Tag Archives: sponsorship

Providing Relief in Kenya

We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors and donors who have supported our COVID-19 relief efforts over the last few months. Recently, we heard from our volunteer coordinator, James, at our affiliated project, the Dandora Community Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, as to how donations are helping children in our program and their families:

Recently, we heard from our volunteer coordinator, James, at our affiliated project, the Dandora Community Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, as to how donations are helping children in our program and their families.

“I am glad to write to you to inform you that with the feeding funds that were sent to us this month, we were able to buy food items [for] the children that we then packaged for their parents to take home. We [were] able to fill the food bags with maize, flour, cooking oil, rice, beans and bar soaps, and detergent.”

About Kenya

Located in the Great Lakes region of eastern Africa, Kenya is known for its fertile highlands, grassy savannahs, wildlife, and its namesake peak, Mt. Kenya. Its economy relies heavily upon agriculture and tourism. Kenya is also a cradle of civilization, rich in cultural heritage and diversity. The nation’s wealth of natural beauty, resources, and culture, however, belie the poverty in which most of its residents live. Tragically, poverty and weak government institutions permit frequent violations of human rights. Kenya is plagued by a severe shortage of healthcare workers, which contributes to lower life expectancies, high infant mortality rates, and widespread preventable disease.

Our projects in Kenya

Dandora Community Centre
Nairobi, Kenya

A mother receives a bag of donated food and hygiene items to be taken home during COVID-19.

Established in the Dandora public housing projects and operated by the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, the Dandora Community Centre’s mission is to serve the nearly 7,000 residents of this overcrowded slum neighborhood. The community center’s dedicated staff instills moral and spiritual values through a well-rounded education while providing for such basic needs as nutritious food and medical care.

St. John’s Community Center
Nairobi, Kenya

The St. John’s Community Center was established in the late 1950s following a violent period known as the Mau Mau Uprising. The center’s mission is to provide long-term social services to the needy – regardless of age, tribal affiliation, or faith. By providing for the children’s immediate needs as well as investing in their future through education, St. John’s Community Center offers these deserving children the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances they face.

Materi Girls’ School
Tharaka, Meru, Kenya

Tharaka is a village located some 100 miles north of Nairobi. Isolated and impoverished, Tharaka is one of the least-developed villages in the area. Life for its impoverished residents is a constant challenge. In this agricultural region, drought, famine, and malnutrition are everyday realities. For this reason, the Materi Girls’ School is incredibly valuable to the community. Established in 1973, the school’s mission is to provide a well-rounded education to the needy girls of this area – regardless of clan, tribe, or religion. Sponsored by the Catholic Bishop of Kenya and approved by the Kenyan Ministry of Education, the Materi School is highly sought-after for its high academic standards and distinguished reputation.

We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors and donors who have supported our COVID-19 relief efforts over the last few months.

Msamaria Mwema
Nairobi, Kenya

Located just beyond Nairobi’s outskirts and operating as part of the local St. Nicholas Community Development Centre, Msamaria Mwema was founded by the Mothers’ Union of the Anglican Church of Kenya in 1986 as a rescue and rehabilitation center for needy children of the community. The center strives to empower orphans, vulnerable children, and impoverished women through education, vocational training, and the provision of basic needs, like shelter and nutrition. Since the center’s inception, hundreds of children have benefited from the spiritual, emotional, and physical care offered at Msamaria Mwema.

Maria Immaculata Children’s Education Center
Kiamumbi, Nairobi, Kenya

In Kiamumbi – one of Nairobi’s outlying neighborhoods – children live in squalid slum conditions and are often orphaned, neglected, and abused. For this reason, Maria Immaculata Children’s Education Center serves as a beacon of hope. Founded in 1997 by the Sisters of Mary Immaculate, this combined school and children’s home helps the area’s neediest children grow into healthy, productive members of society. Its mission is to instill moral and spiritual values through care, encouragement, education, and community intervention. In partnership with Children Incorporated’s sponsorship program, Maria Immaculata Children’s Education Center helps these deserving children realize their full potential.

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A Mission to Provide Food for Babies — and Kids

Since 2018, we have partnered with Organic Baby Food Shop to bring awareness to our U.S. Feeding Program which provides for children in need who otherwise don’t have access to nutritious food items.

Today, we hear from Organic Baby Food Shop about their work and dedication to helping babies and kids by supporting Children Incorporated.

Today, we hear from Organic Baby Food Shop about their work and dedication to helping babies and kids by supporting Children Incorporated.

