way to the Puente Piedra neighborhood to meet with our volunteer coordinator, Sister Ana Maria.

Located about an hour’s drive outside of the center of Lima, the extreme poverty in the sprawling urban areas was apparent just from looking out the window of the moving taxi.  Small shacks made of wood and corrugated tin towered above the highway perched dusty hills. For these low-income families, their only option was to build homes without permission in places where no one else wanted to live. As these communities became more established, locals would then ban together to collect money to build roads or towering staircases leading up to houses — things that the government might otherwise do if these shantytowns were legally recognized.

When we arrived at Puente Piedra, Ana Maria took us on a tour of the beautiful facility. Well-kept dormitories were divided by age group, and a house mother was assigned to each dorm to look after the children. An adjacent school offered classrooms, a library and a computer lab. The spacious grounds also had plenty of places for girls to play, with trees and gardens surrounding all the school buildings.

No other place to go

Ana Maria explained to Luis and me that many of these girls come from homes where they are neglected because either they have no immediate family to take care of them or their families are so poor they cannot feed and clothe their children properly.

For these girls, living full time at Puente Piedra allows them to thrive under circumstances under which they otherwise would have not been able to attend school. It also prevents them from experiencing the poverty their parents’ experience. Even on school holidays, most of the girls stay at the home, having no reason to return to their families where they would have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.

Former sponsored children ARE the next generation

We made our way to the school administration offices, which are centered among basketball and volleyball courts, where hundreds of students were enjoying recess.

As we approached the principal’s office, a teacher arrived and introduced herself as a former sponsored child. Luis and I were pleased to meet her, listening to her talk about her fond memories of her sponsors, even remembering their name after more than 30 years.

A moment later, another teacher appeared and greeted us as a former sponsored child as well. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by ten administrators — including the principal — who had all been in the Children Incorporated program.

For these women, the motivation and encouragement, as well as the financial support they received from the sponsors, gave them a reason to stay in school, graduate, continue onto higher education, and return to Puente Piedra to lead other girls to success.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN PERU?

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

Our Mosquito Net Fund

In countries where Children Incorporated works, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and India, children need mosquito nets to protect them from mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and dengue, so that they will be healthy enough to attend school.

Malaria infects around 250 million people worldwide each year – most of whom are children in Africa.

What is a mosquito net?

 A mosquito net is a mesh curtain that is draped over a bed or a sleeping area to offer protection against bites and stings from mosquitos, flies, and other pest insects, and the diseases they carry. Examples of such preventable insect-borne diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika virus and West Nile virus. Research has shown mosquito nets to be an extremely effective method of malaria prevention, averting approximately 663 million cases of malaria over the period 2000–2015.

To be effective, the mesh of the mosquito’s net must be fine enough to prevent insects from entering while still allowing visibility and ventilation. Mosquito netting can be hung over beds from the ceiling or a frame, built into tents, or installed in windows and doors. When hung over beds, however, rectangular nets provide more room for sleeping without the danger of the netting contacting skin, and allowing mosquitos to bite through the netting.

To further protect against mosquito bites, many nets, including those that Children Incorporated provides to children in our program, are pretreated with an appropriate insecticide or insect repellent. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been proven to reduce illness, severe complications, and death due to malaria.

Facts about Mosquito-borne illnesses:

– Malaria infects around 250 million people worldwide each year – most of whom are children in Africa.

– Malaria and dengue can result in death, unless detected and treated promptly.

– The most effective means of preventing malaria is to sleep under a mosquito net.

 

$10 provides a mosquito net for one child.

What we do

Each year, we purchase thousands of nets which we distribute to our sponsored and unsponsored children and their families, thanks to donations to our Mosquito Net Fund.

How to help

It is simple and very inexpensive to provide a child and his or her family members with life-saving mosquito nets. For as little as $10, you can purchase a mosquito net that will protect an impoverished child from mosquito-borne illnesses.

How can I donate to the Mosquito Net Fund?

You can contribute to our Mosquito Net 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, create an account, and donate to our Mosquito Net Fund.

MOSQUITO NET FUND

 

Transforming Mothers in Medellín

When our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I first arrived in Medellín, Colombia, I noticed a striking difference from our visit to the capital city of Bogotá. Unlike many other cities that I have visited in South America, Medellín’s level of poverty and destitution was present even in the most well-off areas of town. As we drove from the airport to downtown Medellín, I was surprised to see homeless people living on the streets — even in the moreso affluent neighborhoods. This was something I didn’t often see in underdeveloped or developing countries.

Centro Primavera offers courses to mothers so they can graduate from high school and training so they can gain the skills they need to obtain employment.

We arrived in the early evening and planned to meet with our volunteer coordinator, Piedad, and her assistant, Manuela, outside of the San Pedro neighborhood, where our affiliated project, Centro Primavera, is located.

We arrived at a small, downtown Medellín restaurant where we joined Piedad and Manuela, who were already waiting for us. Piedad explained that she has been with Centro Primavera for 25 years. The organization operates in one of the tougher neighborhoods in the city — where drug use and crime are prevalent, and many impoverished women are forced to work in prostitution to make money to support their children.

Piedad is pictured outside of Centro Primavera with a few of our sponsored children.

Piedad’s primary goal is to help get these young women and mothers off the street. Centro Primavera offers them courses so they can graduate from high school and training so they can gain the skills they need to obtain employment. Other programs at the Center are geared towards providing the children of these mothers a place to receive tutoring support and play inside, away from the violence and drug abuse that is rampant in their neighborhood.

A place for mothers and children

The next day, we met Piedad at Centro Primavera in the early morning. She took us on a tour of the facility, which serves children both as a daycare center and an afterschool enrichment center. Children ranging from infancy to eighteen receive nutritious food and medical care.

The older children enjoy arts and crafts, dance classes and games in one of the many recreation rooms available for their use. The Center also has a full library on the first floor, a kitchen on the second floor and private offices where women and children receive psychological support.

Stories of My Neighborhood

“Relatos de mi Barrio” was created by Centro Primavera staff members to help the community understand the Center’s mission.

After taking the tour of the buildings, Luis and I had the chance to sit down with some of the mothers and hear more about the programs that Centro Primavera offers. The Center focuses on four programs: skills training in such areas as cosmetology, computers, baking and leatherwork; prevention of abuse; women’s rights education; and sustainability and resources for the institution to continue with its work.

The fourth program is called “Memory and Identity,” which focuses on providing information about the San Pedro neighborhood to the local community and authorities so that there can be a plan of action as to how to handle issues that arise. Piedad shared with us a book that she wrote called “Relatos de mi Barrio,” which tells the history of San Pedro and how Centro Primavera has had a positive impact on the community over the years.

It was apparent to both Luis and me that Piedad works hard for the mothers and the children at the Center. She is incredibly grateful for the Children Incorporated sponsorship program which offers basic needs to kids and gives them a sense of encouragement and pride from their sponsors. She would love to get more children enrolled in our program – at the time of our visit, more than twenty children were available for sponsorship.

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How do I sponsor a child in Colombia?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

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.