SC: Tell us about Organic Baby Food Shop and the work that you do.          

Organic Baby Food Shop was founded by parents for parents. As new parents, we spent countless hours trying to find the best formula for our infants. After reading the ingredient lists of several dozen US-made formulas, we nearly gave up hope and planned to settle for the “least worst” options.

After lots of research, we came across Lebenswert Bio Formula–  with only organic ingredients and no additives like extra sugar, corn syrup, soy or artificial ingredients. We ultimately found that many parents were raving about the quality of this formula, but it was nearly impossible to find in the United States.

We finally found a few suppliers online, but felt we paid way too much, experienced poor customer service and frequently received packages that were near the expiration date. Today Organic Baby Food Shop works to fix all those issues by providing outstanding customer service, and the best organic baby formula in the world shipped directly to thousands of parents in the US. We import Lebenswert, Holle and HiPP directly from Germany to our four offices in Austin, Texas; Los Angeles, California; New Jersey/New York; and Chicago, Illinois. We provide the lowest prices, the fastest shipping, and the best customer service.

SC: What is one of your favorite aspects of your work?

As parents we know it’s best for a baby to be breastfed. Unfortunately, some mothers aren’t able to breastfeed or don’t produce enough milk. There are many reasons why mothers choose to start formula feeding and we love providing them with the healthiest alternatives possible.

In addition, these products are the most ecologically-friendly baby formulas. Just like Holle, Lebenswert strongly respects and believes in organic farming. They treat plants, soil, animals and nature itself with respect and harmony. Lebenswert formula uses milk produced by organic, biodynamic farms, which guarantee species-appropriate feeding and ethical treatment of their animals.

SC: How did you find out about Children Incorporated?

We at Organic Baby Food Shop truly believe in giving back. That’s why we love to support different organizations through monetary, in-kind and product donations meanwhile surprising our customers with special giveaways and promotions. Black Friday is our biggest sale of the year, and in 2018 we renamed it “Baby Friday” and donated  $1 per box sold to an organization that supports children in need. We searched for a respected organization that was aligned with our values and gratefully found Children Incorporated. Together we decided that we can best help their U.S. Feeding Program thrive, and today that partnership has become especially important amidst COVID-19.

SC: What made you want to get involved with our organization?

When we started to donate to the U.S. Feeding Program through our “Baby Friday” Campaign in 2018, we found it heartbreaking that in the United States, 1 in 6 children don’t know where they will get their next meal.

We at Organic Baby Food Shop truly believe in giving back. That’s why we love to support different organizations through monetary, in-kind and product donations meanwhile surprising our customers with special giveaways and promotions.

We are extremely grateful to support this awesome program and contribute towards providing children with food to take home on weekends when they otherwise might not receive regular meals.

Especially in these challenging times it’s more important than ever that we take care of each other and those most vulnerable. That’s why our team has since decided to support Children Incorporated on a monthly basis during COVID-19 and beyond – in addition to our promotional campaigns.

SC: What about Children Incorporated do you feel relates to the Organic Baby Food Shop mission and vision?

We at Organic Baby Food Shop share your belief that each child deserves access to water and food, as well as education so that they may access empowering opportunities and become contributing members of their communities. Our mission is to provide easy and affordable access to the absolute best organic formula in the world, recommended by pediatricians.

We strive to help families feed their babies with wonderful nourishment while avoiding artificial additives in other formulas without being overcharged. Through it all, we recognize that being able to choose the very best for our baby truly is a luxury when we consider how many children experience extreme food insecurity.

Ultimately, we both want to protect those most vulnerable – the children – and provide them with the resources needed to thrive and grow up healthy. We deeply appreciate the work of Children Incorporated and are proud of our partnership.

***

 

The Challenges of Home Life

Nestled in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains and steeped in a rich cultural heritage lies Wolfe County, Kentucky.

As is the case for many areas of Appalachia, Wolfe County’s natural beauty belies the abject poverty in which many of its residents live. Wolfe County carries the unfortunate distinction of being one of Kentucky’s most impoverished regions.

As is the case for many areas of Appalachia, Wolfe County’s natural beauty belies the abject poverty in which many of its residents live.

At one time, logging, tourism for nearby mineral springs, and factories employed the majority of this area’s residents. Over time, these industries vanished, leaving ghost towns, unemployment, and high poverty rates in their wake. High dropout rates and adult illiteracy only serve to fuel the cycle of poverty.

“Today, leaders and residents in Wolfe County are working hard to reimagine new opportunities to rebuild the local economy,” explains our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“One area being explored is tourism. Wolfe County is home to the outstanding Red River Gorge, a canyon system in the Red River. The gorge lies within the Daniel Boone National Forest, and it has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a National Archeological District. There are many high sandstone cliffs, rock shelters, waterfalls, and natural bridges. There is a gorge that is a popular place for rock climbers. A few small businesses have sprung up to support tourists, ranging from those selling supplies to an outstanding pizza restaurant.”

A long way to go

Regardless of the efforts, the county still has a long way to go for real economic development. Since the collapse of the coal industry, many of its families struggle with poverty, hopelessness, and addiction. Sadly, as always, the children are the most vulnerable — including those at our affiliated projects, Wolfe County Middle School and High Schools.

Per the Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Center, the county’s average child poverty rate for 2014-2018 was 38%. From 2012 to 2016, it was a wretched 55%. The improvement is not because of the county’s ability to address poverty, but because so many families have moved out in hopes of better opportunities.

Working to support kids in need

Fortunately, the Family Resource Youth Services Center at Wolfe County Middle and High Schools can help children and their families to succeed in school by minimizing or removing non-cognitive barriers to their learning.

Kids in Wolfe County are fortunate to have a volunteer coordinator like Connie to look out for their well-being.

The resource center’s offerings range from Born Learning (for infants and preschoolers) to Back to School Bashes and Ready Fests, to Red Ribbon Week (drug awareness and prevention), to recognizing and responding to violence, and to bringing partners and resources to address the children’s well-being and success.

Children Incorporated is proud to be able to partner with the Family Resource Center in Wolfe County Middle and High School. It is in these places that we hope to help children develop resilience, to graduate from high school, and eventually to break the cycle of poverty by having work that will support themselves and their own families someday,” said Renée.

Getting to meet with Connie

Wolfe County Middle and High School are side-by-side schools, and the Youth Services Centers are both run by our volunteer coordinator, Connie. The total enrollment at the middle and high school is about 600 students. Children Incorporated U.S. Programs Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, visited with Connie recently to find out more how our program is supporting her work.

“I met with Connie at the high school during my last visit to Wolfe County. Connie says she likes our sponsorship program because it helps her kids with clothing, which is very important to middle and high school kids,” expressed Shelley.

“She takes her high school students on a bus to Lexington to shop at Kohls, where the kids can pick out clothes and shoes.  She says it’s an enjoyable experience for them, and she is grateful that she can be so flexible with the program.”

Connie also told Shelley that transportation is a significant barrier for her students; many of them rely on the school bus system to get to and from school. Because of this, these students are unable to participate in any after-school programs, tutoring programs, or extracurricular activities because they do not have a way to get home.

Beyond transportation concerns, the biggest challenge for students at the middle and high school is the home life.

Fortunately, the school has been awarded a grant for the 21st Century after-school program, and part of the grant money will be put towards bus transportation for the students. Per the 21st Century website: “21st Century Community Learning Centers provide essential support to students who are often underserved and offer creative, engaging learning opportunities to kids of all ages and backgrounds.”

An even bigger concern

Beyond transportation concerns, the biggest challenge for students at the middle and high school is the home life. They come to school, and their minds are elsewhere because they are worried about where they will sleep from day to day or worrying about mom or dad being on drugs.

Often there is not enough food in the house, and they come to school hungry and tired after the weekend. Many of the students are living with grandparents or other relatives. A growing number of students are moving into the area because they are in foster care.

These students have grown up in volatile environments and bring a lot of challenges with them to school each day. Often these students act out in school, which can be difficult for the teachers and other students.

Even with all the issues these children face, the high school’s graduation rate is very high, and that is thanks to a dedicated and caring staff and administration at the high school.

If a student is failing several classes, they can take online courses or attend one on one classes at an extension campus to graduate.

“Connie is hoping that with the new after-school program, the graduation rate will be even better. After graduation, some students will attend college while others attend technical college or transition to work,” said Shelley.

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How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

Crucial Support for Families in the Philippines

As we have seen, the COVID-19 outbreak hit most countries in the world, and our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, has been working to offer support to families in their time of need.

We hear from Luis today about the help we are providing to our affiliated projects in the Philippines, thanks to donations from our sponsors and donors:

We hear from Luis today about the help we are providing to our affiliated projects in the Philippines, thanks to donations from our sponsors and donors.

“I was informed by one of our programs in the Philippines that the families we support are mostly day workers, so most of them have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 restrictions. In response, they are providing food bags to families in addition to items purchased with sponsorship funds,” said Luis.

“The government of the Philippines has authorized one-time cash support to certain families under certain criteria. The government will give cash assistance to low-income families, solo parents, pregnant or lactating mothers, senior citizens, and some taxi drivers.”

“Not all Filipinos will receive cash assistance. The families of the children in our sponsorship program are qualified to receive the cash assistance from the government – roughly $98,” explained Luis.

“Of course, this one-time support does not cover the cost of living expenses for a month, as you can imagine. With the funds we have provided, our coordinators purchased rice, produce, bread and canned goods, as well as other fresh food items.”

A mother of one of our sponsored children receiving food at her home. Our volunteer coordinators are making home deliveries of essential items during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The provision of the aid has been complicated for our coordinators to distribute as a result of the mandatory quarantine. Children and parents have to come to the center wearing a mask and following strict distancing rules. Other items are dropped off at the homes of our sponsored children by our coordinators.”

A message from our volunteer coordinator at Fortune’s Children at Parang

“Greetings!

The beginning of the year was a busy one for the students. For the month of January, they were able to complete four lessons, which culminated in a unit test. The lessons continued well into the month of February. The last class was held on March 10, and then class was suspended.

March was the beginning of the COVID-19 spread in our country. On the evening of March 9th, President Duterte formally declared a state of public health emergency in the Philippines. [He suspended] all classes in public and private schools, in all levels, in Metro Manila from March 10-14 as a precaution.

As the cases continued to increase, [on March 12th], the president announced a partial lockdown on Metro Manila beginning on midnight of March 15th. This meant that most of our children’s parents had to stop working. Others who are included in essential services were allowed to either [work] from their homes or go to work on a non-daily basis.

The families of Children Incorporated sponsored kids were all greatly affected by this health emergency, and Damayan at Tiyaga Foundation responded by distributing food packs to them as well as [to] our less fortunate brethren in nearby communities.

Our coordinators worked in three groups and bought the necessary items for the kids: hygiene kits, canned goods and noodles, snacks, bread, milk, oatmeal, and other food items that the kids requested.

It was a challenging task, as there were limits to how much of some particular items (like milk, noodles, canned goods) we could buy in the groceries. Only one person per household was allowed to go out for grocery runs, hence, buying all the food pack items took from two to four days at most. We were able to distribute food packs in three waves to the less fortunate, including [to] the families of our [Children Incorporated] kids. We included rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, coffee, sugar, bread, some vegetables, and milk in our food packs. We also received a lot of requests for milk, as there are really a lot of families with small kids in the communities where the [Children Incorporated] kids live. These food packs cost about P300 or $6 each. About 50 families in the neighboring communities were given these food packs in different batches.

During the [second] week of April, we received the sponsorship funds, and [the] last week of April [we received funds from the] Hope in Action Fund for the children. Our coordinators worked in three groups and bought the necessary items for the kids: hygiene kits, canned goods and noodles, snacks, bread, milk, oatmeal, and other food items that the kids requested. We were able to finish our distribution by May 3rd, a Sunday.

Our volunteer coordinators are working hard to get supplies to children and families during school closures.

Presently, we are still under enhanced community quarantine tentatively until May 15th. Life as we know it has changed a lot. The children are yet unsure of whether they will be allowed to physically return to school for the coming school year, but the Education Department has already announced that classes will resume in August, albeit through a modified delivery. Unless a vaccine for the virus is released, our kids are confined to their homes and not allowed to go out for any reason. This is for their own safety.

On behalf of the [Children Incorporated] kids, we are very grateful to the sponsors who have continued helping them by sending their monthly subsidies and gifts. We pray for all of you at Children Incorporated, as well as our sponsors, that you may remain in good health until this pandemic has passed.

God bless us all,

Joy”

About the Philippines

The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historical records. Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation, access to healthcare, and access to potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity.

About our affiliated projects in the Philippines

Pinagpala Children’s Center
Tagaytay City, Philippines

Located in the city of Tagaytay, the Pinagpala Children’s Center was established by members of a local church in 2000 to provide educational assistance to local needy children and their families. The name Pinagpala means “blessed.”

The Pinagpala Children’s Center recognizes that providing for the educational needs of impoverished children is an essential step in giving these deserving young minds the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the problematic socioeconomic circumstances that they face. The center receives its funding from individual contributions and organizations like Children Incorporated. They envision many goals for future growth, including building a multipurpose community center with a media center or library. This will facilitate training programs, afterschool care, and recreational activities for children and their families, expanding their educational assistance programs to improve the children’s lives further and providing safe transportation to and from school each day.

Fortune’s Children at Parang
Parang, Marikina, Philippines

In Marikina’s Fortune neighborhood, most residents rent modest homes — typically little more than shacks constructed from scrap wood and corrugated metal sheets, with no running water, indoor plumbing, or even beds. Eight to twelve family members often share these dwellings.

Tragically, hunger, malnutrition, health issues, and lack of sufficient clothing often cause children to miss school or drop out altogether. Established by the Damayan at Tiago Foundation, the Fortune’s Children at Parang functions as both a school and daycare center, which also offers community-building programs to assist teenagers and adults facing poverty-induced issues. In this way, children and their families may rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances from which they come.

Visayans Community Center at Bliss
Sagkahan, Tacloban City, Philippines

The  Bliss Housing Project in Sagkahan, where the Visayans Community Center at Bliss is located, is a community established by the Filipino government for Tacloban’s poor. Only fifteen percent of residents own the land on which they live. Most locals inhabit concrete dwellings, but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo, and castoff boards.

Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss serves as a beacon of hope. Founded by the local group, Volunteer for the Visayans, the center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare, and promoting education.

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How do I sponsor a child in the Philippines?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

High Rents in Jackson City

Jackson City is located in rural and mountainous Breathitt County, Kentucky. Until the 1990s, coal was the foundation of the county’s economy, but the steady decline of the coal mining industry has begun to wreak havoc upon the local economy.

Many families, who once depended upon the mines for income, now depend upon part-time employment at minimum wages, welfare, and food stamps. Poverty and unemployment have become intrinsic parts of daily life in Jackson City — which is exacerbated by the high cost of rent.

The school on the hill

Our affiliated project, Jackson City School, is nicknamed by residents “the school on the hill.” It is indeed perched atop a very tall hill behind the county courthouse. From the school grounds, there is a view over the rooftops of the little city below, as well as the rolling hills and mountains over the horizon.

Our volunteer coordinator, Dixie, has a lot of experience working with children in need.

While visiting Jackson City School, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, met with our volunteer coordinator, Dixie.

“Dixie a is a real winner of a coordinator — the students at Jackson City School are lucky to have her. She came to Jackson City Schools after working at the former Sebastian Middle School in Breathitt County, so she arrived at the Family Resource Youth Services Center fully understanding our sponsorship program,” explained Renée.

“Dixie is energetic and warm. She has developed close relationships with her students and families.” 

Rent overburdened in America

During their meeting, Dixie told Renée that the Family Resource Center’s greatest needs are support for the Backpack Weekend Feeding Program and her Parent Program. The Parent Program offers parents help with issues like child development and abuse prevention strategies, such as working on methods to calm down, patience, and time outs.

“Dixie explained that, since Jackson is the county seat, its middle class and professional families tend to live here and to enroll their children in the city school system rather than in the county school system,” said Renée.

“We are so grateful for our sponsors, and Dixie, who fills a big gap for parents. Dixie works hard to find great discounts so she can maximize the items she can provide for children throughout the year.”

“At the same time, there are six low-income housing apartment communities in Jackson that offer a total of 134 affordable apartments. One hundred two of these do not provide direct rent assistance but remain affordable. Thirty-two are formal, income-based apartments. The need outpaces the demand. If a family moves to another county, then that apartment is quickly rented to a new family.”

In the United States, households who pay more than thirty percent of their gross income are considered to be “rent overburdened.” In Jackson, a household making less than $1,357 a month would be regarded as overburdened when renting an apartment at or above the median rent. Nearly thirty-seven percent of households who rent are overburdened in Jackson.

Dixie and our sponsors to the rescue

“For families of children in our sponsorship program, this means a disproportionate amount of their low income is required to pay for rent, leaving only a small percentage available for utilities, food, gas, auto maintenance, and repairs — as well as their growing children’s needs for new shoes, school supplies, and other needs,” said Renée.

“We are so grateful for our sponsors, and Dixie, who fills a big gap for parents. Dixie works hard to find great discounts so she can maximize the items she can provide for children throughout the year.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

Filling a Gap in Guatemala

As of the time of publishing this story, Guatemala had the lowest number of cases of COVID-19 of all Central American countries, yet there are still many challenges that families are facing.

Today we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about the current situation in Guatemala.

Today we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about the current situation in Guatemala and how Children Incorporated is responding.

COVID-19 impact on Guatemala
“Some of our affiliations in Guatemala are supporting the children regularly, but with many difficulties as they have a curfew in place in the country: no one is to move from 6 pm to 4 am every day. Many people complain about the lack of social distancing, especially in the poor, overcrowded areas of the country,” said Luis.

Yet despite these issues, there have only been around 1000 cases in Guatemala reported. Probably because of the government implementation of the mandate, restrictions to [going]  outside without a mask, lockdown of the country, and of course, social distancing.”

Food and hygiene product bags are packed up at our affiliated project, Sagrada Familia, for families to take home.

“No flights are allowed internationally, and no traveling within states. The president has taken this epidemic very seriously as he is a medical doctor and has worked very hard on making the right decisions so far, as per the information I have received from my family and coordinators,” said Luis.

“Currently, schools are still suspended, and most businesses at this time. Only essential work goes on and under restrictions. Since traffic is always a problem in the country, you can imagine [that] getting home before the curfew hour has been a challenge. The curfew will stay until further notice, although yesterday, the president allowed some shopping.”

“The government of Guatemala had a [plan to provide] one-time cash support to families [in the amount] of Q1,000 (equivalent to US $130 dollars), but only about Q200 million was available originally, [which supported] only about 200,000 families of the 17 million people living in the country,” said Luis.

“Of course, the amount has grown since, but the support to families is practically non-existent. Almost half of the population in Guatemala were low-income earners, and the percentage of people receiving aid in this group was minimal. No one having an income above the minimum wage (minimum wage is about US $220 a month) would receive this incentive. Only people making less than that would qualify, including street vendors and non-income filers, nannies, and house service people earning much less.”

Our Response

We are grateful for the support that our sponsors and donors are providing to families in Guatemala at this time. Thanks to donations made to our COVID-19 Response Fund and to our sponsored children, we can send funds to our affiliated projects to provide food, hygiene items, and other necessities for children while they are out of school for the duration of the outbreak.

About Guatemala

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. 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.

Thanks to donations made to our COVID-19 Response Fund and to our sponsored children, we can send funds to our affiliated projects to provide food, hygiene items, and other necessities for children while they are out of school for the duration of the outbreak.

About our affiliated projects

Juan Apostol School
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Founded in 1964, the Juan Apostol School strives to provide the deserving children of this impoverished area with a well-rounded education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. In this way, students here have the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances into which they were born.

Zacapa School
Zacapa, Guatemala

In 1952, upon discovering that many children were unable to receive an education due to the limited number of schools in this rural area, a group of American Lutheran missionaries established a boarding school to remedy the problem. Although not many children board at Zacapa School today, the school continues its mission of providing impoverished children with a sound education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty — and moral guidance.

Santa Isabel Ana Seton
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Families wait to pick up items while also practicing social distancing in Guatemala.

Named for a North American nun who was canonized in 1975, the Santa Isabel Ana Seton Welfare Center serves as a beacon of hope in the city’s poorest district. Here, the Sisters of San Vincente de Paul and Santa Luisa de Marillac tend to the needs of local impoverished families. Additionally, since Guatemala’s public education system suffers from overcrowding, numerous teacher strikes, and a general lack of school supplies, the Sisters also provide education through the affiliated Escuela Santa Maria private school. Together, the school and project strive to provide these deserving children with basic needs and sound education.

Sagrada Familia
Antigua, Guatemala

Sagrada Familia’s mission is to provide Antigua’s impoverished children with the educational, nutritional, and medical support they so desperately need. With the well-rounded education they receive, students here are given the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the problematic socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.

Casa Central
Guatemala City, Guatemala

In one of Guatemala City’s slum neighborhoods, the Casa Central School was founded in the mid-nineteenth century and run by the gracious nuns of the Sisters of Charity. Casa Central has a long and honorable history of ministering to the children here, offering them a place of refuge from the instability and crime that pervade this neighborhood.

Bethel-Quetzaltenango Primary School
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Established by the local Bethel Church, the Bethel-Quetzaltenango Primary School’s mission is to assist Quetzaltenango’s impoverished children. Here, these deserving boys and girls receive a well-rounded education.

Tecpan School
Tecpan, Guatemala

Run by nuns of the Hijas de Caridad (Daughters of Charity) Order, the Tecpan School strives to aid the impoverished children of this region. The school offers children a solid education from caring administrators and staff.

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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.